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BTD Forums  /  SWAMI Xpress  /  The Problem with Salt...
Posted by: Vivian, Friday, February 22, 2013, 3:17pm
On my Swami, Tamari (Wheat Free) is a neutral.  And I used it for the first time yesterday to make some vegan fried rice (delicious BTW).  But it packs alot of salt.  The nutritional label says 860 g of sodium for 1 TBSP.  I did use more than one TBSP.

Also, vinager is an avoid for me.  But, Umeboshi Plum Vinager is a neutral.  So I went to the health food store to check it out...I have never heard of this type of vinager before.  Wow!!! 1050 g. of sodium for 1 TBSP!!!  (dizzy)

So my questions is..... although the Tamari & Umeboshi Plum Vinager are neutrals for me, is all this sodium going "to work itself out" in my body because it's a neutral, or is it going to undermine me losing weight through water retention or some other reason?

Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, February 22, 2013, 3:39pm; Reply: 1
Not everybody need to keep their sodium intake down. In all the studies showing health problems from salt intake, it only affected some of the study population. Additionally, none of those studies (to my knowledge) differentiated between different forms of sodium. The people eating the most sodium in these studies tend to get it via processed foods that contain MSG and other chemicals. Nor do any studies compare people's reactions to MSG, iodized salt (which contains corn-based dextrose, which is toxic for most people), unrefined sea salt, or salt from naturally fermented foods such as tamari and ume plum vinegar. They just looked at total sodium intake, not the source of the sodium or what the rest of the diet looks like.

Some people may get bloated and/or high blood pressure from eating too many potato chips, but it may not be the salt that's to blame. It may be from the potatoes themselves, or the partially hydrogenated oils they're fried in, or it may be from the sodium PLUS the other factors combined. Nobody's really studied this.

So, you may be one of those people who doesn't react badly to salt. Or, you may only react badly to salt if it's in combination with other factors- and if you're following SWAMI carefully, those other factors will no longer be happening. Or, you may need to be extremely careful with serving sizes when you use tamari and ume plum vinegar.

You don't need to use a whole tablespoon per serving- both are very flavorful and half a teaspoon to a teaspoonful may be enough. The ume plum vinegar (which is really a brine, not a true vinegar) has a very strong taste. I've used a few drops to my plate to add flavor to a dish- I'm not even sure if I'd use a whole tablespoon when making enough for my whole family! If you're used to eating a low-sodium diet, you'll probably find ume plum vinegar "too salty" to use in large amounts anyway.

Also remember that lemon and lime juices are great vinegar substitutes in salad dressings.
Posted by: 2degreespisces, Friday, February 22, 2013, 3:40pm; Reply: 2
Are you sure there are 860 grams of sodium in one TBSP?
It seems impossible to pack all that weight, in sodium no less, in one simple TBSP.
Posted by: Adam, Friday, February 22, 2013, 4:22pm; Reply: 3
Quoted from 2degreespisces
Are you sure there are 860 grams of sodium in one TBSP?
It seems impossible to pack all that weight, in sodium no less, in one simple TBSP.


San-J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce contains 980mg of sodium in 1 tablespoon.

http://www.san-j.com/product_info.asp?id=1
Posted by: Adam, Friday, February 22, 2013, 4:31pm; Reply: 4
On the PROP Taster Status, I am a Slight-Taster.  In order to taste my food, it seems like I have to add more salt/tamari than normal.  I, too, am one of those having trouble losing weight on the SWAMI, and I wonder if sodium is an issue.  I recently did an experiment where I went a few days really low on sodium, not changing anything else about my eating habits, and I lost a couple of pounds in those few days.  And, I urinated more than normal, so it was water weight, of course.  Now I'm back to using sodium like before and my weight crept back up.
Posted by: Spring, Friday, February 22, 2013, 5:42pm; Reply: 5
My body does not like a lot of salt. Besides, I don't like salty foods. Other than stress, salt will raise my blood pressure quicker than anything. It will also cause me to retain fluid very quickly. Adam, many people use strong spices to flavor tasteless foods. I use tons of herbs and spices! And I am a super taster!!
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, February 22, 2013, 6:07pm; Reply: 6
Quoted from Vivian
Tamari (Wheat Free) ...  The nutritional label says 860 g of sodium for 1 TBSP.
Umeboshi Plum Vinager ... Wow!!! 1050 g. of sodium for 1 TBSP!!!

So my questions is..... although the Tamari & Umeboshi Plum Vinager are neutrals for me, is all this sodium going "to work itself out" in my body because it's a neutral, or is it going to undermine me losing weight through water retention or some other reason?

First of all, both of these measures are mg. or milligrams.  They are high salt for someone who eats low sodium.

The key for any individual is to balance the sodium / potassium to maintain proper water balance inside and outside the cells to keep a good nutrient flow into and waste out of cells.  

My guess is that while these are good flavoring agents, they aren't something you would want (or be able) to use in high quantity all of the time.  

I try to use beneficial spices in place of high sodium "flavor enhancers".
Posted by: Adam, Friday, February 22, 2013, 8:06pm; Reply: 7
Quoted from Spring
My body does not like a lot of salt. Besides, I don't like salty foods. Other than stress, salt will raise my blood pressure quicker than anything. It will also cause me to retain fluid very quickly. Adam, many people use strong spices to flavor tasteless foods. I use tons of herbs and spices! And I am a super taster!!


That's funny... my son is A+ non-secretor Super-taster.  He doesn't like salt and uses tons of herbs and spices.
Posted by: JJR, Friday, February 22, 2013, 9:24pm; Reply: 8
I think Joe summed it up well.  A lot of people have to be careful with salt.  It can cause High BP, and I would imagine other issues.  Some of us need more of it.  

I personally haven't eaten Tamari or soy sauce in a long time for other reasons.  But yeah, it's salty.  I know I had to let my tastebuds adjust to eating foods that are less salty.  When I used to eat out all the time and processed foods, you get used to that saltiness.  I'm not sure if that's what you're referring to or not, and no judgement here.  But eating more pure is a different flavor profile than all that.  You start to taste the food for what it is.  And eventually you feel like you don't need salt.  I am a prop taster though, so I feel for the non tasters.  
Posted by: Victoria, Saturday, February 23, 2013, 2:19am; Reply: 9
As others have said, Vivian, that's a lot of Tamari and a lot of Ume plum vinegar.  I love both those condiments and used to use them a lot before they went off my food list with the SWAMI.  For one person, I used maybe 3/4 tsp of Tamari at a meal.  And at those times when I used Ume, it would be something like 1/4 tsp, mixed with some other liquid to spread it further.  Both those have powerful flavors so shouldn't need a lot.  You can mix either with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for example, or with lemon/lime juice, etc.
Posted by: san j, Saturday, February 23, 2013, 2:30am; Reply: 10
Among the great stuff to do with salt:

http://www.finecooking.com/item/30443/video-recipe-salt-crusted-fish
Posted by: Possum, Saturday, February 23, 2013, 3:44am; Reply: 11
Quoted from Vivian
So my questions is..... although the Tamari & Umeboshi Plum Vinager are neutrals for me, is all this sodium going "to work itself out" in my body because it's a neutral, or is it going to undermine me losing weight through water retention or some other reason?
How was your weight the next day? Had you gained/not lost? That would be the true test?!
If I have even a pinch of salt (always only mineral salt) I can taste it & without fail I gain at least a lb overnight ::)

Posted by: 2degreespisces, Saturday, February 23, 2013, 3:59pm; Reply: 12
Quoted from Adam


San-J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce contains 980mg of sodium in 1 tablespoon.

http://www.san-j.com/product_info.asp?id=1



As it said, in the opening post, "g" or "gram", I thought I'd check :-)

Milligrams or "mg" seem much more probable to me, that's why I asked the question.
Posted by: Andrea AWsec, Saturday, February 23, 2013, 4:37pm; Reply: 13
Not all salt is the same.

  
Posted by: Vivian, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 1:39am; Reply: 14
Possum, I was losing weight steadily, and after consuming the Tamari, my weight remained the same the next morning.  But when I looked at my food diary, I noticed that I also had a scoop of brown rice protein powder in my juice that day.  So I'm not sure what it was.  Everything else was the same.

Can protein powder make you gain weight or prevent you from losing weight?  Or does it have alot of sodium?  I bought the juice in the health food store so I don't have the nutrition information for the brown rice protein they put in it.

Oh, sorry about the typo about the g in the sodium, it should have been mg.


Posted by: Vivian, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 1:50am; Reply: 15
Another question about salt...  

If you have salt cravings, does that mean your body is deficient in some mineral or something?  Anyone know?  I have cravings for salty foods everyday.  
Posted by: san j, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 1:55am; Reply: 16
There are factors in day-to-day weight gain and loss, besides food you ingested.
For instance, there are hormonal fluctuations that influence water retention and the tissues' actual assimilation of nutrients. There's exercise, which influences the burning of calories, the replacement of fat with muscle, and perspiration.
Definitely do not bog yourself down in such micromanagement; rather, watch your weight in terms of your food-diary over the course of, say, a week, and see what happens. Often, patterns will be better explained that way.
Posted by: ABJoe, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 8:29pm; Reply: 17
Quoted from Vivian
If you have salt cravings, does that mean your body is deficient in some mineral or something?  Anyone know?

When I have salt cravings, I need iodine...
Posted by: JJR, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 9:17pm; Reply: 18
Or maybe it could be a sign of low BP.  Or adrenal insufficiency.  
Posted by: Possum, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 11:39pm; Reply: 19
Or a zinc deficiency? But that is more to do with not tasting food/having an appetite...

Vivian if you stalled on weight loss next day after consistently losing before then it does suggest some fluid retention but as you say, could just as easily be from the protein powder...

Only way to really know, is to repeat the day's food & conditions, without the salt, but with the protein powder?!

Was it whey? That gives me problems...
Posted by: Vivian, Monday, February 25, 2013, 1:01am; Reply: 20
The protein powder was brown rice.  I looked at the nutrition label before putting it in the juice and brown rice was the only ingredient.  

Is it harder to lose weight if you take protein powder?  Do you have to workout harder to burn it off?
Posted by: Vivian, Monday, February 25, 2013, 1:02am; Reply: 21
Ok...to recap, with the salt, it could be low iodine, low BP, adrenal insufficiency, or zinc insufficiency.

I know I am under tremendous stress at work, and it is more than current stress.  It is years of accumulated stress upon me, particularly the past 13 years.  I think this may point to an adrenal insufficiency.  How can I supplement for this?   ??)

With regards to the iodine, I have begun taking Bladderwrack which has iodine, perhaps I can increase that a little and see how I feel.  

I may need to get a mineral supplement for the zinc.  I am not taking any vitamins or minerals at this time.  Just the bladderwrack & B12.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, February 25, 2013, 3:01am; Reply: 22
1.  GREAT response, Ruthie!

2.  Off topic, but it is so great to post here instead of Facebook, as when I hit ENTER, it actually just puts paragraph marks instead of POSTING *lol*.  Back to the topic:

3.  I use sea salt on EVERYTHING, but everything I eat is homemade, whole foods, not processed food with sodium added.  I agree with Ruthie that there are differences in the TYPE of sodium.  If you are using natural sea salt on whole foods, you are fine, unless you are in the small percentage of the population that is truly sensitive to salt.  I think it is a travesty, what a bad rap salt in general has gotten.  It is very similar to how fat was vilified for the longest time.  Again, I add a LOT of sea salt to virtually EVERYTHING and, in bloodwork, my sodium is fine and on the low end of normal, if anything.  This O nonnie loves salt.

IMPORTANT RELATED NOTE:  I've posted about the following before, but most commercial brands of salt are really to be AVOIDED because, brace yourself, the manufacturers add CORN SUGAR, usually in the form of "dextrose".  No, I am not kidding--I wish I were.  Just another example of why it is vitally important to read labels, BTD/GTD peeps!  That habit is your best friend in this way of eating (a.k.a., diet--a word I like but some recoil at).  Brands like Mortons and other mainstream ones all add dextrose.  That is the main reason I buy sea salt instead.  Oh, and I love sea salt.  That's the other reason.   ;D
Posted by: Spring, Monday, February 25, 2013, 3:24am; Reply: 23
I like sea salt a lot better than whatever that other stuff is! I actually love sea salt.
Posted by: aussielady582, Monday, February 25, 2013, 4:28am; Reply: 24
I like sea salt or himalayan mountain salt, I think most of the sodium issues come from processed or fast foods which often use common table salt, or just eating too much in general.
If ones prepares most of their own foods, should be fine.
Also, some types of people need to include salty tastes in accordance with Ayurvedic philosophy, ie the 'vata' type of person, so I do like umeboshi plums regularly, a little ume vinegar from time to time, mostly just a little sea salt which alkalises brown rice if I cook some brown rice. I also use the sea veggies which provides salty tastes to keep me in balance.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Monday, February 25, 2013, 6:00pm; Reply: 25
Corn-based dextrose is not likely to harm somebody who tolerates corn. Some As do just fine on corn, especially A secretors. The amount of sugar isn't going to affect anything directly, so if corn is neutral or better for you, iodized salt with dextrose isn't likely to be toxic. However, the processed salt itself may cause problems because it's devoid of the trace minerals found naturally in sea salt, and it's without other nutrients and probiotics found in fermented salty foods (such as tamari and ume plum vinegar, even if they were made with refined salt.) That type of sodium may or may not lead to bloating and water retention in sensitive individuals.

If you're one of those individuals who gets bloated from too much salt, and you get bloated from consuming tamari or ume plum vinegar, then you'll need to carefully limit serving sizes in the future. You don't have to completely avoid these foods, but measure carefully when using them. Even the lowest-sodium diets allow for 2,000 mg (2 grams) of salt per day- so a dash of ume vinegar is acceptable if you don't use other salt in that dish.

Seeing your body gain a pound in one day means nothing from a fat-loss perspective, but it can be useful if you're prone to bloating. Some people do need to keep track of sudden increases in water weight. I'm not sure if one pound is enough to worry about, but I do know it was a medical emergency when my father gained 10 pounds of water weight in a week.
Posted by: Vivian, Monday, February 25, 2013, 6:50pm; Reply: 26
Wow guys.   Thank you all so much.  I feel I have a much better understanding about salt.  

Right now I am about 80% whole foods.  I do still buy some packaged items such as tempheh, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, vegan chocolate, carob powder and I cheat sometimes & buy beans in a can for when I do not have time to prepare ahead.  

Right now, I am using regular table salt from Mortons.  It is iodized.  I was going to buy some sea salt last night, after reading your replies, but had one more question.

Should I buy regular sea salt, or iodized sea salt.  Does this make a difference?  As soon as I get back you responses, I'm off to the health food store to buy sea salt!   ;D

Thanks so much.

BTW, off topic, Congratulations Peppermint Twist for losing 96 lbs!  (clap)   You are an inspiration.  I need to lose 68 lbs.  Any tips will be appreciated.  (woot)
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Monday, February 25, 2013, 6:53pm; Reply: 27
The iodized sea salt has corn-based dextrose in it, which is harmful for anybody who does not tolerate corn. How does corn rate for you on SWAMI? Are you planning on feeding anybody else who may not do well on corn?
Posted by: Victoria, Monday, February 25, 2013, 8:08pm; Reply: 28
I believe that an unrefined salt is much superior to refined salt.  Unrefined salt is a whole food and Morton's salt is only a portion of what real salt normally contains.  

Sea salt is better.
Himalayan Crystal Salt and Celtic Seasalt is better still.

You can get your iodine from other sources.  :)
Posted by: Vivian, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 11:49pm; Reply: 29
Thank you Victoria.  On my way to the health food store.  (woot)
Posted by: ABJoe, Thursday, February 28, 2013, 12:13am; Reply: 30
Quoted from Victoria
You can get your iodine from other sources.  :)


Not only can, but should!
Posted by: Vivian, Monday, March 4, 2013, 5:02pm; Reply: 31
Went to Whole Foods Market and bought the Himalayan Pink Sea Salt...course in a grinder.  Oh my goodness.  What flavor!  It not only salts your food but, it tastes better.

After reading your posts, I did some research on salt & found a great article on http://www.naturalnews.com.  It says that Himalayan Pink Sea Salt contains the full spectrum of 84 minerals & trace elements.  Wow!  Who would want to take all of that goodness out of our salt?  

Thanks all for the posts.  I never knew there was so much to know about salt.  
Posted by: grey rabbit, Monday, March 4, 2013, 8:15pm; Reply: 32
I have a salt grinder and only use the Himalayan Pink Sea salt in it. I do not like the taste of regular, processed salt but I love the pink salt.  I can buy the salt in bulk at my HFS, much less expensive that way, $4.00 worth will last me about two months, and I use it freely everyday.
Posted by: Vivian, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 5:36pm; Reply: 33
Yes.  WFM has the Himalayan Pink Sea salt in bulk.  I was going to buy it until I saw the little one w/ the grinder style bottle.  Figured I'd buy that one since I don't have a grinder at home.  So I bought that.  But, as it turns out, the plastic grinder cap is not very good.  It is really difficult to turn & the little chunks of salt get stuck.  

I am off to buy a "real" grinder for my wonderful, flavorful, healthy & beautiful Pink Sea salt.  So, yes, next time I will buy in bulk.

You know, WFM also had some black Hawaiian Sea salt.  Anyone ever heard of that?
Posted by: grey rabbit, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 2:30am; Reply: 34
I have used the black salt before, I use it when I cook beans sometimes. It's basically salt with charcoal, that's what makes it look black. If you miss black pepper it would give you the visual effect. :)
Posted by: Possum, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 2:54am; Reply: 35
Quoted from Vivian
...as it turns out, the plastic grinder cap is not very good.  It is really difficult to turn & the little chunks of salt get stuck.
Can you return it for a refund/exchange?

Quoted from Vivian
You know, WFM also had some black Hawaiian Sea salt.  Anyone ever heard of that?
I thought it had a higher level of sulphur in it?

Posted by: Drea, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 5:34am; Reply: 36
My issue with the "off the shelf" grinders with the product included is that they are mostly made of plastic, and I feel like bits of plastic are being ground into my salt... :P
Posted by: Averno, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 5:46pm; Reply: 37
Magnum makes the best ones I've used.

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=magnum+salt+mill&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=2884898601&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10095993641952050769&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&ref=pd_sl_9oazflk655_e
Posted by: Victoria, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 6:25pm; Reply: 38
I believe that ceramic is the best material for salt grinders because any metal parts can corrode from contact with salt.
Posted by: Drea, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 6:28pm; Reply: 39
I just ordered a ceramic grinder specifically designed for course salts.
Posted by: grey rabbit, Thursday, March 7, 2013, 1:39am; Reply: 40
I've had a William Bounds salt grinder for about 15 years, metal and some kind of hard plastic, no visible corosion, I do live in a very arid envirnoment though.
Posted by: Jared, Monday, March 11, 2013, 11:57pm; Reply: 41
I just bought some Umeboshi Plum Vinegar - I used one tablespoon to flavor some rice that I ate for three meals over three days. (I had poured it into the water that I was boiling it in.)

The rice  tasted salted enough from the Umeboshi Plum Vinegar. I did not need any more salt for the dish. (A little goes a long ways!)
Posted by: Vivian, Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 12:49pm; Reply: 42
Yes, I am getting the feeling that some of the plastic from the cap is being ground w/ the salt. Yuck.  Will look into the grinders you have recommended.
Posted by: Damon, Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 2:13pm; Reply: 43
Quoted from Vivian
Ok...to recap, with the salt, it could be low iodine, low BP, adrenal insufficiency, or zinc insufficiency.

I know I am under tremendous stress at work, and it is more than current stress.  It is years of accumulated stress upon me, particularly the past 13 years.  I think this may point to an adrenal insufficiency.  How can I supplement for this?   ??)

With regards to the iodine, I have begun taking Bladderwrack which has iodine, perhaps I can increase that a little and see how I feel.  

I may need to get a mineral supplement for the zinc.  I am not taking any vitamins or minerals at this time.  Just the bladderwrack & B12.

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