I’ve been mentoring a recently diagnosed type 2 about what and when to eat, and not eat. I’ve told him that when you eat Very Low Carb (VLC), you won’t be hungry much, and you should skip meals if you’re not hungry. When you eat VLC, your blood glucose drops and your blood insulin drops too, so you can access and burn your own body fat. That’s why you’re not hungry. Your body is being fueled by your own stored energy.
So, in general, you won’t need to snack for energy, but they are other reasons we snack. We all (most of us) do it, some of us habitually. I usually snack in the late afternoon, with a beverage before supper, and when I do, my favorite new snack is celery with anchovy paste. Celery is low calorie – just fiber and water – so it’s filling. On each bite I add a dollop of paste, squeezed directly from the tube, for savor. But when my mentee tried it, he said, “It’s salty!”
It is salty, of course. Very salty. That’s why I like it. But to a newbie to Low Carb, salt is still verboten. For decades we have been told to avoid fat, especially saturated fat, and cholesterol, and salt. Now we know that the government’s advice to avoid fat was a wrong. As proof, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, for the first time, omitted the recommended 30% limit on fat. It’s now officially okay to eat more fat (in order to eat fewer carbs); it’s just not okay to eat SATURATED fat.
But from my POV that just takes us from the frying pan into the fryer (LOL). The alternative to saturated fat is unsaturated fat, either monounsaturated, the “good” fat found most commonly in olive oil and avocados, or polyunsaturated (PUFAs). PUFAs are highly refined and processed “vegetable” (seed) oils – corn oil, soybean, Canola, and sunflower oil, etc. – that easily oxidize when exposed to light and heat (the fryer). Think French fries.
Government is also slowly backing away from warnings about dietary cholesterol, found only in animal foods. Again, starting with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, there is no longer a 300mg a day limit on dietary cholesterol. However, the recommendation of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, that “cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern for overconsumption,” was largely ignored by the full HHS committee. They are, however, slowly coming to accept that, if we don’t eat it, our livers will make all the cholesterol our bodies need. Think vegans. They don’t eat any!
So, what’s wrong with eating salt? Nothing, unless you believe that the Public Health recommendation that everyone should eat less salt to protect the very few who have a rare genetic sensitivity to high levels of salt. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines have, however, also DROPPED the 2010 recommendation that Americans “reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (1 tsp salt) and further reduce intake to 1,500mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.” Think about half the U.S. population!
In his series “Shaking Up the Salt Myth,” Paleo blogger Chris Kresser wrote an article, “The Dangers of Salt Restriction,” about a study in JAMA in 2011 that “demonstrates a low-salt zone where stroke, heart attack and death are more likely.” He concludes, “These findings demonstrate the lowest risk of death for sodium excretion is between 4 and 5.99 grams per day.” So, the lowest risk of death is associated with consuming from 267% to 399% more sodium than type 2s or hypertensives or older adults were being “guided” to eat. I’ve been writing about salt since 2012. My column #74 cites Kresser and several other resources as well.Please read these links about salt. Losing weight and improving your general health and lipid profiles on a VLC diet will be more beneficial than living with mild hypertension, under control. My doctor believes this, emphatically.