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Chris Bair holding bacon
Jul 29  ·  2 min read
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Salt and your health

Touring the REAL SALT mine in Redmond Utah

On Saturday we hosted a Keto Meat-up and during the discussion about salt intake, an interesting bit of history was brought up by one of the attendees. He promised to find the source and today on Reddit posted what he was able to find in an article on Diet Doctor by Dr. Jason Fung:

Data from military archives going back to the war of 1812 show that soldiers and presumable the rest of Western society ate between 16 and 20 grams of salt per day. During the war of 1812, soldiers maintained a daily consumption of 18g/ day despite high cost. American prisoners of war complained bitterly that their 9 g/day of salt was ‘scanty and meager’. It was only after World War II, when refrigeration replaced salting as the primary means of preserving food that Americans lowered their average salt intake to 9g/ day where it has remained since. During that period pre-WWII, there was no concern of excess deaths from heart disease, stroke or kidney disease – the main things used to scare us into lowering our salt intake.

16-20g of salt a day, man – that would get most doctors in a tizzy! On the Keto Chow Facebook advertisement with the keto witch we often get comments about how that much salt is insane. The software we use to respond to emails, facebook, instagram, twitter, and live chat requests allows for the use of templates. Today I updated the template “salt content of Keto Chow” to:

Interestingly enough, the recommendation that people limit their salt intake isn’t based on good science – much like the recommendation to limit saturated fats and to limit dietary cholesterol. New data and studies show that the most likely problem you’ll encounter from salt consumption is too little salt! There’s a lot more data about all of this on these several sites:

Above and beyond all of that, on a keto diet, you need a LOT of sodium. Failure to get sufficient salt will leave you with an electrolyte deficiency commonly referred to as “keto flu” – many people find they feel better supplementing above and beyond the sodium that Keto Chow has.

on a side-note I also have another template named “chow”:

The word “chow” to denote “food” (in this case, quite simply “Keto Food”) dates back to 1855 (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/chow). In 1894 the food company Purina started to use “chow” for its various animal foods (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purina_Mills) and “Dog Chow” was not introduced until 1957 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_Chow). The US Air Force and Marines use the term “Chow Hall” but I wasn’t able to find specific history on when that practice started, I’m assuming it was also before 1957.

Sometimes I also point out there’s a human food called “Chow Mein” – that’s only to the people that say “I would NEVER eat a food called ‘CHOW’!” Yes, I’m being petty and pedantic =)