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How Much Sodium Is In The Diet? Is The RDA For Sodium Too High?

Discussion in 'Diet' started by Travis, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Travis

    Travis Member

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    I have been eating everyday a 10oz pack of Deglet Noors, one entire mature coconut, one pound of kale, and one pineapple. I just added up the mineral contents as %RDA.

    Calcium 93%
    Iron 136%
    Magnesium 134%
    Phosphorus 96%
    Potassium 180%
    Sodium 12%
    Zinc 56%
    Copper 229%
    Manganese 881%
    Selenium 74%

    The RDA for sodium is ridiculous. There is absolutely no way that you can get a sodium RDA without using salt or seaweed. This means that 99% of land-based animals (squirrels, deer, birds, raccoons, ect) cannot possible get as much sodium as the Nutrition Board is recommending.

    I think there are politics involved in the salt RDA because it is ridiculous of you think about it.

    The total amount of protein is 47 grams.
    coconut[ one]=13.2g
    Dates [10oz]=14g
    Kale [pound]=15g
    Pineapple [one]=4.8g

    The total energy is 2884 Calories.
    coconut=1405
    Dates=790
    Kale=227
    Pineapple=462

    Nothing wrong here IMO. A little zinc from pumpkin seeds might be appropriate.

    Does anyone know if the cronometer does these calculations for you? I just signed up but I haven't received the validation E-mail yet. I am doing these calculations by hand and it is kinda tedious.
     
  2. Peater Piper

    Peater Piper Member

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    Haha, yes, you just search for the food type, add the serving size, and it does the rest.

    Are you cooking the kale?
     
  3. tara

    tara Member

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    Yes it does. Though the exact amounts of nutrients in foods can vary quite a lot depending on soil and growing conditions, so it only gives a rough estimate.

    The RDA is intended for humans. Note that farmers put salt licks out for their stock in some circumstances. Humans have valued salt for a very long time. Human ability to retain sodium is influenced by other factors in the their health - thyroid function, activity /sweat levels, etc. Some probably need more than RDA, maybe some need less. Low blood sodium levels can have devastating consequences. Ideally taste would be a good guide, but apparently it's not unusual for elderly people to get hyponatremic. I don't know if this is partly because the sense of taste can deteriorate with ageing, but I imagine low thyroid function would be part of the story.
     
  4. OP
    Travis

    Travis Member

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    No. I eat is raw. It is small organic kale leaves on a one-pound clamshell. They are sometimes good, and sometimes bitter. The batches are inconsistent.

    As far as minerals, all leaves such as spinach, arugula, chard, ect.., all basically have roughly the same content. If I were to calculate the betacarotene, vitamin C, and Vitamin K contents of this diet, it would be in the range of %1000-%10000 RDA.

    But I will let the cronometer make those calculations for me. Thanks for the input; these manual calculations are tedious.
     
  5. OP
    Travis

    Travis Member

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    @tara

    I mean if you allometrically scale the human RDA on to other non-domesticated land animals, you would find that none of them meet their scaled RDA.

    Allometric scaling has been developed for a few animals. You can make the calculations based on mass, but some argue that the body surface area is more accurate.
     
  6. tara

    tara Member

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    You mean you've looked up the RDA for sodium for squirrels etc? Or you are assuming they need the same proportions as humans? We are not all the same - for instance, some animals have kidneys that work quite differently from ours, and can run on a lot less water than humans need. We also run expensive metabolism and brains. I expect there are differences in many nutritional needs.
     
  7. OP
    Travis

    Travis Member

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    Perhaps, but I think asserting that only humans are unique in their sodium requirements is an uncomfortable position to take. I think the simplest explanation, that the sodium RDA is politically based, makes more sense than a biological interpretation.
     
  8. tara

    tara Member

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    There is some evidence linked on the forum that the standard RDA is probably too low for many humans.
     
  9. tara

    tara Member

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    It's not making me uncomfortable yet :), but maybe there is data that would be persuasive.
    I don't claim that we uniquely need more sodium than other animals - many others take in lots of salt. You refer to land-based animals, but we may well have spent significant parts of our evolution near the sea shore, with abundant access to salt. We also have evolved in particular ways with other foods too - eg the radically different nutrition available by cooking.

    I don't rule out the possibility that politics influence standard public nutritional recommendations in various ways, though, and that it might be in the mix for the sodium too.
     
  10. paymanz

    paymanz Member

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    Herbivore Animals also use salts,they find salt deposits and eat them.

    and omnivore animals don't need them as they get it from blood of their prey.(unlike the meat that we eat which is totally devoid of sodium/calcium,because it totally bled during slaughtering- so as these are extracellular electrolytes,it all get lost)

    Most of non omnivore/carnivore animals also eat insects and worms which I guess also contain some sodium and chloride too.

    But anyway human need more as we sweat,much more than any animal.
     
  11. OP
    Travis

    Travis Member

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    Well there is the Salt Institute. I don't know how politically active they are, but they seem to be exceedingly pro-salt.

    There has been cases where industry has influenced nutritional guidelines:
    Conflicts of interest in food and nutrition

    A good place to start is probably Marion Nestle's Food Politics, I haven't read this myself but it is on my reading list.

    And salt has invariably been shown to increase blood pressure in a dose-dependent fashion. This ties in with Linus Pauling's theory of heart disease, that high blood pressure [salt, stress] causes mechanical damage to the arteries. The arteries are made of collagen, and subclinical scurvy [lack of Vitamin C] interferes with the bodies ability to synthesize collagen; to repair the damage. Instead what happens is, the body uses lipoprotein-a to patch up the holes in the artery; in the case of Vitamin C deficiency. The side chain of the amino acid lysine [in broken collagen] is purportedly what bonds to to lipoprotein-a.

    This theory, created by a Nobel Prize winning chemist, seems to explain all of the risk factors involved in heart disease in a logical manner.
     
  12. OP
    Travis

    Travis Member

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    Dude, even a pound of beef only has 18% RDA for sodium.

    I have yet to see any exposed salt deposits in the state of Wisconsin. These mythical salt-licks only exist in Utah as far as I can tell.
     
  13. OP
    Travis

    Travis Member

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    As you can see, it is impossible to get the RDA ratio of K:Na from natural sources:

    Beef = (6.2):1

    Kale = (10.4):1

    Celery = (3.25):1

    RDA = (1.42):1

    If politics aren't involved, then biologically it would seem that we need more than 4x the ratio of Na:K than what exists naturally in cows.

    I find this absurd.

    Linus Pauling Institute

    Almost exactly the same ratio of cow muscle (6.2):1

    And a far cry cry than the RDA (1.42):1
     
  14. tara

    tara Member

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    Invariably is a strong word. Not true according to Peat. Or Brewer.
    +1
    I have not investigated this, but according to Paymanz above, it is the blood, rather than the muscle, that contains more sodium - so the ratios you refer to for beef may not be particularly pertinent to the point you are trying to make?
    Not sure that the optimal RDA for potassium is so precisely known either.

    Hypothyroid people tend to lose sodium (and magnesium) more easily. Many people are probably somewhat hypothyroid.
    One of my people experienced severe dysfunction from lack of adequate sodium. Revived well by the saline applied carefully in hospital, and more or less holding as long as more salt is added to food.

    Political effects probably can't be seen in isolation. Eg if politics enforces high PUFA consumption on the majority in a country, and high PUFA lowers metabolism, then that could also increase actual (not just theoretical) sodium requirements.
     
  15. OP
    Travis

    Travis Member

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    I am pretty sure that sodium exists mostly in the extracellular space. That would make the sodium concentration much higher in plasma than in RBCs. This discrepancy is what led to the fabled sodium potassium pump, a hypothetical entity that actively transports sodium out of the cell. This has been disproved by Gilbert Ling and Ray Peat talks about this:
    Water: swelling, tension, pain, fatigue, aging

    I am reading a Gilbert Ling book right now, and he presents data that shows the Na/K ratio is higher in people with heart failure [left ventricle muscle] and that digitalis actually changes the Na/K ratio, leading to normalized function.

    Perhaps the RDA isn't so bad, but there are millions of people who actually consume more sodium than potassium. I don't think that this is natural, and it can only be achieved by using salt. No natural foods, excluding seaweed, even come close to this. The K/NA ratio for Bluefin Tuna is (6.46):1. This shows that even an aquatic animal that has more environmental sodium that it knows what to do with, strives to maintain nearly the same ratio as seen in cows, which is (6.2):1

    A simple question would be: "Why is the RDA set at a ratio of (1.42):1?"

    Would it not be logical to set the ratio at 6:1 in accordance with the known tissue ratio's of vertebrates?

    Potassium is known to reduce blood pressure, and is a counterion of sodium.
    Linus Pauling Institute

    Animals that eat other animals would ingest potassium and sodium at a ratio of 6:1. Animals that eat plants would ingest a ratio of about 8:1.

    Some americans ingest a ratio of (.33):1.
     
  16. Peater Piper

    Peater Piper Member

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    I take it you're not concerned about the massive dose of isothiocyanates blocking uptake of iodine into the thyroid? Are you rotating greens? How long have you been eating this way?
     
  17. OP
    Travis

    Travis Member

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    I used to be concerned about that. When I went shopping I bought 4 pounds of kale, one pound spinach, one pound arugula, and one pound romaine.

    Thanks for reminding me, I'll look into it. My Gilbert Ling book has data that shows that thyroid tissue has a slightly higher affinity for isocyanates than for iodine. Maybe the size of the molecule with the isocyanate group comes into play as well.

    But I do have kelp tablets to provide an equimolar amount of iodine to isocyanates. I'll let you know if I find anything interesting on the subject, or develop a goiter or something!
     
  18. Peater Piper

    Peater Piper Member

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    The spinach may be safe, but then you have the oxalates. Romaine's pretty benign, but also has fewer nutrients. It's kind of frustrating because many of the leafy greens are pretty darn nutritious, but the risks prevent me from going crazy with them. Some people consume huge amounts of leafy greens seemingly without issue, but each individual's gut health and intestinal flora make it impossible to tell whether or not they'll be safe in large amounts. So in the meantime, I stick with a cup or two of cooked greens each day.
     
  19. paymanz

    paymanz Member

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    If salt licks are not very visible to us it doesn't mean they doesn't exist.

    No animal can stay alive without using a salt supplement.because as you said plants are so deficient on sodium.

    And according to this table potassium to sodium ratio in human body is around 1.5-2:1 Composition of the human body - Wikipedia
     
  20. tara

    tara Member

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    Not sure what your point is here. There would be a higher ratio of plasma in the blood than in the more solid tissues like muscles, right?

    We are what we eat is not quite so literal, proportion-wise. Tissue ratios are not necessarily a guide to what our intake needs are. If it were, vegan diets would be obviously suicidal, tissue ratios of vertebrates being mostly protein, fat, and relatively low carbohydrate.
    We are not an average of all the other vertebrates, we are a species of our own.

    Apparently a number of other primates practice geophagia from time to time to supplement minerals.
     
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