It was not once or twice, but at least a hundred times, when I heard two of the most common statements from anyone I advised about diet and nutrition. First, to lose weight, don’t have carbs at night. Second, and the funnier one, to lose weight, don’t have salt after 7pm.
Let’s discuss the second one here.
First of all, where the hell did this come from? How on this earth, was someone able to calculate a time of 7pm, for a self-made stupid advice of no-salt at night?
I tried to find some studies on this, but trust me there is not even a single study, or evidence, or anything on such an advice. But I think I was able to trace the origin of this.
I have been writing articles for a number of magazines and websites, but also have stopped writing for many more. The reason was the absolute non-sense articles, they are publishing, by self-proclaimed celebrity dieticians and coaches. Not only were these articles without any research or reasoning, but they were filled with all self-made information, misguiding the reader. When I questioned these mags and websites, for these articles, they said, that this information sells. True. Shit sells.
Well, of many such articles, the ones written on the myth of ‘zero-salt after 7pm’ are also a part. Well, most of these articles are written by some Indian writer. Here are some of the amazing, world changing insights from these articles:
“According to Macrobiotic Health Coach and Nutritionist, (name withheld), “Modern day diets have excess sugar and salt content. Excess sodium holds toxins in the body leading to a host of diseases.”
“It is advisable to have a salt-free dinner rather than going salt-free the entire day. According to book ‘ 101 Weight Loss Tips’, a salt-free diet helps to shed weight by flushing out extra water from the body.”
“rather than opting for salt-free diets that are not sustainable, the best idea is to finish dinner by 7 PM as the body will respond much better and address water retention and bloating in a better way.”
Such lines, are copy pasted and repeated, in form of references, in various articles on the net, in many leading websites. Look at the rosy language these articles use. This is what we call in defence forces, “Shoot shit with confidence”.
Salt is extremely essential for bodily functions, and sodium is a critical mineral for our health. It’s virtually impossible to consume excess salt through normal home based food. Different cultures have different salt and sodium intake, and some of them consuming large amount of salt, are also among the healthiest and longest living communities on earth, e.g. Japanese.
Examine.com research sums it up perfectly: “… people who consume a lot of salt tend to consume a lot of processed foods that are generally unhealthy. That makes it hard to tease apart sodium’s effects from overall dietary effects. Except for individuals with salt-sensitive hypertension, the evidence in support of low sodium intakes is much weaker than most people would imagine. As it stands, both very high and very low intakes are associated with cardiovascular disease.”
Not eating salt at night or not having it after 7 pm, is a complete fallacy. There is no link to your weight loss or health by reducing salt at any time of the day. If you go off salt, without any serious medical reason to do so, then you are harming yourself.
When you go off salt, you start losing water, because sodium stores water in the body. So, you start urinating more. That’s not fat loss, it’s simple water weight. Go drink water and you will be same in terms of weight.
“Excess sodium holds toxins in the body leading to a host of diseases.” Another completely senseless statement found online. Now, don’t get me started on this one.