100 thoughts on “Sodium Skeptics Try to Shake Up the Salt Debate”

  1. Another amazing video…👍 thank you so much for all your hard work putting these videos together. We are both really looking forward to meeting you in London this April! – Georgie ☺

  2. He said it wouldn't be ethical to "force" people to smoke for a decade… But don't people decide to get paid good money for studies like this to be made on them?

  3. Thank you, for all your information on this channel…you are doing amazing work! No other source is as this evidence based and unbiased.

  4. There's a very important difference between refined salt and unrefined natural salt. Refined is basically toxic.. and unrefined I would define as a superfood. So yeah talk about salt as sodium and view it in a negative light based on studies studying refined salt – but you aren't talking about real salt which has a ratio of minerals incredibly similar to that of our blood. Everyone seems to know that too much salt is bad for you but not so many seem to know that there exists 'real' salt which (in moderation) is pretty much essential for good health.

  5. First of all Id like to mention that I think your channel is wonderful, informative and objective. Second i would like to comment specifically about this video. Before i begin A little ramble I would like to point out that everything in this video is correct, however like most things there are two sides to every story. I my case, I have always been a vegetarian from birth, im 32 years old and have continued to be health conscious all my life. I lived in the uk for most of my life and recently moved to australia where I have discovered even more health benefits. However, being so health conscious, through no fault of my own I effectively took it too far, let me explain. we i was a young teenager, I took notice of everything that the uk government and doctor said about having a low salt diet and how important it was to do so. So i followed instruction and had a low salt diet, continued to eat very well and have plenty and I mean plenty of water (which I had also seen an advert on the tv about, must have at least 2 litres of water a day). This combination over many years actually caused severe health problems for me. I was not receiving enough alkaline minerals in my diet and therefore my body was becoming more and more acidic. Now what I didn't know what that the body needs sodium as on of your electrolytes to exchange water in and out of your cells in exchange for potassium. Now i'm not a scientist or a nutritionist, but I have done alot of research into why I became sick and one of the reasons was lack of salt, my sodium was too low. I have also used myself as a guinea pig as it were to experient with my diet and sodium in take and I have essentially healed myself. I had pre diabetes, candida overgrowth, severe fainting spells, bone pain, head aches, no energy and severe depression. and over two years from when I found out about my lack of sodium and low blood pressure, which was checked by a qualified doctor, I have improved significantly. Most of my symptoms are gone, but I still have a way to go and continue with this change in diet and lifestyle. So anyway, the point im trying to make is, to any one who is reading this, go and get your blood pressure checked regardless of your age. I suffer with very low blood pressure and I have had to make some life style changes, ie increasing my salt intake. I have been told by many doctors and naturopaths that im a rare case, however, there are many more like me. So before you decide to reduce your salt intake, visit your local chemist or doctor and get your blood pressure checked, its normally free and takes 5 minutes. And one finally note, please do your own research into this, but salt isn't bad, I'm living proof and to begin with I honestly couldn't believe it either. its the amount of salt your consume and the type of salt you consume that is bad. I hope this helps someone.

  6. If you are a vegan, do you have to worry about salt that much? I eat alot of salt but my blood pressure is fine. But I do alot of my own cooking so I probably get less salt than if I were to eat alot of processed foods.

  7. I have tried on 2 different occasions to completely (0) eliminate salt from my diet and both times wound up weak, tired and depressed and had to backtrack to feel myself again. I wish the Doctor would give us some clue as to what "low salt" means. Is NO SALT healthy?? Is my experience normal? I now target 1000mg. Is that low, just right or too much?

  8. DR MICHAEL GREGER PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE I NEED YOUR HEEEEELP!!!!!!!! I am studying nutrition in Ecuador. Today, i was looking for studies about the treatment for eating disorders. I was looking for studies that linked a vegan diet with the treatment and recovery for people with eating disorders, includying anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating disorder e

  9. ***And ednos but i can't find one study about it. I just CAN'T believe that's true. Can you pleeaaaaaseeee make a video about this? PLEASE!!!!!! i know i won't be the only person who will thank you bout this. I am sorry for my terrible spanglish. Have a wonderful day/week. Chao! 🙂

  10. If the problem with high sodium intake is that it raises blood pressure, what is the mechanism for increased sodium causing increased CVD when the subjects do not have high blood pressure?

  11. Complete nonsense.

    "We can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." That's the same argument McGovern used to vilify cholesterol in the 1970's.

    Despite decades of looking, science has yet to locate any biological pathway between salt and hypertension. The temporary increase in blood pressure that a person gets after consuming salt is from changes in osmotic pressure, due to the increase in sodium ions in the blood stream, and does not cause arteries to harden, nor is salt inflammatory.

  12. love this channel!! i would like to know How many plant protein is too many….i eat beans and chickpeas every day but is there any limit? i dont consume any other form of protein as soy products….but i crave beans every day..

  13. and yet my blood pressure is still low (below average) with a resting heart rate of 53.  I put salt on all my foods, it tastes great.

  14. I like being healthy, but I can't put up with bland tasting food. Did you ever not salt bread when baking it? Completely ruins it.

  15. I'm not afraid of salt haha. In fact, I try to consume more salt so that my blood pressure rises. Whenever I sit down or lie down, my blood pressure drops, and then when i stand up, I end up falling over because of the change. Consuming more salt is what Harvard recommended, so I'm gonna go with it haha..

  16. Goining whole foods vegan was enough to lower my BP to 104/60 without lowering my salt intake. I actually add sea salt(1 tsp/gal) to my filtered water to replace electrolytes from sweating during exercise. Since I started doing that I stopped cramping on long runs and prolonged workouts. This anti salt thing is ridiculous.

  17. I'm just curious, I'm already on a Low-Fat Whole Foods Vegan Diet. Do I really have to worry about Salt? How many studies have been done on Vegans with a High Salt diet I wonder.

  18. What about the processes that you need salt for, table salt is never a good idea but sea salt is one of the few easy ways for trace minerals this is misleading, besides there could be other factors it has been noted by doctors that sodium bicarbonate does not increase blood pressure significanticantly so based on that evidence it's the combination not the mineral itself, without adequate salt how do expect to maintain proper fluid balance, sodium chloride on its own that's been refined and bleached is going to have both positive and negative effects on the body, usually when one mineral is cut out it creates other issues that manifest as different illness far more deadly

  19. Sea salt is healthy , eating meat in moderation is healthy too.
    Mediterranean people eat salt in abundance as well as meat in moderation…. they live a healthy happy life till their 90s+
    I lived there & saw it first hand . No one could convince me that eating meat is unhealthy.
    i have been a vegetarian and i have developed an IBS … vegetarian diet is not a balanced diet – period.

  20. Table salt is dangerous , sea salt or celtic salt is a health food.
    The video doesn't mention which salts are used in the studies.

  21. Table salt is dangerous , sea salt or celtic salt is a health food.
    The video doesn't mention which salts are used in the studies.

  22. Good lord! I had no idea that there was a "bar" of x amount of cash in the last x months before you had to declare a conflict of interest! That is absurd.

  23. Reminds me of the book "Thank You For Smoking" by Christopher Buckley. It's afuny novel about a guy who represents the smoking lobby in Washington. He knows he's full of BS but it's a job. He gets together Wednesday nights with the head of the alcohol lobby and the head of the gun lobby, together they call themselves the MOD squad, not after the '60s TV show, but short for Merchants Of Death. Anyway, the big justification these three use for their defense of these industries is, "It pays the mortgage". Funny thing is, that line was taken from the author asking, as he was researching the book, one of the tobacco companies spokespeople and that was exactly the answer she gave him as to how she lived with herself. So he put it in the book.

  24. Yeah, well…..look at all the fish that swim in salty water and don't get HTN or heart disease…how's that for a logical study.

  25. Just because people declare no conflicts of interest; one must do research to conclude that they told the truth.

  26. What about people with hypotension (too low blood pressure)? There are studies recommending up to 20g salt a day! Not everybody is the same. I always recommend also to look at your individual situation not just trying to accommodate to the average of 10000 people…

  27. I don't use much salt but I do use a bit . When I train hard I sweat a lot so a small dash once in a while I'm sure isn't bad , if not good for me . I use a tiny sprinkle of sea salt a couple of times a week but I cut out a lot of high sodium foods long ago when I switched to plant based diet . My blood pressure went from slightly high to normal and now it's optimal and I feel great . What I want to know is what a healthy dose of daily salt would be since I only eat whole foods and spice everything on my own .

  28. Hi Dr Greger
    Could you please speak about sea salt, and/or Himalayan Pink salt. Is there a difference between these salts from regular table salt? I have been eating clean I just have been getting tired of not having any taste. It was fine for awhile.. Plus doesn't the body need salt in order to survive, or workout? I have been on an all potato diet, and it helps me to lose weight. But finding ways of trying to eat it without salt is getting monotonous. Thanks!

  29. I also just received a response in my email from one of your responders, So the body does need salt? Just 1500mg a week, month?

  30. Ha! I'm sure sea salt or pink salt is a little better, but do they still offer some of the same problems? Salt is an irritant…I've always wondered if I was burning my insides with all the pink salt I was grinding on my food…

  31. Table Salt is a great source of daily iodine, so where are plant based diets supposed to get a decent amount of IODINE on a daily basis so we don't harm their THYROID? Thank-you Dr. Greger. We appreciate all the work you put into these videos!!!

  32. Just found the answer in, "How Not to Die" by Dr. Greger. Best source is Nori seaweed using 2 sheets per day which equates to the recommended 150mcg. (p409 in kindle edition). However, the Nori sheets are about 8" X 8". i think I'd rather take a vitamin pill every day…

  33. What's up with the 'eeh' and the stretching of syllables? Are you shitting? Please record and listen to your own voice and correct for this.

  34. So correlations are proof?
    It has been proven that ppl have a good system that excretes salt.
    South coreans eat many times more salt than any populatiin. Yet they have the lowest rate of heart problems… And other problems.

    This doctor is a joke… Quit your job idiot. You suck

  35. More bullshit. No salt and you die … excess salt is simply excreted (within reason obviously as you can kill with too much salt as well)

  36. In 2 months, on a low fat, starch based, whole food diet, I have lost 12kg (27lb). Now 69kg (152lb) I haven't weighed this little since I was in grade 10. I am now at 15% body fat. Is salt (the only thing I crave now) really going to increase my chances of heart disease?

  37. Aaaand then there's the 'Korea paradox'. Riddle me this you stupid fucking mong: the average South Korean consumes approximately 4000mg of sodium per day, almost double the amount recommended by US dietary guidelines. Despite this, South Korea has the lowest rates of coronary heart disease in the world. Paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352618115000475

  38. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Sigh, I was so amped up yesterday after watching (and showing my wife) a video from the "what i've learned" guy on salt. My one vice, just let me have it aaaaand live long and healthy. Whatever… thank you sincerely Dr. Greger for looking out for all those who go to you for advice and information. You have earned the maximum value of trust I can give any stranger ever.

  39. If you live a sedentary lifestyle and consume a poor diet and have high blood pressure then maybe you need to be careful about salt.  For the rest of us I don't believe it to be a problem and have little faith in what studies say following all the advice we have been given on diet over the years that changes so often.

  40. Lowest blood pressure is in South Korea where they consume 4,000+ mg sodium / day. Centuries ago when cured meats were widely consumed people didn't have cardiovascular issues like today.

    Very clear that sodium is good for us, and the recommended 2 g per day is actually the worse possible recommendation for anyone with functional kidneys.

  41. I use lemon and lime juice in my cooking and it totally takes the place of salt. People should try, it totally fools your taste buds.

  42. People drinking coffee, 4 cups/day, are consuming their sodium reserves. In time, if you drink coffee, soft-drinks, sugar, alcohol, then your levels of metabolic sodium will be chronically deficient. The papers quoted by our dear physician, are not conclusive. They have too many assumptions regarding. It's sugar not salt consumption levels that should, vis a vis, be correlated with coronary deceases, specially hypertension.

  43. I restricted salt for a year and started having fainting spells. I had to add back a bit of salt and the fainting went away. I have low blood pressure.
    I avoid salt that has the free-running agents in it, like Sodium ferrocyanide, or Yellow Prussiate of Soda, which has cyanide in it. Be sure to read the labels!
    I take two drops of half-strength Lugols Iodine daily for my thyroid. Sea vegetables have Iodine.
    Salt is an electrolyte and part of a balance we need of potassium, and magnesium. We are electrical beings. Our body's work like batteries. We just need the right amount and no more. Excess salt needs to be filtered out by our kidneys. Just like excess refined sugar. Processed foods eaten constantly puts pressure on our kidneys and liver and pancreas.

    The thing is, salt in high concentrations works as a preservative. So it is added to a lot of packaged foods and is used in fast foods for that reason. And whenever we dry a food we concentrate the salt in it. So we end up eating way more salt just for convenience sake and "shelf life."

    Long Shelf life means old, dead, food.

    Preserved foods are great for emergency rations, but were never good as a long term diet. It's like we are all eating rations like sailors on a ship at sea, when there is fresh food available right outside our door. We are all eating kibble, like rats in a cage. The cage door is open, and we don't even notice.

  44. I have watched various of your videos about salt intake and it prompted me to do more research. And as a result my opinion about salt intake has changed.

    But,…. even though I am agreeing now with the importance of not consuming too much salt,… I still think there is much more to BP regulation than just how much salt you eat. Potassium for example is actually a much more important factor I think. Potassium directly regulates how much sodium is excreted. The more potassium you eat, the more sodium is excreted, which may compensate for excess sodium intake. (I think that's where all the confusion about this subject comes from.) You can reduce salt intake, but without increasing potassium intake, it will have a minor effect on BP because the PB set point is mainly determined by potassium I think, and not all that much by sodium.

    So why don't doctors tell people to eat less salt AND eat more potassium rich food? Not even you talk about potassium when talking about sodium and BP.

    But alright. I'm glad your videos prompted me to research this subject better and I'm going to test this by reducing the amount of salt I add to food when I cook. I hardly eat processed foods so there's not much to gain there, but I can reduce how much salt I add to food. I already eat tons of vegetables and low sugar fruits (on average 300 to 400 grams per day) so it won't be easy, nor necessary to increase that much.


    Added, I just found this sodium calculator (very cool)


    Seems that my current sodium intake is at 1500mg per day. Which is less than I thought it was. But it used to be much higher. Before going low carb and iliminating all processed foods, I was probably at double that.

  45. Athletes??? What if you are sweating like 8 hours a day? You must have to replace lost salt. Or if you are on extacy 😆

  46. This entire video can be proven to be either extremely disingenuous or plain ignorant by the following:

    The Japanese study you highlighted dropped from 18g of salt to 14g of salt daily, or from 7,200mg of sodium down to 5,600mg. Not exactly a low sodium diet, and obviously going from excessively high amounts to a lower extreme is going to cause a beneficial effect.

    The Finland study measured salt EXCRETION, not intake. Numerous factors cause the kidneys to become salt wasting including stimulants, diuretics, a vast amount of pharmaceuticals, stress, being elderly, cancer, kidney problems, diabetes, liver problems, bowel problems, etc. None of which are indicative of health, but more importantly limit the conclusions one could draw from this study.

    Followed immediately by a strawman/appeal to common sense via the smoking analogy. Not an argument, not science, and indicative of a personal belief rather than chasing facts – especially since you've preached and no doubt practiced a low sodium diet for years.

    TOHP study: no indication of sodium intake. Cutting 25% off of 5,000mg+ is significantly different than cutting 25% off of 3,000mg.

    CDC did a study in 2014 that showed "no benefits of reducing sodium below 2,300mg per day", yet that's still the FDA's upper limit.

    You continually hint that there's some "big salt/food" industry behind this, yet health conscious people – aka most people – find "low sodium" to be more appealing because they know it's "good" for them. Ironically, the biggest industry to gain from this misinformation – if you want to make it out to be some grand conspiracy – is actually pharmaceutical companies.

    The incidence of fatal cardiac events actually sharply increases the further below ~3,000mg of sodium, and you have a significantly higher risk of dying from a cardiac event eating 2,000mg of sodium daily (worse with less) than eating even up to 12,000mg daily…

    Our body has no defense mechanism against insufficient sodium other than increasing insulin levels to cause the kidneys to retain salt. Ironically this process also causes aldosterone and norepinephrine levels to rise dramatically, lowering blood volume, drastically increasing heart rate due to the lowered blood volume and norepinephrine, and causes a cascade of detrimental health effects, including increased insulin resistance.

    Sodium deficiency can cause nearly anything bad: liver problems, GI problems, acid reflux/GERD (caused by insufficient stomach acid because you can't make hydrochloric acid without the chloride from salt…), fatigue, dizziness, ARRYTHMIAS, high blood pressure (from huge amounts of aldosterone), increased resting heart rate (which can lead to an enlarged heart), insulin resistance (body's defense mechanism is to increase insulin to cause sodium retention in the kidneys to not run out), shunting of blood from extremities, etc, etc.

    Guess who sells the cure for all of those? But no, blame the big evil food companies… Is every problem caused by a salt deficiency? Absolutely not, but the risks of not getting enough without a doubt outweigh the consequences of not enough. Salt to taste, eat plenty of produce for potassium, and cut sugar (but not fruit) and sodium wouldn't even be debated…

  47. My mother had a stroke in her low fifties, despite having low blood pressure, not drinking, not smoking, 23 BMI and being relatively healthy. Doctor's told her that they didn't know why and that it probably ran in the family. Now that I don't live at home anymore, every time I visit I try to avoid her food. Everything is drowning in fat and is disgustingly salty. When my mother gives me a takeout, I often wash it, trying to get rid of the fat and salt but I can't.
    I am trying to convince her to be healthier. Eating less than a teaspoon of salt a day, only coating the pan with oil instead of having the food swim in oil but she doesn't listen and still fears another stroke as if she can't do anything to prevent it.
    She also always complains about headaches but refuses to drink more than a liter of water a day or go to bed before midnight and only sleeping till 6 am.
    It's depressing to see people that don't want to change…

  48. Everyone ASSUMES people either get too much salt, or enough. Is 400 mg per day enough for cell function? What is the MINIMUM amount of salt a person needs?

    In my online searches, the only answer I found was "less than 500 mg". But how much less?

    If this were something in sale, I would assume 499. Is 475 enough? How about 450? 430?

    I don't use salt. I season my food with herbs & spices. My sodium intake today was 438 mg. But is that too little salt for necessary cell function?

  49. I've poured obsessive amounts of salt on every square millimeter of both sides of every piece of meat I liberally consume obsessive amounts of my whole life and I continue to have god like blood pressure.. HRMMM

  50. What about exercising and sweating? What about electrolyte balance particularly potassium and sodium ratio? The rdi for potassium is around 5000mg, was it based on high sodium intake? Should we get less potassium and salt altogether, should we require less magnesium then? These questions are the most important from a practical point of view: how one should regulate their salt intake along with other codependent micros to keep things at optimal balance. Or what just refuse all the added salt and only get it out of plants? That does sound intuitive but other factors like low blood pressure and sweating sodium out make you wonder further. I find it very problematic to get even half of the required potassium with my diet, I simply can't eat more of the avocados, potatoes and bananas a day to get that 47000mg, it is insane, I would have to just eat potatoes all day every day. Perhaps lowering sodium is the answer to taking a ridiculous amount of that one nutrient.

  51. But whats the least amount of sodium that i need?

    Im only eating vegetables, so my daily sodium intake is less than 200mgs and i have been feeling dizziness and lightheadedness.

    Ive see in others YouTube videos that too little sodium is also dangerous, so what is the truth?

  52. Dr. Gregory says regarding the standard American diet is 100% true but what about people that are getting their 5000 grams of potassium a day?
    I bet you salt is fine for those people.

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