Shaking the Salt Habit

Shaking the Salt Habit

“Shaking the Salt Habit” The two most prominent
dietary risks for death and disability
in the world are not eating enough fruit
and eating too much salt. Too little fruit kills nearly
five million people every year, and too much salt
kills four million. There are three things
we can do to lower our
salt intake. First, don’t add salt
at the table. A third of us add
salt to our food before even tasting it! Number two: Stop adding
salt when cooking. At first the food
will taste bland. Two to four weeks later, however, as the sensitivity of
the salt taste receptors in the mouth become
more sensitive to the taste of salt in
the usual concentrations. Believe it or not
but after two weeks, you may actually
prefer the taste of food with less salt. Some of the flavorings you can use instead
in the meanwhile instead of salt include using more pepper,
onion, garlic, tomato, sweet peppers, basil, parsley,
thyme, celery, lime, chilli, nettle, rosemary, smoke flavor,
curry, coriander, and lemon. Even if you did add salt, though, it’s probably better
than eating out, where even at non-fast
food restaurants, they tend to
pile it on. And finally, avoid processed
foods that have salt added. In most countries only
about half of sodium intake comes from processed foods, so there’s more personal
responsibility, but in the U.S., even if we completely
stopped adding salt in the kitchen and
dining room, it would only bring down salt
intake a small fraction. This has led public
health commentators to note how challenging
it is then for everyone to reduce their
salt intake since so much of our sodium intake
is out of our control. But is it? We don’t have to buy all
those processed foods. We can choose not to turn
over our family’s health to food corporations
that may not have our best interests
at heart. If we do buy processed foods
there are two tricks we can use try to only buy foods
with fewer miligrams of sodium on the label than there
are grams in the serving size. So if it’s a 100 gram
serving size, it should have less than
100mg of sodium. Or, you can shoot for
fewer milligrams of sodium than there are calories. For example here the
sodium is 720; calories are 260. 720 is greater than 260,
so this has too much sodium. That’s a trick I learned from one of my favorite
dieticians of all time, Jeff Novick. The reason it works is
because most people get about 2,200 calories a day, so if everything you ate
had more calories than sodium you’d at least get under
2,300 milligrams of sodium upper limit for healthy
people under age 50. Of course, the healthiest foods
have no labels at all. We should also try to buy as
much fresh food as possible, as it is almost impossible
to come up with a diet consisting of unprocessed
natural foodstuffs that exceeds the strict
American Heart Association guidelines for sodium reduction.

Daniel Yohans

100 thoughts on “Shaking the Salt Habit

  1. jajajah86 says:

    So if salt is bad why do we inject a salt-water solution(infusion) to patiens?

  2. Bradley Chorley says:

    sea salt is fine, table salt what we shouldn't be eating

  3. Michael Campion says:

    More incomplete information from Greger. Totally agree about the poor quality, refined table salt added to foods and especially the processed rubbish. Agree with the takeaway rubbish too – with excess refined salt added. Agree with using herbs and spices to flavour real food. The problem? Himalayan salt, celtic salt are good salts. What about people who intermittent fast for extended periods? What about exercising hard each day? What about folks using IR saunas daily? Healthy people also drink much water…. often with a bit of lemon and ginger. Green tea is healthy. The result? Expelling toxins via their urine…. along with minerals. Lost electrolytes are a real issue and for many HEALTHY people, good quality salts are actually lacking in their diet! In my opinion, Greger also severely underrates the importance of healthy fats/oils/saturated fats and all in all, I'd be very sick if I listened to much of his info.

  4. fцику мцику says:

    The salt you eat is the salt you wear!

  5. zukodude487987 says:

    Got salt?

  6. alana says:

    I love salted oatmeal thoughhhh

  7. VeganVlogs says:

    I havent had salt in over a year! I feel awesome!

  8. Breacha says: What about Himalayan Pink Salt? Is this also bad? Pink salt boasts 84+ minerals, balances body's ph and is 100% natural untreated. Thanks for your amazing videos 🙂

  9. OhNo Antonio says:

    Thank you, daddy.

  10. onoesmurlocs says:

    on cronometer .com my sodium level often says i get around 33% of my recommend daily allowance should i add 1/4 tbsp to get it closer to 100% bit confused ?

  11. vegansoul says:

    Dear Dr Gregor. I'm confused not about your information but what my son was told at hospital, he had a spell of fainting and was told to take salt to bring up his blood pressure and he stopped fainting. He also amended his overall diet to complete vegan, so my question is dose he needs it or not. And is Himalayan pink salt healthy or is it still salt and bad.? Thank you. I love your book. How not to die. Marion

  12. Shawn White says:

    You never discuss the difference between refined table salt & other mineral dense salts. Why not? Surely this is a factor that should be considered.

  13. Arina Yaqoubi says:

    I love you, dr. Michael Greger! You have truly changed my life and also my whole family's life. Thank you.

  14. A_LC_ Mlatikur says:

    Salt is not bad.

  15. Eat Food Not Animals says:

    It's true that when you do not add salt you will eventually be able to taste more, I experienced this. It actually makes food taste better once you are off the salt. There are a lot of flavors that salt overpowers.

  16. Aerog Draude says:

    I understand salt is bad for you but I can't give it up. I tried to eat some meals with no salt and it's just terrible. It makes me no longer enjoy eating healthy food. Salt is my only savior that I can rely on when the food tastes bland. I avoid animal foods, oils and sugar and eat as less processed as possible but salt….salt is basically my only guilty pleasure left. So basically, what's the point? I feel like giving up salt it's just not worth it. I think I eat healthy enough so that I can "afford" so to speak to include salt every now and then, right? Surely I am still way more healthy than people who don't care about health and eat whatever processed food they come across.

  17. Scott Beavers says:

    Dr. Greger would do well to reference Jeff Novick's work more often. Jeff is a nutritional genius.

  18. AkachiTeam says:

    Im salty af if ya know what i mean ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°),

  19. SonJunaid says:

    What about the salt intake for athletes?

  20. Bourne Accident says:

    I use Himalayan Pink sea salt liberally during cooking and at the dinner table.  I almost can't get enough salt.  Why?  Because the body REQUIRES salt to produce hydrochloric acid to keep your stomach acid strong to break down proteins.  That's just one benefit of salt.  How about all the other essential trace minerals in salt?  This guy, once again, is spreading misinformation in my humble opinion.

  21. T4health says:

    But… Peanut butter isn't the same without salt

  22. Slim055 says:

    I'm running into a raft of "new vegans" who are all touting how great (and even healthy?) the fake meats and processed vegan foods are. I tell them don't eat or recommend that stuff. Any short term gains for "saving animals" are compensated by human health loss, higher $$$ cost and the hypocrisy of owning up to fake foods and big agribiz, which do take more oil and energy to produce, and pollute more than simple, whole plant foods.

  23. Bissen says:

    I can definitely attest to this. I used to use quite a bit of salt, then stopped, and now I can hardly eat my mother's cooking as she always adds (what seems to me like) a ton of salt.
    I have been in the same state regarding sweetness during traveling (greatly reducing sweet foods and drinks), and upon returning home found the sweet things I used to have, too sweet.
    It's something you need to maintain, though; you can get used to the sweetness/saltiness again.

  24. Laura Kinney says:

    I never add salt to anything. I don't even think we own table salt but I do have tortillas that have salt in them and I use Annie's ketchup which has some salt. I also really love braggs liquid aminos. are these things better replacements for adding salt to my food?

  25. Nisakldf Brown says:

    But I love salt

  26. Aracely Ramos says:

    1 Chipotle burrito contains about 2300mg of sodium…

  27. Evve says:

    And what about pink himalaya salt?? It supposed to be so healthy with so many good minerals … This is what I read lately 🙁

  28. Kasumi Ancient says:

    Kinda missed an opportunity to expose how bad the normal table salt is to the body compared to natural sea salt/ Himalayan rock salt. If you want to keep adding a bit of salt to your body DON'T use table salt. Throw that shit away. Only the natural stuff has any benefit and use to your body.

  29. Leila Zayde says:

    Is there a substitute ?

  30. EnervatedSociety says:

    What about iodine? Its' pretty much the only reason I add a little salt to some foods.

  31. Griffon Dahrk says:

    You're dictating my dinner choice tonight, one sentence @ a time.

  32. PassifloraAvenue says:

    "Smoke flavor" is mentionned in this video; what's the verdict on that!? Aren't some of those bottles a little dodgy???

  33. Andy Vegan says:

    That was totally me today haha I added salt to my pinto beans while I was cooking it, and then I stored them away for dinner later on. I took out and prepared my beans and added more salt before even tasting them like an idiot. Now I wish I didn't. So I just added more rice to my plate and less beans for sodium balance ^_^

  34. VeganBanana says:

    Can sodium deficencie occurs if you eat whole foods without adding salt ?

  35. Secret Engie says:

    I saw some sodium free salt today at the store. None know what that's about?

  36. jeenjeanjeen says:

    Just based on my own experiences, if ur diet is clean enough, salt isn't going to kill u. My gramma & gramps ate a traditional Korean diet all their life (rice 3x/day, veggies seasoned/pickled/cooked/fermented with loads of salt), very little animal products and they lived to 94 & 90 respectively. But I'd imagine that wouldn't have been possible if they ate a diet high in fat and meat.

  37. Bike Rider says:

    I had to commend you on the pun. Sodium good.

  38. Daniel Manahan says:

    If you are getting too much sodium in your diet, you can balance and diminish the harm by increasing potassium

    eat more plants to balance the extra salt

  39. l l says:

    It's time to end the war on salt.

  40. Dennis Tyler says:

    If one doesn't eat any animal seafood, no iodized salt additionally, how would you keep from getting goiter, without taking iodide pills? Seaweed? How unnatural or pharmaceutical does this have to be considering health?

  41. Atomic Skies says:

    I feel like you're telling me to cut back on the salt… 😉

  42. Blue Skies says:

    I don't have HBP. Pass the chips!

  43. Jonathan Checo says:


  44. FillUmUpp says:

    i just don't see why SALT its unhealthy.. I think the main reason it is bad is because it is always over used in BAD foods (pilsburry pizza pops??lol eww) but adding salt to a vegetable soup?? definitely not harmful..

  45. WisdomTooth says:

    Himalayen, Celtic, Icelandic, Black lava, AKA rock/crystal/natural salts are perfectly safe for human consumption. Its just those white/processed/table salts that are extremely bad for us similar to white sugar. 1/4 – 1/2 a tsp a day gives the body most if not all the minerals it needs.

  46. Austin Dobbins says:

    What about sea salt though? Is it as bad?

  47. Michaela Desert says:

    THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE between refined table salt (a sort of poison) and mineral dense salts like sea salt and himalaya salt. In Europe we use high quality salt traditionally as a medicine for people and animals.

  48. Akshat Mehrotra says:

    is rock salt good in appropriate quantities?

  49. Ghosts says:

    Salt is a scapegoat and the sycophants are rabble rousing.

  50. Podi says:

    I've been adding fairly little salt to my food in the first place, but more recently I've been adding even less salt to my food. Now if I eat out or buy something like bread that often contains a lot of salt, it often ends up being too salty for my taste. That's the main reason I eat a lot less bread than I used to. For a while I baked my own, but the oven I have right now unfortunately isn't great for that. I'll be moving very soon though and I hope to pick it up again from there.

  51. C Neal says:

    Thank you, Dr. Greger for the simple tip of how to determine if the mgs of sodium are at a good range for the food item. This is information that I can and will use. A stroke of genius!

  52. Anna Fisher says:

    Thank you!

  53. Richard Wilson says:

    hmm. this tasty cereal of mine here has: 55g serving size, 190 calories, and 170 mg sodium. (starts eating anyway)

  54. Chimon says:

    How do you guys measure salt anyway if you're using whole foods? how much mg is one table spoon of normal salt?

  55. Nicola Walker says:

    Love your channel!

  56. NGC6144 says:

    One has almost got to roll the eyes with this. Who is going to eat veggies without proper seasoning and a little fat I may add? They are almost unpalatable otherwise. That's why this sort of diet isn't going to go very far.

  57. steelvixen says:

    I have neuro cardiogenic syncope and my cardiologist advised I eat more salt (and drink more water) D:

  58. Ilea Learn Eco says:

    So that's why I never understood why people add salt to almost every recipe; I don't add salt to anything, so my taste for sodium is probably more acute. Makes sense. It's good to know taste sensitivity can be regained as well.

  59. Short films ABC says:

    I've been vegan and I have noticed in cronometer I never get the 600 a day

  60. Konradical says:

    So I am going to kill these bags of tortilla chips and then do my best. I know its not the wisest choice but cant waste food right?

  61. Bunny Fatale says:

    Always seems to go back to the processed food. I don't cook with much salt and try to keep processed foods to a minimum and it seems to keep my sodium intake under control.

  62. quietstormaps says:

    I've been salt free for several months.  Also good salt replacements are dulse flakes, kelp granules and a product called Table Tasty. Table Tasty gives even a reformed salt addict like myself pleasure and there is no sodium, just all natural ingredients.  It's the best product I've found so far to replace salt.  After a month you really can taste the natural sodium in foods.  Spinach and celery are very salty veggies. Never noticed it until I let the salt go.

  63. Sara F says:

    …but i hate my food if i don't salt it 🙁

  64. jjooeegg1 says:

    Good video …. Love this channel . Thanks

  65. Sidilicious says:

    I want to cut back on salt and plantbased fats. I want it to be easy and natural. I want my food to taste fabulous without them.

  66. splashplan bike says:

    What if you drink more water, doesn't that just dilute salt concentration?

  67. Demetris Nicolaides says:

    "Studies actually show that the effects of sodium may follow a J-shaped curve. Too little and too much are both harmful, the sweet spot is somewhere in between":

  68. Alfredo Rodriguez says:

    Smoke flavoring?! But what about the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in that stuff?

  69. Rafael Birkner says:

    I did not get the evidence that salt is bad at all – anyone?

  70. Brandin Shaeffer says:

    WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT…..I'm confused. I thought there was a problem with people not getting enough IODINE b/c everyone's been eating sea salt which isn't iodized. I just watched Dr. Greger's video on that and went out to buy a container of iodized salt. I don't eat processed foods (or very little) and don't eat out much, so I'm hoping this video is more for the standard person who has a high sodium intake..and not for me. Because otherwise, I am confused as hell 🙁

  71. Alexandrea Acevedo says:

    ah! i needed this. i'm the person who always adds salt, but nooo. i've been cutting down, i can definitely do better though! thank you for this! ^_^

  72. Amitabha Metta LOVE says:

    What would you recommend for someone with low aldosterone? I wish I didn't need to add salt, but I'd be in the floor if I didn't.

  73. sovernsectwarren says:

    Fuck we should just all eat corrugated cardboard at this point. According to Gregor practically everything that tastes good is bad for you!

    Thankfully those that eat a strict plant based vegan diet only live a measly 7 years longer on average compared to someone that eat's whatever they want (assuming that they do not die from some other cause) according to Gregor!

    I think that a balance must be struck between eating healthy and eating foods that taste amazing that have healthy sea or Himalayan pink salt, healthy cold pressed oils, and possibly sugar in them .

    There's a reason that we crave sugar, sat, and healthy oils and even meat.

    I think the depression and dissatisfaction caused from not eating what your body tells you to and craves will take a bigger toll on ones overall health than the benefits that might come from say not adding salt, oil, and/or sugar to your food.

  74. no - says:

    what about iodine?

  75. James Matthews says:

    Doesn't a lot of salt get flushed out if you drink lots of water?

  76. Mr. Charles Smith says:

    I eat about 10lbs of sweet potatoes per day which contain more then 2000mg of sodium naturally!

  77. Precious Freedom says:

    I am on a low carb ketogenic vegan diet and my blood pressure gets way too low if I cut back on salt. I start feeling faint and I have to grab a cup of veggie broth. I eat predominantly whole vegetables foods and make sure to have adequate magnesium and potassium. ACV water and lemon water are regular parts of my day. I eat lots of leafy greens, avocados, olives, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, small amounts of nuts, non starchy vegetables, nutritional yeast, sprouted tofu in veggie broth, great quality coconut oil and olive oil, coconut cream, and a very minor amount of stevia. No processed crap, only berries, lemons, limes for fruit. I only add salt to my salads in the form of pink Himalayan salt. My BP today was 75/50 and my resting pulse was way too high at 98. I started this a month ago in an effort to get rid of my plantar fasciitis and it is working. Pain levels down from a 9 to a 1, but not completely alleviated. I eat some cooked veggies too like asparagus and lots of cauliflower and broccoli. My heart rate is way too fast though. It has been even when I was a high carb vegan and a more processed, higher protein vegan. I am a 50 year old woman, weight 154. 5'7". Super active, but not cardiac active. My old BP readings were around 100/70. Pulse 73….

  78. Precious Freedom says:

    UP YOUR POTASSIUM if you like salt. It's all about balance! 5:1 ratio potassium to sodium. One banana doesn't cut it either. You need around 4700mg potassium each day and you can have some salt. Good quality salt, lots of healthy veggies too. Avocados are great, beet greens are highest in potassium, but who eats those? Acorn squash, kidney beans, and potatoes are good too. Look it up.

  79. Eddie Strike says:

    Why would salt be bad for you if you eat 0 processed foods…?

  80. J Starr says:

    Bread and cheese are two very rich sources of sodium in the American diet….two of the main staples in America! People don't realize if the drop the sodium out of their diets they will see huge changes within just a few days or a week. Most people will lose quickly 10 lbs of retained fluid by doing so.

  81. VeganGames says:

    These studies are only looking at devitalized table salt. Huge difference between that and unrefined Himalayan or celtic salts, which have no such adverse affects and provide much needed trace minerals.

  82. Ⓥegan says:

    I highly recommend watching the salt experiment if you haven't seen it yet. Its a real eye opener.

  83. Sergeant Kornballz says:

    what i hate about this is, that sodium is in everything, and tons of it! in one can of soup there is 1,300 mg of fucking sodium! The daily limit is 2,500 mgs. Being healthy is impossible. is there a way to lose sodium that you ate?

  84. DooZPsyco Gaming says:

    I eat salt alone all the time

  85. voltaspeeder17 says:

    I think i'm gonna kill myself trying to follow all those health recommendations. See ya all in next life!

  86. NoExitLoveNow says:

    Just make sure you get enough iodine from an alternative source.

  87. Arthur Lange says:

    no mention of the beneficial effect of calcium in reducing blood pressure.

  88. yourtv says:

    There is a video entitled: Dangers of Salt-Free Diets.

  89. Diss & Dad says:

    Is it true salt can contain aluminium as an additive?

  90. Oblivion 1 says:

    Theres salt in water.

  91. Believe. says:

    I have HBP. I've shortened my intake to less than 3/4 tsp per day. I can already feel a difference after just a few days. My whole life I have always felt stressed and tense. Suddenly that feeling is almost gone completely.

  92. Veganomix says:

    Salt intake has not changed in America in 40-50 years, yet hypertension has risen dramatically. Why is salt the demon? Salt is necessary for life! Natural sea salts are much better than the processed sodium in processed foods. 😀

  93. Vitamin B says:

    But if you're hiking all day or several days and sweating a bucket, you definitely need more salt.

  94. Neophyte says:

    one of the hardest addictions to shake, but also one of the most rewarding!

  95. Peter Faber says:

    Seems there is a lot of research that shows that low salt is bad for health. It increases lipid production and reduces insulin sensitivity. The optimum salt intake seems to be at 5 grams of sodium per day. But there is more to sodium than just how much of it you eat.

    It seems to me the reason low salt is the advice is because people don't eat enough potassium. But in stead of suggesting to eat more whole food plants, they suggest to lower salt intake.

    Interestingly, for people on high carb low fat 100% plant based diets, there is a bit of another problem. Higher sodium intake results in the kidneys removing more sodium as well, and with that, calcium goes out as well. And on a high carb low fat plant based diet, you consume about 50% less calcium. Which would suggest reducing sodium intake is better. Potasium intake on 100% wfpb diets is usually not a problem, unless you don't eat a lot of vegetables.

    Another thing is that on a low carb high fat diet, the kidneys naturally get rid of more sodium. Also, on low carb high fat, sodium intake is lower because carbs tend to be combined with salt a lot. Low carb means low sodium as well, unless you add extra salt to your food.

    So what is the conclusion of all this?… Salt consumption can't be quantified in a healthy number. It depends big time on your whole diet.

    Either way, looking at this information, a focus on potassium intake should be more important than a focus on sodium intake.

  96. Kim Johnson says:

    It depends on the salt you use. Don’t use process salt. Your body needs salt.

  97. Sean Devine says:

    We need salt, where do we get it then?

  98. Berlin Wall says:

    I'm not actually a fan of added salt. It doesn't taste right.

  99. Minimalist Vegan says:

    I add minimal salt only to my legumes and that's about all the sodium i get daily.

  100. Scott Cousland says:

    Everybody has bind spots. Dr. Greger is no exception.

    Avoiding salt is not necessary, if you are eating a whole food, plant based diet.

    By avoiding salt, Americans have lowered their iodine intake by about 50 percent.

    The healthiest, longest lived people in the world (Okinawans who eat their
    traditional diet) eat seaweed at EVERY MEAL and are estimated to get
    200,000 mcg of iodine every day of their adult lives.

    Dr David Brownstein is my iodine (and salt) hero. Here is a presentation he gave in 2011:

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