November 15, 2011
My vacuum is a patient there...
Our poor vacuum. Between the cat's fur and my long hair and occasional vegetables dropping from the table, it has to contend with a lot. No wonder it's a bit dysfunctional.
I took it to a local repair shop and they assured me that I had come to the right place. "This is the vacuum hospital," said the repairman.
I called on Friday to see what the diagnosis was.
"My vacuum, Animal, is one of your patients," I said.
That did get a good laugh.
"What is it with you about things medical?" said MR.
Well, it was bound to happen.
Posted by april at November 15, 2011 4:08 AM
I actually said, "What is it with you and naming things mechanical?" You told the vac shop that you were inquiring after "my sick vacuum, Animal," just as you inquire after named cars ("Virginia"), cell phones, and computers (and cats) at their appropriate fix-up shops.
Posted by: MR at November 16, 2011 7:32 AM
I totally misheard you!
By the way, the car is named Wendy. The old computer was named Virginia. The new computer is named Bella, after the vampire chick. My cell phone is named after my two favorite medical researchers over 60.
Happy birthday, boo!
Posted by: April at November 16, 2011 7:50 AM
I have a question: do you know if there is anything wrong with consuming less than the rda of salt? Since I stopped putting salt on my dishes I only consume about 50% of my sodium requirements.. but I find it easier to use no salt at all than just a bit. How do you do it? And good luck with your upcoming election, i'm sending good karma from europe!
Posted by: Marianne at November 16, 2011 11:30 AM
First, just so we're talking the same language: despite what food packages say, there IS no *RDA* for Na: what is usually listed as the RDA (2300 mg) is actually the Upper Limit *maximum* for healthy people. There is also an Adequate Intake of 1500 mg/d Na, which is known to be enough but may yet be more than most people *need* ; a true RDA minimum to cover the needs of 95% of the population has not been established.
Next: are you sure you're not getting the "RDA" (by which I take it you probably mean the Upper Limit)? Are you including sauces and dressings (I get 375 mg/d from salsa, and 250 mg in many 2 T servings of Walden Farms dressings)? Do you ever eat out in restaurants, and have you looked at the typically-shocking levels of Na disclosed in available menus?
Now, if you really aren't getting even the AI, you probably should bump it up a bit. Of COURSE there's a problem getting less than the "RDA" (in this case, AI) of sodium: that's why we have RDAs, for sodium or anything else! (There is again the confusion about the lack of RDA for Na; even worse is the mislabeled "RDA" for saturated fat, which is also actually the Upper Limit -- and unlike with salt, there is no AI, because the panel recognizes that there is absolutely no need for the stuff to be in the diet, as we can synthesize our own and no one can find any good reason to get it from food).
One big example: while the industry propagandist Salt Institute's arguments against progressively lowering the salt content of processed foods are laughable (almost everyone is consuming too damned much Na, mostly from processed foods (including sauces and canned tomatoes) and restaurant meals -- still, it is true, as they are fond of reminding us, that several (but not all) studies find that substantially low-sodium diets can impair the action of insulin, leading to impaired glucose tolerance (in case you've not memorized it from the periodic table , to convert mmol or meq of sodium to mg, multiply by 23; so eg. 80 mmol Na is 1840 mg):
So, if you REALLY aren't getting the AI -- and especially if you ARE simultaneously getting plenty of potassium -- you ought to reach for some healthy high-Na food (egg whites, cottage cheese, commercial salsa, sugar-free canned tomato products, etc) -- and if all else fails, the salt shaker.
Posted by: Michael at November 18, 2011 9:48 AM
yes, you’re right – it’s the adequate intake I’m talking about. I confused that with the non-existent rda. To make myself absolutely clear: I talk about that “min” of 1500mg/day my cron-o-meter always tells me I’m not getting.
Thanks for taking the time, appreciate the comprehensive answer.
My average sodium intake from food is 700mg/d, except for once a week when I eat canned tuna, then it’s about 1200/day. Oh, and 42mg of sodium on Tuesdays, coming from my cuba libre with coke zero, 0,33l (they just give me my drink + the bottle with the remainders, so I know it’s ,33l). I drink tap water, about 2-3l per day, depending on whether or not I work out. So if I add that 100mg/day for 2500 l of tap water to my daily sodium intake, I end up with a weekly sodium average of 877mg/day. (6 regular days with 800mg of sodium, 1 day with 1342mg.)
And no, I don’t eat out. I “Green Tea” out or “Americano” out, but there ain’t no freaking overpriced restaurant frankenfat food entering that body of mine. Also, I check everything I buy that comes in a package for additional ingredients. Everything. Almonds, vinegar, meat that is supposed to be raw and unprocessed, but sometimes isn’t, oils, (I actually don’t need to check cause Rapunzel doesn’t do anything bad :-) ), frozen veggies. The only sauce I eat is Red Tabasco sauce and since I use about 0,5ml every other day – yes, I do have a spoon that measures out these small quantities, my kitchen scale can’t - it doesn’t give me more than 3mg of sodium per serving. I’d say this is negligible.
The links to the NHI helps, I never knew where the AI came from. Can’t open the links to the IOM, but I think I found that report on salt on their site. As for the abstracts, since I assume that I have already been given the advantage of having picked the most significant ones for me, it seems that there really isn’t much data out there. Especially not for anything long term, all of them – except for the contrasting one – were only about five to six days compared to another five to six! And what’s considered a low sodium diet varies a lot, I wonder what they fed the poor creatures that were restricted to 10mmol/day. That’s quite an achievement unless they just served them a trough full of oats. (And I welcomed your hint about converting mmol of sodium to mg.. every other element is of course memorized to the third decimal place…what else?)
I’d rather play on the safe side, so I will up my salt intake. Already eat eggwhites for breakfast, dairy products are out, because I’m intolerant. Leaves canned tomatoe products and sauces, but I wonder why they would be superior to using the salt shaker? Would I not rather control the quality/origin of the salt that I consume instead of eating whatever low-cost product with additives is contained in a canned or bottled food? Or is there another reason why you prefer salted food over salt?
At least my potassium levels aren’t simultaneously high – I average about 3400mg/day and I don’t know if I should aim for 3500mg/day or more for 4700mg/day. Up till now I always thought I just had to get the bars in my cron-o-meter in balance, like 112% potassium, go for 112% sodium (112% is just an arbitrary number). I usually end up at 70% for potassium, since it’s set to a min of 4700mg/day.
If I were to up both my potassium% a little and my salt% a little more, the obvious solution would be to use half salt, because I just can’t eat anymore veggies. But I’d rather not, because that would mean I would have to calculate how much potassium actually is contained in my half-salt.
My half-salt shaker – that was hard to come by here in Germany – states the following:
Ingredients: Natriumchlorid (50%), Kaliumchlorid (50%)
Kaliumgehalt (potassium content) ca. 15%
I just don’t get it. How do they come up with 15%? If 50% of the weight is KCl and 50% is NaCl, wouldn’t that give me 26g of K and 20g of Na per 100g? Seems to me like 25% of K and 20% of Na. Or how do I have to calculate that?
Obviously, I don’t need potassium to make up for high sodium intake, but sometimes there are other reasons why a higher intake may be of advantage. So, coming back to the original question: would I be better of following the guideline of 3500mg/day for potassium (that would be the RDI, if I got that right) or better the RDA of 4700mg/day?
Posted by: Marianne at November 20, 2011 6:47 AM
This is a general question:
when I enter foods/recipes into cronometer, I usually go with the ingredients in their raw states (esp meat/veg/eggs/etc). This should be fine, right? I realize that the 'weight' of the dish isn't gonna be right but the proportions tend to be what I use. This is ok, isn't it?
Thanks and love your blog!
Posted by: JTI at November 25, 2011 4:33 PM