The Paleo Diet January Digest – Salt, Coffee, and other not so Paleo Foods

Welcome Paleo Diet Readers!

January was a busy time at The Paleo Diet, with a significant increase in visitors enjoying our site.  Whether you have been a Paleo warrior for years, or are just learning about all the healthy benefits this lifestyle has to offer, we are happy you are spending time with us and exploring the up-to-date information offered by our team.  

Going Paleo is an exciting and healthy change that can also bring a few challenges along the way. January always presents two particular challenges including enjoying a few too many non-Paleo treats over the holidays and sticking to those New Year’s resolutions. Don’t worry if you stumbled a bit; it happens to the best of us and we’re always here to help. A big part of January’s focus was on providing you the inspiration and encouragement to overcome these challenges and stay on track with your Paleo Diet lifestyle.  

Check out January’s practical nutrition advice including a fun infographic from Jane Dizon about how to get back on the “Paleo bandwagon” as well as several good winter recipe pieces.

Great minds think alike, and our writers proved that to be true last month, when their universal theme centred around not-so-Paleo foods such as peanuts, coffee, and our biggest feature: salt. Dr. Loren Cordain spent months researching the health effects of low- vs high-sodium diets, examining nearly 200 studies. Don’t miss the world’s leading expert’s three January posts explaining conclusively why a lower sodium diet is heathier. This ground-breaking information is a must read!

Finally, we posted two pieces in Nell’s Corner discussing just how much and how often we can cheat, because let’s face it, few of us are 100 percent Paleo. Nell presents some practical tips for how to have your chocolate and coffee, and go to bed knowing you’re still maintaining a healthy Paleo Diet.

It is our hope that you enjoyed reading about all things Paleo!

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We are excited to announce that we have been nominated for the 5th Annual Paleo Magazine’s Best Of, in the category of Best Science Blog.  Dr. Loren Cordain, considered the Founder of the modern Paleo Diet concept, and his world class team have dedicated nearly 40 years to bringing you the most reliable, scientifically proven diet and health information.  We pride ourselves on no fads or scientifically-unbacked claims here – just 100%, pure Paleo, guaranteed!  Vote now and vote often.  Your support will ensure that we continue to deliver the science that changes the health of millions around the globe.  

Click here to vote before February 15th!

January’s Feature: Debunking the Sea-Salt-Is-Paleo Myth

The belief that a healthy Paleo diet now includes eating more than the recommended levels of salt has been gaining popularity lately. Some in the Paleosphere are even claiming there are health benefits to consuming as much as 7000 mg of sodium per day! An extraordinary figure considering the accepted daily allowance for most adults is 2300 mg.

These advocates of added sea salt have also claimed that we here at The Paleo Diet are behind the times for continuing to recommend a low-sodium diet. Fortunately, Dr. Loren Cordain has addressed this criticism the way he always has – with science. Recently, in a series of heavily-researched BLOG posts, Dr Cordain explained:

  1. Why the research claiming that low sodium diets are unhealthy suffered from several key methodological flaws.
  2. Why our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have had a tough time eating even the current daily recommendations for sodium.
  3. Why eating 7000 mg of sodium per day is virtually impossible with natural, unsalted foods.
  4. And why consuming even the average western diet levels of salt promotes and potentially causes many chronic diseases including hypertension, heart disease, stroke, autoimmune disease, inflammatory conditions, and premature aging.

Read Dr. Cordain’s three January posts covering recent science on salt that few Paleo websites have uncovered yet. The articles include original data compiled by Dr Cordain showing the sodium/potassium content of all common Paleo foods – data that several of his colleagues are encouraging him to turn into a scientific study. These aren’t articles you want to miss:

Sodium and All-Cause Mortality Over 20 Years

The Sea Salt Controversy

Dr. Cordain addresses the current research on sodium, explaining why studies showing increased higher mortality rates with low sodium diets suffered from serious methodological problems. Recent research that avoids these issues paints a clear picture – lower sodium diets reduce the risk of disease. Dr. Cordain goes on to show why a hunter-gatherer society couldn’t have eaten a high salt diet.


Further Evidence Against a High Sodium Paleo Diet

Instead of relying on heavy explanation, this second piece feature’s Dr. Cordain’s table listing the sodium and potassium content of all common foods. There’s one thing that’s clear – unless you want to live on seaweed or try to eat 70 stalks of celery every day, you’re going to have a hard time eating a high-salt diet sticking with the Paleo-friendly foods.

Figure 1 Classic Artery Visualization
Dietary Salt Impairs the Endothelial Glycocalyx

Not many people have heard of the glycocalyx, but it lines every blood vessel in our bodies. Dysfunction of the glycocalyx contributes to almost every step in atherosclerosis – the process that leads to heart disease. More importantly, higher plasm concentrations of sodium, from a high-salt diet, cause this dysfunction.

Other Articles from January

Salt wasn’t our only topic in January, nor was it even our only article addressing not-so-Paleo food choices. We packed the month with lots of practical advice and suggestions:

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How to Bounce Back After Falling Off the Paleo Bandwagon

By Jane Dizon

Falling off the Paleo wagon during the holidays is not unheard of, but you can bounce back! Whatever your reason was for falling off the Paleo bandwagon, it’s never too late to jump back in line with a little commitment and confidence. Begin by rectifying the reasons for why you fell off the wagon. Re-evaluate your comeback strategy in achieving your Paleo success and reap the metabolic and physiologic gains from this diet. Here’s how…

Give Your Immune System a "Paleo-Boost!" | The Paleo Diet

Nell’s Corner: Daily vs Less Frequent Rule Breaking – What’s the Best Balance?

By Nell Stephenson

How many times have you heard it? “I tried Paleo and it didn’t work” or “I got bored because there are only so many ways to eat broccoli?” Let’s face it, we all need to break the rules from time to time, but how much is too much and how frequently can we break them? Nell share her thoughts in this month’s Nell’s Corner.

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Recipe: Three Meals to Start Your New Year’s Off Right

By Lorrie Cordain

It’s a new year and that means the time for making healthy lifestyle changes is upon us. Whether you are new to The Paleo diet, a long time faithful follower, or somewhere in between, we’ve put together some delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner to help you start this year off right.


Can Peanuts Be Part of a Paleo Diet?

By Marc Bubbs, ND, CISSN, CSCS

Everybody seems to love peanut butter. Entire websites can be found dedicated to the pursuit of adding the smooth, salty and highly palatable spread to seemingly every possible food. That said, peanuts (and peanut butter) aren’t Paleo. But, is there a place for peanuts in a Paleo diet?

Coffee | The Paleo Diet

Coffee Drinking Revisited: It’s Not Paleo, but are There Any Therapeutic Benefits?

By Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.

Enjoying a good cup of Java to start the morning is a given for most people in Western culture. While it is not a Paleo staple piece, it may have some therapeutic benefits. Here’s what you should know.


Nell’s Corner: Not so Paleo – Is There a Place for Cheating?

By Nell Stephenson

Let’s be honest, most of us find it very difficult to keep up a Paleo diet 100% of the time. Is there a place for “cheat meals” in Paleo? Here’s what you should know…

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Recipe: A Few Recipes for the Winter Blah’s

By Lorrie Cordain

A few warm recipes can really help pass the winter season. Who doesn’t want to take their boots off on a cold day and sit down to a hot bowl of Paleo chicken soup…

Coming Up This Month at

Expect to see our regular pieces this month, including suggested recipes and our monthly Nell’s Corner. On top of that we’ll continue to bring to you what the science is saying about the foods we eat including the scoop on dark chocolate and how to get enough vitamin B in your diet. We will finish the month with a few articles discussing wheat and the rising popularity of gluten-free diets.

As always, our team appreciates your support for The Paleo Diet. We look forward to and encourage your feedback on our website and Facebook!

The Paleo Diet Team

About The Paleo Diet Team

The Paleo Diet TeamThe Paleo Diet, the world’s healthiest diet, is based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one to which we are genetically adapted. The therapeutic effect of The Paleo Diet is supported by both randomized controlled human trials and real-life success stories.

Comments to this website are moderated by our editorial board. For approval, comments need to be relevant to the article and free of profanities and personal attacks. We encourage cordial debates for the betterment of understanding and discovery. Comments that advertise or promote a business will also not be approved, however, links to relevant blog posts that follow the aforementioned criteria will be allowed. Thank you.

“2” Comments

  1. The reason why most people fail in weight loss is that they have to understand that losing weight is more than a physical undertaking. It isn’t just about watching and monitoring caloric intake coupled with a regimental exercise program to increase metabolic rate. It also involves emotional support from family and friends. Also, we have to look at food in a Paleo way. The truth is Paleolithic Diet has been around since the first humans roamed the Earth as hunter-gatherers. They essentially eat only what they can find and what they can catch. That means a lot of vegetables and fruits,nuts, and protein in the form of caught game and their diets vary as seasons allow. It is because of this movement towards “natural eating” that organically-grown foods have gained popularity. The only problem with the Paleo Diet is that if you didn’t have adequate knowledge on meal preparation-it simply doesn’t taste all that good. Well, not anymore. Here’s how-

  2. Thank you for your informative articles on Paleo diet.

    Besides blogs, I have heard a lot about it on social media as well as forums.

    Before deciding whether this is something I want to do as well. Because like everyone, I want to lose weight, be healthy and doing so without compromising what I like and am used to eating.

    As much I need information, I need the right advice. One that I can benefit from and share with my family and friends so that they too can benefit.

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