Dave Jaseck wrote:
Hi Jeff...first let me say I really enjoy your lessons/talks/lectures. You have a great sense of humor, my kind of guy. Now to the question. I am confused (not unusual in my case), that while on one hand in the work of Dr. Batmanghelidj and as stated in, what is now considered by some to be a classic book "Your Bodies Many Cries For Water", he and many others suggests 1/4 teaspoon of high quality sea salt to every 32 oz of water and ideally consuming 1/2 your body weight in oz of water each day. There are a lot of testimonials regarding the miracles of this prescription. I am a huge fan of Dr. McDougall going back a decade or so and believe he has the answer to most of our countries health challenges. However, he and you also are exponents of a low salt/sodium diet for better health. So what's the deal?
I have much respect for both sides of the argument. Appreciate you comments on this...Thank you...Dave
I would also respect the other side of the argument, if there was one, but when you separate the marketing and advertising from the science, there isn't one.
Testimonials are great, but they should be supported by science because the internet is full of people offering testimonials on everything, including pure quackery. Star McDougallers are great, but it is the science behind their stories that is the most important as it helps us understand why it works. Their stories support the science and do not displace it.
Do you have any references of supporting science for any of the claims made about sea salt?
Without them, his argument, is a great promotion to consume his product, but not one to promote health.
First, while it is not the topic of this discussion, the formula for how much water one should drink is not accurate. So, his recommendations are based on a faulty premise.
Second, sodium chloride is sodium chloride and it does not matter if it comes from salt mines on land, or from the sea.
Third, while it is true that sea salt, has slightly less sodium per gram and has a few minerals, these are all completely irrelevant when you step back and put the claims in to perspective.
The Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, recommends healthy people limit their sodium intake to no more than 1200-1500 mgs per day. The set an upper limit of 2300 mgs, meaning that if you go over that on a regular basis, it is harmful. They also recognize that a healthy human only needs around 240-300 mgs a day, which is easily obtainable from the amount that occurs naturally in foods.
A tsp of table salt is 2200 mgs of sodium. A tsp of Sea Salt is around 2000 mgs. Less, but as you can see, still a lot of sodium
Now according to the company Celtic Salt, a very popular promoter of sea salt, and based on the percentages they post on their website of the analysis of their product, a tsp of Celtic Sea Salt also contains
12 mgs of calcium
7 mgs of potassium
27 mgs of magnesium
The recommended amounts we need are
1000 mgs of calcium
4700 mgs of potassium
400 mgs of magnesium
So, in order for us to get in any significant amount of (less say 25% of the recommended amount)
Calcium, we would need to also take in 41,000 mgs of sodium
Potassium, we would need to also take in 335,000 mgs of sodium
Magnesium, we would need to also take in 7,407 mgs of sodium
So, in other words, the amount of sodium in the sea salt we would take in to get any significant amount of those minerals, would be extremely dangerous if not toxic.
And, small amounts of sea salt, would offer no benefit form the minerals.
My recommendations, as are Dr McDs are inline with the IOM and recommending the limit on total sodium.
If you choose to use sea salt as the source of your sodium, that is up to you, but it is not any healthier, safer, and/or more toxic than table salt.
Jeff Novick MS, RD