Ray Peat – Salt

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“Protein, salt, thyroid, and progesterone happen to be thermogenic, increasing heat production and stabilizing body temperature at a higher level.”
~Ray Peat

If you know anything about Peat, you should know the basic 5 things that Peat feels are vital to stimulating the metabolism, increasing cellular metabolic rate and respiration, and improving health and extending the functional lifespan: Progesterone, thyroid, protein, sugar, and salt (and Pepa too let’s hope).

Protein, particularly animal protein, when eaten in true excess (more than 1g per pound of lean body mass per day), tends to have a much more negative effect on the rate of metabolism and mitochondrial respiration. But getting insufficient amounts, according to Peat, is a huge drain on the metabolic rate. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the leading advocate of a truly low protein diet, Doug Graham – author of the 80-10-10 Diet, recommends getting your body temperature down to 93 degrees F. Oops.

Progesterone and thyroid are hormones that trigger greater metabolic activity. While everybody knows about thyroid, progesterone evidently has some pro-metabolic effects all on its own. This is why, when women ovulate and progesterone rises, body temperature rises typically by a half degree overnight. Powerful stuff.

Sugar, or carbohydrate, is a powerful stimulator of the conversion of T4 in the active thyroid hormone T3. It has many other reasons why it triggers greater “metabolic intensity,” a term I’m becoming increasingly fond of – some of them related to lowering cortisol, some to increasing glycogen storage, some to increasing glucose oxidation over the more metabolically-suppressive fat oxidation.

And last, but not least, is salt.

Salt is an interesting topic. I’ve never really talked about it in great detail because, well, salt is salt. Who in the world would want to eat a no-salt diet? Or could? I, as a former chef, used to laugh about how salt was the single-most important ingredient separating good food from great food. Salt has a truly remarkable ability to perform alchemy, making flavors that are undetectable suddenly leap out of a dish when the seasoning hits just the right mark. Salt can take Pesto for example, from a grassy, oily sludge into a flavor explosion with a sublime floral essence (hey, if this health researcher thing doesn’t pan out, I could be a good wine critic eh?).

Peat believes that salt has a serious health role to play – at least for some conditions, and some of his reasoning for that belief is very valid.

For starters, those with hypothyroidism have a hell of a hard time retaining salt. The lower the metabolism, the greater the propensity to develop hyponatremia (low sodium levels). This is a tremendous stress – one that can potentially trigger migraine headaches or seizures in epileptics (who are notoriously prone to hyponatramia – probably because hypothyroidism could be a prerequisite for having the disease in the first place). For someone with a low metabolism, even if salt didn’t have some magical metabolically-stimulating property, a good supply of salt is probably a great idea (by the way, for your mo-carb files, Aurora – the girl I no longer date but stalk on Facebook, used to get severe hyponatremia from running on a low-carb diet, and no longer suffers from it while running on a high-carb diet. She loves Gatorade now).

Peat also points out how low-salt diets have been shown to increase inflammation and activate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAA) system, stimulating greater activity of the sympathetic nervous system. In English, this means that low-salt diets trigger the stress and inflammation chain reaction in the body – like the kind that leads to hypertension.

Yes, ironic isn’t it – we are told to avoid salt because low-salt intake is known to lower blood pressure by a few points in the short-term. According to Peat, the hypertensive state of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy has been known to subside with the addition of salt. Salt could very well be an anti-stress weapon used against the very condition it is supposed to cause according to the strainream.

“The RAA system appears to be crucially involved in all kinds of sickness and degeneration, but the protective effects of sodium are more basic than just helping to prevent activation of that system.”

Anyway, Peat is wild about salt. And maybe he should be. Pumping ill people full of sodium solutions when they get in the emergency room saves lives. Extra-salty solutions have been used to heal wounds very effectively. And if salt is pro-metabolic, anti-stress, and anti-inflammatory to boot – well I’m all for it.

How do you know if salt is something that your health will benefit from? Try adding or subtracting it from your diet with an open mind and see what happens. More importantly, obey your salt “thirst.” Salt cravings often come during pregnancy, during shifts in the menstrual cycle, after hard exercise, and late at night. If you are a salt-craver, odds are you are drawn to salt for a reason. I for one don’t seem to notice much from high levels of salt vs. low – at least not in the short-term, and I never really have a legitimate “craving” for salt the way some people do.

An interesting observation has been to see the low body temperature in my new lady friend, her love of salty foods, and her positive response to it – especially with enhanced sleep with reduced nightmares. As mentioned before, she suffers from epilepsy and has some issues with water retention – all powerful indicators of hypothyroidism.

A friend of hers was recommending today, for health reasons, that she drink a lot of water. She hates water and never drinks it. Is it the intelligence of her body that craves salt and hates water? It might be. I’m on board with that. I mean, no one could tell me that if I were craving sleep that it would be unhealthy for me to take a nap, or that I should go on a jog instead. Anyway, something to think about, especially when low sodium levels are known to trigger seizures. Oh yeah, and drinking water triggers seizures too! Oh but wait, I thought if it was natural it HAD to be good for you!!!

More on the importance of metabolism and health here.

67 Comments

  1. Hmm.. I'm never thirsty OR crave salt.. I do have water retention issues though.. My body might be stupid.. Hmm..

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  2. Yes and a diet without salt would be horribly bland.

    It is especially needed with the three p's – potatoes, pasta and porridge :)

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  3. I LOVE SALT.
    that's all, just wanted to share.

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  4. Both Josh Rubin and Lita Lee who are Ray Peat advocates, advise not to use coloured salts such as Himalayan sea salt. I can't find any reference to this in any of Ray Peat's articles though.

    Does anybody know what his thoughts are on this?

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  5. water intoxication? are those people serious? who publishes those articles?

    anyway, good stuff Matt, I'm lovin Ray May, keep it up.

    if you keep these themed months going could we possibly look forward to an Aajonus August…? haha

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  6. Mishkam: The concern about pink or grey salt is the iron content, I believe. Peat is not a fan of iron.

    And for the record, I love salt, too. Occasionally when I feel burnt out around mid-afternoon, taking some salt will pick my energy levels right up. Can't argue with that!

    By the way, Matt, I have in fact heard folks recommend that when you feel like taking a nap, you should go out and run for twenty minutes instead. Seriously. I'm pretty sure that comes from the same folks who recommend ignoring salt cravings. Masochistic bunch, eh?

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    • Agree!

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  7. Mishkam, I know that Lita says that Himalayan sea salt contains high amounts of iron. Ray is definitely against iron supplementation. He states that excess iron causes inflammation.

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  8. Thanks Elizabeth and Tyler for answering my Himalayan sea salt question.

    I will have to find one that has a low iron content but without the addition of anti-caking agent and other such artificial nasty sounding things. Might be easier said than done!!

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  9. Thanks for the link Elizabeth, but I should have mentioned I live in New Zealand, so will have to look out for something similar closer to home.

    I guess I could always buy a plane ticket and come and get some of the Morton stuff in person though. But while I would dearly love to visit the USA, it would mean the salt would probably work out to be about a thousand dollars a kilo, so not very budget friendly :)

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  10. Sorry that should have been from Mishkam, not russandsteph. Would be good if we could edit comments after they had been published.

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  11. Then explain the phenomenon of the salt headache, and why so many people who've suffered with "salt headaches" have been able to eliminate these headaches by removing salt. Or should this phenomenon be discounted because it lacks "scientific" studies to back it up.

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  12. I ask about salt in a previous post, and a whole article happens! Not that I caused it – not knowing it was coming just shows that I don't know nothin bout Peat – but still, that's cool. I shall be learning much from Ray May, I say.

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  13. What if you don't like salt much?

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  14. By the way, as a long time reader who just started commenting, I guess this is as good a place as any to throw out one of those (admittedly kinda silly) 'my story' posts…

    I went vegetarian and then vegan three years ago, purely for ethical reasons – I didn't know or care much about health. And I was happy with that and no less healthy than I'd been eating SAD. But then I made the mistake of trying to learn about nutrition, of course starting from the vegan side of things. The China Study seemed convincing, but then I read some of the critiques online and they were much more convincing. Then I read Esselstyn, but he says too many silly things. Then Furhman, who's not bad at all, but who promotes low metabolism as a good thing (and, on topic, he promotes low salt, too). I never really followed any of these diets to the letter, but I was influenced by them and ended up with weight loss (which for me is a bad thing – I'm tiny) and perhaps some deficiencies that ironically I may not have had eating a junkier vegan diet. (As I said in an email to Matt, I made a huge mistake trying to be "healthy" and to learn "proper nutrition" and now I just have to come through to the other side, I guess.)

    I've been reading this blog for a while, though, and I like Matt's style, and I know that I need to do change something, so just a few days ago I added dairy and eggs to my diet (the good stuff: raw milk and local eggs and so on) and over the next few days I plan to ramp up the calories to RRARFy levels. I remember some discussion here once about vegetarian RRARFing and how it could work, and that's good, because I just don't want to eat meat. I may in the future, but not now. (And don't argue about the ethics, because this isn't the place and because I've studied so much about philosophy that at this point, I could win the argument even if I'm wrong. Which I might be.)

    I can already tell a difference in body temp, though I haven't measured. Usually I'm fine in the morning, with cold hands for an hour or so following each meal. Last few days I've been noticeably warmer but still with the postprandial cold hands. (If I remember correctly, an old post here mentioned that this was true of anorexics. Yikes.)

    (In the future, I promise not to use so many parentheses.)

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  15. When I used to do a measily 1/2-3/4 of a teaspoon of celtic sea salt a day including gelatin rich broths and so on, I would immediately after consuming the salt rich broth suffer a dry mouth. On Aajonus's recommendations including the salt-free diet, I only suffer dry mouth if I don't have good water or liquid intake. On salt, my water needs were drastically increased to avoid dehydration, and headaches were common.

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  16. that's all i got to say, when he went to the eskimoes, they didn't do salt, not a medical necessity whatsoever, plus, I get 50% of the RDA for sodium from food alone on the primal diet. I counted on nutritiondata.com.

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  17. I've definitely had issues with water retention and had hypertension during both my pregnancies. I grew up eating a low-sodium diet because both my parents had hypertension.

    I try to salt things to taste, but I find I can only tolerate a little. I have on multiple occasions in the last year found food to be waaaay too salty. I am not sure what this means.

    I go through fits and spurts of trying to add a little to my water, to help my adrenals.

    I wonder if my upbringing, even though it was so long ago (I'm 36) could have messed me up so that I can't rely on my cravings to know when I need salt…

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  18. I'm comfortable ignoring the non-colored salt edict from Lita and Josh. I'll continue to buy Redman's and other unrefined salt. I prefer it to refined stuff, though I suppose eating sugar these days makes that 'no-refining' thing kind of silly. Eh.

    Anyway, thanks for the post Matt. Just affirms what I've held fast to since leaving the throes of low-fat eating: salt is awesome. I had no intention of backtracking on my intuitive consumption of it before, and even less intention after reading this.

    Right on.

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  19. Unprocessed sea salt is the best. If you are interested in the role salt plays with the thyroid, check out curezone forums iodine supplementation. Truly interesting and pertinent, ground breaking information.

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  20. I don't really know where to post this ? at, but figured any of these raymay post would work since it's related to sugar.

    I have started eating more sugar the last 3 weeks or so via fruits and juice. Nothing crazy but fruit in AM and a glass or two of OJ throughout the rest of the day.

    I have got an increase in energy, and most noticeable is my eyes have become much more vibrant and white. Before they weren't red but more dullish than they are now.

    BUT…I have been getting some acne on my face which I have not had in a long time AND been getting dandruff I think (never had before :/)

    Has anyone experienced this before? Do you think I should wait it out or cut the fruit/juice back? It's like a increase in energy and white eyes for some zits and dry scalp!!

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  21. Does anybody have a reference for saying himalayan salt contains a lot of iron?

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  22. My mother is from the old country so would rely on old home remedy's when we were sick. If we had an unsettled stomach or nausea we would be given a glass of water with a spoonful of table salt. Sometimes it would make us throw up (which is what was needed), but it would always settle our stomachs. I'd rather use Celtic salt in water now as it doesn't taste as bad or make me want to throw up – which probably defeats the purpose.

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  23. Hmmm in the past I always ate lots of salt… Then I tried AV's primal diet with no salt, which resulted in horrible indigestion, which I could only fix by eating lots of salt, which in turn gave me terrible headaches. Now I'm eating less salt than before and I got to say I feel better. It takes a little for the sense of taste to adapt, though.

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  24. WILL-

    I had the same experience when I first started my sugar journey. I broke out horribly (face/back/chest). While I still not have totally clear skin, it has improved TREMENDOUSLY. It took me over a month to be over the biggest hurdle. Give it some time, it's worth a shot ;-)

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  25. fruit/juice makes me break out a lot too. I'd like to know the mechanisms causing that reaction.

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  26. KIRK-

    I believe it has something to do with impaired glucose or sugar metabolism. The lower I eat in carbs the better my skin gets. I know Ray says it has something to do with vitamin A and an imbalance in vitamin A/ thyroid activity is the cause.

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  27. Soup Nazi-

    Salt can be problematic too I would imagine. The body has a delicate balance of the electrolyte minerals and different people probably require very different levels of salt at different times, depending on all kinds of factors.

    The point is to at least understand that salt, in some circumstances, may be of benefit. It shouldn't be something that people file into a category of "bad" and go to great lengths to avoid it.

    Personally, I don't crave salt and have been eating less of it than ever since I started consuming more fruit and juice and less starch – which seems to need quite a bit of salt to be palatable. And yes, I do seem to feel better with a much higher ratio of potassium to sodium in my diet.

    Sodium shouldn't be worshipped, but it shouldn't be feared either. I think it's clear it can have a role to play in people's health.

    Slim Jim-

    Yeah, your comment definitely inspired this post somewhat.

    Will-

    I wouldn't give up on the fruit and juice, but tinker around with things intelligently. Try different fruits and different juices. Think about the compostion of the rest of your diet. I too got a couple of pimples when eating lots of pork and poultry – particularly poultry (fried chicken with skin) with my fruit and juice. Got me good. Odds are you can find a workable diet for the time being that contains plenty of energizing sugars while your body continues to adjust to the change.

    Sheila-

    I don't think your body is stupid. If you ate more salt you would probably be thirstier. If you drank more water you'd probably want more salt. I have noticed that eating less salt has really decreased my water thirst, although, granted, I drink a couple of liters of juice per day and lots of juicy fruit.

    The body is an interesting machine. The intelligence behind it is so vast.

    Consider for example what happens when you start eating something salty. Immediately you get thirsty and want to drink something along with the meal. This is millions of years of evolutionary fine-tuning going into something as simple as wanting a drink with a meal. With all these ideas about health we often interfere with these very intelligent and perfected systems.

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  28. Hey Matt

    What kinds of fruit juices and fruits would you recommend, and why?

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  29. Matt,
    How is the fruit and sugar increase effected your body comp? Cosmetic, muscle, fat, etc?

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  30. Good round of posts on Ray, much appreciated. Can't wait for the post on what you eat Matt. I know that we shouldn't try to emulate you as we all need to find what works for us, but I'm still very curious. So far it seems that you're having mostly fruit and fruit juice throughout the day, while still having some meals of starch, meat, dairy, and butter/coconut oil. Sounds good to me if that's the case.

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  31. subscribing

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  32. JT – Fruits and sugars very good.

    Ice cream, pie, pastries, cookies – very bad.

    Kasper -

    I've always been a big orange juice fan. Peat says some negatives about bananas but I really enjoy eating lots of bananas and other tropical fruits like mangoes and papaya. I also eat some dates from time to time. I like the calorie-dense fruits and juice is always calorie-dense. Peaches I could see being great in season. Melons aren't bad. But stuff like berries, cherries, and apples I'm not as into. Eat a lot of any of those and I seem to get a stomachache, overly loose bowels, and still not that many calories in return for all that suffering (but damn they taste good!).

    But you could toy around with any fruit and juice. Probably best to mix it up and eat a wide variety of fruits in season, and eat more tropical fruits when local fruits aren't in season.

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  33. JT-

    But I think that most short-term changes in body composition are related to sudden changes in calorie intake exclusively. Eat less fat and calorie consumption spontaneosly declines, yielding an instant loss of fat. Eat ice cream instead of mangoes and I literally consume an extra 1,000 to 1,500 calories per day eating to appetite, and gain fat rapidly before hitting a plateau at +5-7 pounds (eating more calories does add muscle very rapidly when lifting though).

    Of course, short-term changes in body weight and calorie consumption have thrown many off course, as these changes ignore the long-term adaptations the body makes in response to changes in calories and macronutrient alterations, etc.

    But if I do keep the fruit and sugar intake very high and fat pretty low I will monitor various external cues and body temperature carefully, which I think can give a very accurate indication of what adaptations are occurring.

    Like, for example, when I first started MET training I also ate roughly 12X bodyweight in calories per day to go along with it. By the end of a week I couldn't sleep, lost the morning wood, felt cold, and mentally was getting increasingly depressed and irritable – not to mention I was getting ravenously hungry with a spike in cravings and more and more tired and flat at the gym.

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  34. Matt,
    Interesting, and for me it is the same. The fat sugar combo is not cosmetically friendly. The problem for me on too much fruit and not enough starch is that I lose weight really quickly. I seem to get a more anabolic effect from starch.

    How is physical performance, strength, and muscle gain?

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  35. Matt,
    Your reaction to MET training was different from mine as well. When I first started I was less than 10x bodyweight in calories, and my diet was low fat, zero sugar, high protein and starch. I had none of the negative reactions you had, and everything seemed to improve mentally and physically. I wonder if the difference was because my protein was higher?

    How do you react to that type of training now?

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  36. I can do hard training much better on a high fruit/moderate to low protein diet. And my recovery is infinitely better.

    But a high fruit diet is not very anabolic. I wouldn't eat that way if I were gaining mass as a bodybuilder or something. You don't see any body builders eating a high-fruit diet.

    You see a lot of very lean endurance athletes and functional exercise aficionados eating a high fruit diet.

    But I really don't feel all that well eating traditonal bodybuilder fare. Low energy, lots of aches and pains. I get very lean doing it though, as appetite pretty much bottoms out on high protein, high starch, low-fat, low-sugar.

    That how I feel stuff ultimately matters more to me. I can't press through overt stress symptoms anymore in pursuit of an asthetic ideal. But I be that I'm able to get pretty lean eating a high fruit diet if I keep the fat low and do lots of high-intensity exercise. We'll see. I will abandon ship if I start to feel crappy and see a bomb in body temperature. Right now I"m enjoying not thinking about all that body composition stuff, and focusing on keeping my breathing good, my chest pains gone, and other aches and pains absent. Long-term, I feel pretty confident this route will deliver body composition perks as well.

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  37. I definitely think you can get lean on a high fruit diet. When I did my month long tropical fruit fiesta my abs came out fully and I didn't even exercise the whole time, but I lost weight and shrunk rapidly too.

    The problem for me is that I can't maintain as much muscle as I can with starch. My guess is that somewhere around half and half is best.

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  38. Princess, you wrote:

    'My mother is from the old country so would rely on old home remedy's when we were sick. If we had an unsettled stomach or nausea we would be given a glass of water with a spoonful of table salt. Sometimes it would make us throw up (which is what was needed), but it would always settle our stomachs.'

    That reminded me of my reaction to large quantities of salt as a kid. I remember one incident, no laughable, when I ate a salted bagel or two, and got so sick I had to puke in the back of the car. Fortunately, we had the paper bag the bagels came in, so awesome- barf bag. Unfortunately, real barf bags are usually stronger, and I puked through the bag. Sorry granddad.

    But I remember being told that too much salt induces vomiting, as if it were widely known. My grandfather said in olden days, if you thought you swallowed poison, you'd take a bunch of salt to help puke it out. No one else I've ever mentioned this too seemed to be familiar with the idea that salt was nausea-inducing in high quantities.

    Anyone else around here heard that?

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  39. *now laughable*

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  40. JT and Matt,

    Great discussion on fat versus starch for body composition changes and exercise performance. Appreciate the thoughts.

    For me, now I'm focusing on de-stressing over food and body composition. I know that even when i said I didn't care about body fat percentage, and was concerned more with how I felt, I always secretly believed that if I looked like so-and-so, I'd actually be much happier and would enjoy my life more. But I think thats bull- the dudes I know who look the way I want to also have body image issues, and like Jennythenipper said some time ago, you can never look good enough for the self-hating grinch.

    Maybe one day I'll put some effort into trying to gain lean mass, but I want to give myself a chance to stretch into this easy-going, mostly high quality and nourishing, intuitive eating thing.

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  41. Jennythenipper said some time ago, you can never look good enough for the self-hating grinch.
    Yep Rob A I am right there with you! Doing what I know works for me and No Offense to Matt et al Ignoring anyone who is not a meno lady, like me.
    But I still have mad love for y'all xoxo deb

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  42. @Rob A and Princess:'
    I ran into a similar idea with my old boss from Japan, Okinawa born and raised to be exact.
    I was suffering from a brutal stomach ache ( I used to have them quite often, so severe I could not function) He told me to drink some tea he had that helped cure my tummy ache. Needless to say, I was barfing as soon as I downed it. When I asked him what the HELL he gave me he said "Oh that is snake skin tea. Don't you feel better now?" Um, yeah, but no more snake skin tea for me thank you very much.
    My mom's tummy fix was soda and laying on your stomach. not sure if that helped but we were soda hounds. She preferred 7 up or Schweps or ginger ale.
    ok enough barf stories, back to our sponser SALT!
    xo
    deb

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  43. Salt has been know to purify the gastrointestinal tract. I have a yoga book that describes a practice of consuming large quantities of salt for the purpose of cleansing the entire tract.

    Scott Abel has an interesting article on sodium loading .

    Rob,
    Matt and I were referring to the differenct effect of fruit/sugar vs starch, not fat vs starch. But, good that you are changing your focus to how you feel. This is the best approach for most.

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  44. Its interesting that Peat really doesn't seem to put much emphasis at all on high calories to fix hypothyroidism or maintain a high metabolism, its all about getting enough of or avoiding specific nutrients and food components like salt, coconut oil, cysteine, PUFAs, etc. Sure he says its important to get enough sugar, sat fat and protein, and he has dropped hints here and there that he's into eating massive amounts of calories on a regular basis, but as far as I know he's never really discussed the role of a hypercaloric diet in optimizing thyroid function, nor anything about how negative energy balance affects the thyroid. Maybe he does that in one of his books?

    It would be interesting to hear his views on if, when, how and to what extent one can create an energy deficit without compromising thyroid function, and what factors affect the ability to restrict calories without slowing down metabolism.

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  45. Sheila,
    "I believe it has something to do with impaired glucose or sugar metabolism. The lower I eat in carbs the better my skin gets. I know Ray says it has something to do with vitamin A and an imbalance in vitamin A/ thyroid activity is the cause."

    It's not a problem with glucose metabolism, as I've had 0 acne with high starh eating for a long time. Any idea how you're supposed to balance vit A and thyroid activity?

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  46. JT
    Isn't salt a big part of that asinine master cleanse deal?
    Also, two thimbs up to Listening to Your Own Body!
    LTYOB folks!
    ;-)

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  47. JT- right! Haha- just a brain fart there. I meant sugar versus starch.

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  48. Thanks Rob A, Deb and JT.
    I didn't realise salt inducing vomiting was so well known. None of my friends were ever forced to drink salt and water when they were sick as children. It's funny because I have no problem drinking Celtic salt in water but normal table salt will make me spew. I wonder what the difference is?

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  49. Matt, you mentioned chest pains, now gone, Can you share what they felt like, where they were, and do you suspect a particular trigger?

    Unrelated: our whole family life is changing for the better since I've started trusting my kids' food instincts. Thanks!

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  50. Matt, your GF doesn't drink water because she is drinking massive amounts of Diet Coke. When I was a DC junkie I never drank water. I drank a 6-pack or more of DC per day. I also had all sorts of problems with energy, sleep, mood, and migraine headaches which rapidly improved without the DC. That shit is poison and I wonder if her epilepsy would improve without it. Can you get her off it? I switched to sparkling water, kombucha, and juice to wean off.

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  51. MATT-

    I hear ya! It's true when I eat something salty, I immediately get thirsty. The whole "remember to drink your 2 + L of water everyday" is pretty rubbish. It all depends.

    KIRK-

    I broke out on starch too, in the beginning.
    Peat says that vitamin A is good against acne but if your thyroid is low, too much vitamin A will suppress your thyroid -they have to be exactly balanced. People who take big doses of vitamin A shows symptoms of vitamin A deficiency as well as thyroid deficiency. The higher your metabolic rate is, the more you need and can use vitamin A. Acne is a good indicator that your doing something unbalanced.

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  52. It seems for me that all here dont feel well on their diets. Why? Because they eat carbs. So easy it is. I eat an only meat diet and i dont need anything, no salt, nothing but meat. But i know why Matt doesnt tell you should eat an all meat diet: Because all would be healthy and not visit his blog anymore.

    So its your decision: Do it like me and be free of all!

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  53. Mr_Perfect: Perhaps you should check your eyes and then check the comments again. There's plenty of folks here who feel pretty dang good eating plenty of carbohydrates. I'm one of them.

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  54. JT:

    "The problem for me is that I can't maintain as much muscle [on fruit] as I can with starch. My guess is that somewhere around half and half is best."

    Ray Peat talks about a half sugar, half starch diet being good in his article about glycemia. I think he cited a study, Í'm not sure. But I don't get why he tells others that all-sugar and no-starch is best if his essays don't express that view or give any proof for it. Eating a mix of starches and sugars seems a natural thing to do if you are not hung up on gurus and their alleged "optimal" health diets.

    Matt:

    "Sodium shouldn't be worshipped, but it shouldn't be feared either. I think it's clear it can have a role to play in people's health."

    Why worship or fear PUFAs, starch, sugars, fat, fiber, etc? Eat foods and ignore diet dogma. I have been limiting water and salt intake for years. I never crave salt and only get thirsty after too much time in the sun or exercising I get plenty of water from milk and NFC juices, occasional spring water or mineral water, beer, tea, coffee…

    Elizabeth: Mr_Perfect didn't claim "all are feeling bad." He said not all are feeling well. Not all well does not equal all bad. Also, many people feel "pretty dang good" and their health declines / stagnates. Nobody's diet or health is perfect and all can be improved.

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  55. I don't do well in the heat. If it's above 75 degrees in my house, I'm sweating. So when it's 90 and 60% humidity, like today, I sweat like Matt in church. It seems like I can never drink enough water during the summer. Yesterday, I didn't start drinking water in the morning before it got hot (to fill up the tank) and so I felt like crap all day. This morning I filled up and never "got behind" and felt great. Also, eating starch for breakfast pretty much every day since last fall did me well. When it started getting hot the starch let me down. Low energy, sleepiness, and only being able to beat down one person at a time was common. But when I eat fruit and juice all through the morning, it's like it sets the tone for the whole day: energy levels high, alertness, multiple person beat downs that continue through the day, and spikes that rival even Jimmy's.

    It's weird now how my body uses sugar. I can drink 10 oz of grape juice and it's like a meal. It will actually provide usable energy. Last year before I started RRARFin when I would drink anything sweet tasting it would just piss me off and I'd just have to keep drinking it till I was in a coma.

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  56. Johnny L you always make me laugh , stellar comment

    Reply
  57. While riding my bicycle this morning, a loose pitbull chased me down the road. (The thing is, in the morning, I look like prey).
    Also, I didn't have orange juice how I should have. I only had boring water.

    So, instead of standing tall on the pedals and roaring at the pitbull, to put fear into his dark heart, I just rode real fast and looked into his eyes. At the same time, I did my best not to look like prey. Don't look like prey! I thought.

    Luckily, he got tired before I did. Why? His pecks were way too large. They sucked all his glucose dry. What an idiot.

    He might have caught me. I wasn't even riding my light bicycle.

    Reply
  58. I would pay good money to see a loose pitbull riding your bicycle. Next time, take pictures.

    Reply
  59. The two lessons I learned from running: sugar and salt. Without a steady supply of both, I felt like shit after an hour and recovery was a bitch. Once I got over the embarrassment of strapping on a hydration backpack full of gatorade, I felt way better. Boy did I look adorkable!

    It's very sad to read the connection between low salt and angina/heart disease. My dad was diagnosed hypertensive in his forties and went low salt. (He also did all kinds of ridiculous faddish 70s weight loss diets which kept him fat and hungry most of the time.) By his fifties he was suffering severe angina attacks and had his first open heart surgery. Of course he was recommended to eat even lower salt, stricter use of vegetable oils over saturated fat, etc. He always craved salt and sugar and it was always a battle. My mom still looses her shit when I salt my food, like I'm some kinda hard core decadent person. This is all a very sore subject, but I firmly believe that strict adherence to shitty advice not only killed him faster but made his remaining time here a lot less enjoyable.

    But on to more important matters: so you and Aurora broke up? I knew you shouldn't be so liberal with info about her pooping habits!

    Reply
  60. Yay, blogger's up again–finally got home from a long trip, craving bloggie fix, and it's like blackouts everywhere!

    Very interesting talk on fruit vs starch. I also have some interesting self-observations on lowering fat percentage. I've been playing with eating much lower fat, mostly starch (will start incorporating more fruit in about three weeks) and have noticed that my appetite is spontaneously reduced.

    What gives? I thought the whole point of low-carb diets was spontaneous appetite reduction, and they warn that if you eat evil carbs, your appetite will run away with your spoon!

    Fascinating that salt is thermogenic/metab stimulating too: I'd never have thought of that. I've never had much of a taste for salt (when I worked as a chef, I always had people taste test and ended up adding about three x as much as I thought tasted good). But it does taste good from time to time. I only remember one time having water retention issues, eating a lot of salty gourmet raw vegan food for several days having been mostly fruit for a long long time previously…

    Reply
  61. Thing about salt is you need to adapt to higher / lower intake. It takes some time. Some never adapt and need a specific amount, from what i've read. I got water retention also from salt, as i was low carbing. Maybe it has to do with thyroid also, who knows. But i think it has more to do with the sodium-potassium balance, so eat plenty of potassium when you eat more salt. However, i feel really bad when i overdo salt, no energy, bad mood. Someone could even say salt is a stimulant for the adrenals. So better to not overdo salt in any case because i've read a study where a high salt intake caused kidney-stones.

    Reply
  62. In a comment that must have gotten deleted, Jenny mentioned sugar and salt for running, and I was reminded of that article on Kenyan Olympians. Sugar is 20% of their calories, but I couldn't find anything about salt.

    However, the article referenced a study of Tarahumara which said they had a "moderately low" intake of salt, 5 to 8g. (This would be about 2,000 to 3,000 mg of sodium.)

    I know, traditional diets, not always something we should follow, but this is at least a clue. It's a level of salt intake (and I'm assuming these guys are eating it to appetite, unless it's hard to get and they'd prefer more) that keeps people healthy even when they run a lot.

    Reply
  63. Yeah, my comment got zapped. Not sure why. Running and salt are a no brainer. My cats used to go out of their way to lick my skin after a long run. I was a walking pretzel. Gassing up on sugar and salt is the way to go if your going to do endurance…

    Reply
  64. “if I was tired and wanted to take a nap no one would tell me to go jogging instead”. Man you are lucky! I seem to be surrounded by people who exclusively believe that fatigue means you need to work out more. And yes I want to punch them in the face.

    Reply

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