Further Evidence Against a High Sodium Paleo Diet

An ongoing controversy about dietary salt (either refined salt or sea salt) in human ancestral diets represents a significant point of contention for the Paleo Diet community.  Some popular bloggers contend that ingested high levels of dietary salt have no adverse effects upon our health and wellbeing1-10.  My scientific colleagues and I disagree with these conclusions11-34.  

The Table below clearly demonstrates that high sodium diets (greater than 2300 mg/day) are virtually impossible to achieve when eating a 2000 to 2500 kcal/day diet consisting of normal selections of un-adulterated, non-salted wild or domesticated foods.

Sodium-Potassium-in-Foods

References

[1] Kresser C. Shaking Up The Salt Myth: Healthy Salt Recommendations. May 4, 2012.

[2] Staley B, Mason H. Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain-Free Recipes for Any Occasion. Foreword by Mark Sisson. Victory Belt Publishing, Las Vegas NV, 2011.

[3] 

[4] Fragoso S.  Everyday Paleo. Foreword by Robb Wolf. Victory Belt Publishing, Las Vegas NV, 2011.

[5] Gower C.  Paleo Slow Cooking: Gluten Free Recipes Made Simple. Foreword by Robb Wolf. Victory Belt Publishing, Las Vegas NV, 2012.

[6] Mayfield J, Mayfield C. Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen. Foreword by Robb Wolf. Victory Belt Publishing, Las Vegas NV, 2011.

[7] 

[8] 

[9] 

[10] 

[11] Eaton SB, Konner M. Paleolithic nutrition. A consideration of its nature and current implications. N Engl J Med. 1985 Jan 31;312(5):283-9.

[12] Eaton SB, Konner M, Shostak M. Stone agers in the fast lane: chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective. Am J Med. 1988 Apr;84(4):739-49.

[13] Eaton SB, Eaton SB 3rd, Konner MJ. Paleolithic nutrition revisited: a twelve-year retrospective on its nature and implications. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1997 Apr;51(4):207-16.

[14] Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, O’Keefe JH, Brand-Miller J. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;81(2):341-54

[15] Konner M, Eaton SB. Paleolithic nutrition: twenty-five years later. Nutr Clin Pract. 2010 Dec;25(6):594-602.

[16] Lindeberg S. Paleolithic diets as a model for prevention and treatment of Western disease. Am J Hum Biol. 2012 Mar-Apr;24(2):110-5.

[17] Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Ahrén B, Branell UC, Pålsson G, Hansson A, Söderström M, Lindeberg S. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2009 Jul 16;8:35 doi: 10.1186/1475-2840-8-35.

[18] Carrera-Bastos P, Fontes Villalba M, O’Keefe JH, Lindeberg S, Cordain L. The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization. Res Rep Clin Cardiol 2011; 2: 215-235.

[19] Frassetto LA, Schloetter M, Mietus-Synder M, Morris RC, Sebastian A. Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;69(12):1376. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.193.

[20] Frassetto LA, Shi L, Schloetter M, Sebastian A, Remer T. Established dietary estimates of net acid production do not predict measured net acid excretion in patients with Type 2 diabetes on Paleolithic-Hunter-Gatherer-type diets. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep;67(9):899-903

[21] Frassetto LA, Schloetter M, Mietus-Synder M, Morris RC Jr, Sebastian A. Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Aug;63(8):947-55.

[22] Frassetto LA, Morris RC Jr, Sellmeyer DE, Sebastian A. Adverse effects of sodium chloride on bone in the aging human population resulting from habitual consumption of typical American diets. J Nutr. 2008 Feb;138(2):419S-422S.

[23] Sebastian A, Frassetto LA, Sellmeyer DE, Morris RC Jr. The evolution-informed optimal dietary potassium intake of human beings greatly exceeds current and recommended intakes. Semin Nephrol. 2006 Nov;26(6):447-53.

[24] Frassetto L, Morris RC Jr, Sebastian A. Long-term persistence of the urine calcium-lowering effect of potassium bicarbonate in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Feb;90(2):831-4.

[25] Sebastian A, Frassetto LA, Sellmeyer DE, Merriam RL, Morris RC Jr. Estimation of the net acid load of the diet of ancestral preagricultural Homo sapiens and their hominid ancestors. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Dec;76(6):1308-16.

[26] Frassetto L, Morris RC Jr, Sellmeyer DE, Todd K, Sebastian A. Diet, evolution and aging–the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet. Eur J Nutr. 2001 Oct;40(5):200-13

[27] Morris RC Jr, Schmidlin O, Sebastian A, Tanaka M, Kurtz TW. Vasodysfunction That Involves Renal Vasodysfunction, Not Abnormally Increased Renal Retention of Sodium, Accounts for the Initiation of Salt-Induced Hypertension. Circulation. 2016 Mar 1;133(9):881-93

[28 Frassetto LA, Morris RC Jr, Sebastian A. Dietary sodium chloride intake independently predicts the degree of hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis in healthy humans consuming a net acid-producing diet. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2007 Aug;293(2):F521-5.

[29] Morris RC Jr, Schmidlin O, Frassetto LA, Sebastian A. Relationship and interaction between sodium and potassium. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Jun;25(3 Suppl):262S-270S.

[30] Sellmeyer DE, Schloetter M, Sebastian A. Potassium citrate prevents increased urine calcium excretion and bone resorption induced by a high sodium chloride diet. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 May;87(5):2008-12.

[31] Sebastian A, Harris ST, Ottaway JH, Todd KM, Morris RC Jr. Improved mineral balance and skeletal metabolism in postmenopausal women treated with potassium bicarbonate. N Engl J Med. 1994 Jun 23;330(25):1776-81.

[32] //101diets.info/sea-salt-devil-deep-blue-sea/

[33] //101diets.info/celtic-sea-salt/

[34] Morris RC Jr, Schmidlin O, Frassetto LA, Sebastian A. Relationship and interaction between sodium and potassium. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006 Jun;25(3 Suppl):262S-270S.

 




About Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor Emeritus

Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor EmeritusDr. Loren Cordain is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research emphasis over the past 20 years has focused upon the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans. Dr. Cordain’s scientific publications have examined the nutritional characteristics of worldwide hunter-gatherer diets as well as the nutrient composition of wild plant and animal foods consumed by foraging humans. He is the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets and has lectured extensively on the Paleolithic nutrition worldwide. Dr. Cordain is the author of six popular bestselling books including The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook, The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Answer, and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, summarizing his research findings.

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