30 Bananas a Day!

Hey guys,

So Easter dinner was yesterday and as always, my family ganged up on me and picked apart my diet. My grandma told me she seen on T.V the other day that elephants in the desert had dug their way down to a salt mine to lick the salt! Also, my uncle pointed out that deer lick the salt from the roads and he provides his cattle with a salt lick. My mom also has one available for our horses. I told them that I eat celery because it has natural sodium in it but didn't know what else to say...

Help! Is it true that animals crave salt for a biological reason or is it just an addiction? Should I be eating some kind of salt daily? I haven't been touching salt. Just raw fruits & veggies for 21 days now. I need some backup… I hate when my family makes me feel insecure about my decisions!

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Salt makes animals retain water. For an animal living in a desert or in the wild that's a good thing because they don't have to go to a source of water as often. For those of us living with water easily available all the time there's no need for salt, we can drink whenever we want. 

Okay, thanks for your reply!

Salt is essential for healthy muscle functioning.  Certain athletes and individuals in hot climates are at risk of low sodium.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/487350-sodium-and-the-muscles/

Thats the best they could come up with? -FACEPALM-

Cow's lick salt off the ground.....okay...so I should eat everything animals lick off the ground? lolololololo

Ask them how similar their diets are to animal diets.  Do animals eat hamburgers in nature.  Do animals drink diet coke.  Do animals eat pizzas and doughnuts.  Compare their diets to animal diets, then compare to yours.  Why is the concern with your diet and not their own.

Then have them ask their cardiologist about sodium content, see what he says.  Then google "sodium heart disease" and have them get back to you.

I'd really like to sit down with them and talk about the benefits of my diet as opposed to the health risks of theirs but seriously, they ask me so many questions that I don't have absolute facts and numbers to contradict the studies that they've heard about. I just get upset with them and ignore them or tell them they can do their own research if they are that concerned. My family as well as my bf's family are all SUCH heavy meat eaters. It's really hard to make them realize that society's recommended food chain is really wrong. I'd love to put together a little slideshow or booklet with all the combined reasons and facts about why people shouldn't be consuming animal meat, by-products, vinegar, oil, salt and other processed things on a scientific, biological level as well as an ethical and environmental level. I just need help!!!

Salt is a required nutrient for humans, yes that’s true.

 

Hyponatremia:

This is an electrolyte abnormality when serum sodium concentrations (sNa) drop too low.

Exercise Associated Hyponaturemia (EAH) this is most commonly seen when people do Marathons. Over time runners are sweating out Na as they run, but drinking only water with no electrolytes, this dilutes the electrolytes levels in your blood.  Between 1993 and 2008, five marathoners, four of them female, died from EAH.

 

Water intoxication:

Similar thing as above (electrolyte abnormality) but caused by drinking too much water at once.

Some may remember “Hold your Pee for a wii” where Jennifer Strange died when trying to win a Wii by drinking about 2 gallons of water at once.

 

These are extreme cases, but it shows that (sNa) levels can drop too low in unusual circumstances.

 

But the real question is how much do you need?

Rolling back let’s say 150,000 + years, salt was not easy to come by for humans.

So our bodies evolved 2 major solutions for this:

We are very efficient with the salt we already have in our bodies

We salt receptors on our tongues and we crave salt... a lot.

 

Humans crave salt, sugar, and fat… making something like potatoes chips the perfect food to become addicted to.  Food companies know this, so they add salt, sugar (processed white starches), and fat to everything

Because of this too much salt has become a major health problem in today’s world; it’s in everything, and in ridiculously too high amounts.

So much so the FDA doesn’t even put a minimum amount (daily recommended amount) for salt because too little is never an issues, it’s always way too much.

 

So...

Eating HCRV is fine, and salt should not be an issue.

But if you’re an endurance athlete, and live in a hot climate where you would sweat more, some type of electrolyte drink may be a good idea.

Okay, AWESOME facts :) Thank you so much!

If you work hard outdoors or exercise in the heat, and thus sweat a lot, you are going to need to replace more sodium than those who do not.  Such people may well need salt beyond their fruits and veggies.

And yes, animals absolutely seek out salt, it's a primary taste on our tongues and we like it because we need it.  Everything in moderation, friends.

Also wanted to say...if you are not using iodized table salt, then consider taking some kelp supplements as they are high in iodine (protects against Japanese fukushima radiation and is a vital nutrient for brain function)

Okay, so wouldn't celery help to replace the sodium or would I have to eat too large of a quantity to be adequate? 

Alright, they just don't understand moderation in the same way… moderation is adding salt to everything you cook from scratch but avoiding packaged, processed food as much as possible but still eating out at restaurants once a week or so… /:

I was always wondering where to get iodine supplements! Kelp would have a lot of sodium though wouldn't it? Ohhhhhh no!!! I thought I was avoiding most of that radiation by elimination sea food from my diet a while ago. Uh oh, I'll add it to my list! Thank you!

Celery is a great sodium source, if you look up the youtube vids on celery salt making, you can probably make it easier to get sodium without chewing through tons of celery.  Many people can get adequate sodium from veggies...you basically have to ask yourself just how much am I sweating...?

If your friends or family are picking your diet apart, that means that you are (intentionally or not) making them feel bad about their diet.  When I have dinners with friends and family, I make very sure to make them feel fine about their habits, and they NEVER question mine.  If anyone ever questions my diet, I make very sure to give them and their choices utmost respect, and they immediately start respecting my choices. 

For an excellent primer on how to do that, read "The Pleasure Trap".  It has an excellent chapter on how to act in social situations when following an "unusual" lifestyle.

It also has some good info on salt.

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