• The Salt Fix

  • Why Experts Got It All Wrong - and How Eating More Might Save Your Life
  • By: Dr. J. DiNicolantonio
  • Narrated by: Qarie Marshall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (817 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

We all know the dangers of sugar and salt: but the danger attributed to the second white crystal has more to do with getting too little of it, not too much. Too little salt can shift the body into semi-starvation mode, causing insulin resistance, and may even cause twice as much fat to be absorbed for every gram that's consumed.

Too little salt in certain populations can also actually increase blood pressure as well as resting heart rate. In order to hydrate and nourish our cells, transmit nerve signals, contract our muscles, ensure proper digestion and breathing, and maintain proper heart function, we need salt.

In this book, a leading cardiovascular research scientist and doctor of pharmacy overturns conventional thinking about salt and explores the little-understood importance of it, the health dangers of having too little, and how salt can actually help you improve sports performance, crush sugar cravings, and stave off common chronic illnesses.

©2017 Dr. James DiNicolantonio (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about The Salt Fix

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hey editor, listen to what the narrator is saying!

Let me start by saying that I have cheerfully ignored the dietary guidelines about salt for years (I binge on the stuff) and have never suffered high blood pressure or any other ill effects. With that in mind, I believe this book is telling us what some people have intuitively known for years. Combined with "The Big Fat Surprise," this should be required reading for all med school students.

The only reason it doesn't get a full five stars is the incredibly distracting mispronunciations by the otherwise-decent narrator. I blame the editor, as making sure words are pronounced probably and supervising the narrator is his/her job. I'm not complaining about highly-technical words either. For the love of God, someone teach the man how to pronounce fructose and satiety. Since these are used repeatedly throughout the book, it became distracting. I almost started twitching every time I heard fructose mispronunced.

44 people found this helpful

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Super informative

Lots of good information presented in a logical way. I'm beginning to question ALL of my previous dietary knowledge!

16 people found this helpful

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Good history of dietary guidelines for salt.

Why salt is very important and why we are told to eat too little of it. The most important part is the dangers of too l little salt and when we deplete the most salt and how to become in tune of how much our body needs. Worth a read.

15 people found this helpful

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Informative, surprising and backed by sciencw

"The Salt Fix" is as important to nutrition sanity as the top sellers of the genre, like Nina Teicholtz's "The Big Fat Surprise" and Gary Taube's "The Case Against Sugar", to name a couple. The author of "The Salt Fix" not only gives us a history lesson as to how we ended up with such low recommendations for salt intake, but also goes into exceptional detail regarding why we need salt to live, and live well. I've only just finished this book but I can already tell I'll be reading it many times over in the coming months and years, in the hopes of "absorbing" and integrating all the information and details into my daily life as well as the lives of my loved ones.

15 people found this helpful

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  • JJ
  • 09-01-20

No Attempt At A Full Picture; Irresponsible

I’m 3 chapters in and this book doesn’t even attempt to represent the full risks/mitigation picture, nor to discuss science that might not support the author’s claims - which it should do upfront! Consider his point, but be responsible - do more research, conduct conservative trial and involve a physician - risks are too high not to. Also realize that some issues from prolonged high salt display much later. It is difficult to trace an issue which presents in the future back to an isolated past salt increase.

Overall, both low and high salt/sodium have risks. High salt risks can’t be simplified into one hastily extrapolated conclusion from decades ago, about the correlation b/w high BP and high salt. What about sodium’s impact on nerve and brain function? Its impact on hydration and cells? A responsible depiction would include how to identify the right amount of salt/sodium for each individual. A blood sodium test shows if your blood is b/w the “normal” 135-145 milliequivalents per liter of blood. Then, if you want to increase or decrease this for personal goals, the author could suggest safe ways to do so (with the right water ratio) and mention ALL side effects of both low and high sodium so readers know what to watch for when “dosing”, alongside long term effects. Presenting risks/mitigations are far more critical than the author’s water flora evolution coverage. Its like someone with a doctorate of history standing on a soap box to show how smart they were to connect the Spanish Flu to the Corona Virus. Sure, but there is significantly much more to it which is incredibly more material to someone dealing with it. Disclaiming that one isn't a physician doesn't eliminate the responsibility to reasonably attempt to present all sides.

Please note that salt pulls water from your cells into the blood to dilute it, “(This fluid shift and a build-up of fluid in the brain can cause seizures, coma, or even death. Extra fluid collecting in the lungs can cause difficulty breathing)”. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/. Salt also induces diarrhea and bursts blood vessels (everywhere - including in the brain!). The author omits scientific evidence that these damaged blood vessels then increase blood pressure over time. (Less pipe in the pipeline creates more pressure in those remaining – common sense!) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120618161714.htm.

Excess sodium also disrupts nerve electrical currents and can cause brain problems (in addition to burst vessels and damaged brain cells). https://www.livestrong.com/article/537363-does-sodium-affect-the-brain/.

Finally, the body induces vomiting if it senses salt induced toxicity. All can occur before the kidneys get a chance to expel it. Instead, the author implies that excess sodium is easily discarded through the kidneys without mentioning what it does to the body (if not hydrated in the right proportions) beforehand.

One might think the above risks occur with massive amounts of salt. So, I tracked my avg daily sodium in a nutrition app (myfitnesspal) and increased it to the author’s recommended 3gram/day w sodium tabs. I have healthy kidneys, wasn’t exercising at the time and am not on any medications. Yet without a considerable water increase, I had diarrhea for 3 days, vomited unless I disguised the salt in food and saw instant burst blood vessels under my eyes. There was no way for me to see if vessels were also bursting in my brain.

Altogether, drinking additional water is key to mitigating risks and realizing benefits of additional sodium/salt, but the author doesn’t emphasize this, so we are left to guess “at what ratio?". I’m up to 6 cups of water (4 glasses) per 1 gram of sodium in order to not witness visible symptoms. But who drinks even 8 glasses of water a day, let alone 12 needed for the author’s 3g recommendation?! The logistics involved in finding enough bathrooms all day is problematic enough!

Additionally, any doctor will tell you (the author did not) that salt/sodium without additional water will not increase energy (the benefit) by way of raised BP. He did describe the salt/water/BP relationship at the beginning, although only to imply it was discredited, which he didn’t continue on to accomplish… In fact some of the symptoms he suggests are due to low salt (I.e. fatigue) can also be caused by high sodium.

So, given the high risks of increased sodium, please get a blood sodium test, do more research, conduct conservative trial and error and then bring all of that to your doctor who should guide your changes. There could be value in what the author states about low salt, but it is not the entire picture and increasing salt (amount, procedure [salt:water, duration, lifestyle] and side effects should be confirmed/monitored with a physician.

11 people found this helpful

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Excellent Book

The Salt fix sold me on the importance of salt. However, it just confirmed what I had been doing most of my life - adding more salt at the table. I love salt and now that i have read this book, I feel much better knowing I wasn't doing any harm to my body.

The book presents research study after research study on why low salt does not lower High Blood Pressure in MOST people. The author just keeps repeating himself over and over (and over) again that salt is not bad. Two big things I learned from reading this book is 1.) History of low salt diet - based on Bad research and interpretation of results (just like low Cholesterol). 2. The body gets rid of the extra salt in your body you don't need.

The author gets tired of saying "low salt is bad for you" so he goes on to Sugar as the Bad Guy, Which most of us all ready know. But wait isn't this book about salt? Why go into so much depth about Sugar?

There is so many research studies presented in this book, that it's overwhelming. If i could just point to One Guy as being the driver for low salt diet, I could use this in explaining to people why salt is not bad for you. Kind of like the Ancel Keys of the Low Cholesterol/Saturated Fat craze. But i can't.

Instead, i go around telling people: "I just read this book that's called The Salt Fix and it says that salt is not bad for you because the research information used to come up with the Low Salt Diet is misinterpreted and faulty." They will just look at me and say: "Here goes another Conspiracy Theory". I can't tell people to add salt to their food when i can't explain why except tell them to read the book.

I hope you all understand what I'm trying to say. This book is not a keeper, Read and return.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Eye-Opening & Important

Somehow, the obvious reasons for my intense cramps after going HFLC were lost on me. No longer. Already enjoying the benefits of reaffirming this ancient knowledge. And, in more ways that just during exercise.

9 people found this helpful

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Worth a listen if you want to be healthy

Good book, I'm pro salt and haven't listened to the RDA of salt in years but still learned a lot from it. Wish the reader could pronounce satiety correctly for the amount of times it was said. Would recommend to anybody looking to ignore the propaganda and start getting healthy.

8 people found this helpful

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Changing my life!!!

Everything you have ever heard or read about salt could be wrong. What if eating more salt that helps keep us thin and be the answer to rather than the problem of our nations health problems. This book is like the answer to so many questions I've had about salt. Frankly YOU NEED MORE SALT!!! I watched as my grandma eat a perfect low salt low fat diet and was miserable so her last day. I'm huge about how bad we need FAT now we can welcome salt back to the table and embrace it. It may be the cure for all the things you think cutting it out should have been.

7 people found this helpful

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Fantastic & Important

Life changing book - very important topic with excellent coverage. Never knew salt not only is harmless but incredibly important

7 people found this helpful