Washington Senate Passes ‘Washington Privacy Act’

The act will give rights to consumers in matters concerning the collection and selling of personal information by businesses. Some of these rights include:

◦ Right to Information: confirm whether personal data is being processed and sold.
◦ Right of Access: provide the consumer access to personal data being collected and sold.
◦ Right of Rectification: correct inaccurate personal data.
◦ Right of Deletion: delete personal data.
◦ Right of Restriction: refrain from processing personal data.
◦ Right of Portability: transfer personal data to another controller.
◦ Right of Objection: refrain from processing personal data when:
▪ The controller is using personal data for direct marketing purposes; or
▪ Any other purpose provided that the controller cannot demonstrate a “compelling legitimate ground” to continue processing.
◦ Right against Automated Decision-making: refrain from making decisions using profiling concerning legal and similarly significant affects (e.g., those related to financial services).
• Transparency: provide a privacy notice.
• Facial Recognition Technology: employ “meaningful human review” if using facial recognition technology to profile upon which decisions producing legal or similarly significant effects are made (e.g., those related to housing). (Link)

The Washing Privacy Act would be the 2nd of its kind, with California having passed a similar act. The Act heads to the Washington state Senate.

How Much Sodium Should You Eat?

Image Credit: Wikipedia user: “The Photographer.”

How Much Sodium Should You Consume Per Day?

Begin by asking yourself the question:

“Do I have high blood pressure (hypertension)?”

Normal blood pressure is 120/80 (mmHg, systolic/diastolic). Your blood pressure is considered high when it is above 140/90. If you do not have hypertension, consume 3g to 6g of sodium per day. If you do have hypertension, consider reducing your sodium intake to the lower end of that range around 3 g per day and consult with a medical professional. (Sodium reduction is often recommended for those with hypertension because it produces a small decrease in blood pressure, but as we will see it is possible to reduce sodium too much). One (1) teaspoon of salt contains 2.3 grams of sodium.

“If you do not have hypertension, consume 3 to 6 grams of sodium per day.”

Please note: Processed, packaged foods are often high in refined salt. Do not consume these foods, and do not get your sodium from these sources. Seek out sodium from foods that contain it naturally and use an unrefined salt like pink Himalayan sea salt. Do not consume refined table salt as your main source of sodium. Refined table salt is processed in such a way that removes most of the trace minerals, whereas an unrefined sea salt contains dozens of these trace minerals.

Refined table salt is fortified with iodine. You do not need fortified salt to obtain iodine; iodine can be obtained by eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, wild-caught seafood and seaweed (nori – the green “paper” they wrap sushi rolls with), and dairy products such as cheese from grass-fed cows.

What the Research Says

In a study from 2016 that included 133,118 individuals (about half of them having hypertension), from 49 countries with a medium age of 55 years, researchers looked at sodium excretion levels (an indicator of sodium consumption) and compared that to risk of death and cardiovascular disease. They found the following conclusions:

1)     In individuals with hypertension, sodium excretions of greater than 7 grams per day OR lower than 3 grams per day were both associated with increased risk.

2)     In individuals without hypertension, sodium excretion of greater than 7 grams per day was not associated with increased risk, whereas sodium excretion of less than 3 grams per day was associated with a significantly increased risk.

3)     Compared to moderate sodium intake, high intake is associated with cardiovascular events and death in hypertensive populations, but not in non-hypertensive populations.

4)     Low sodium intake is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and death in those with OR without hypertension.


In another study from 2014 that included 101,945 people in 17 countries, researchers concluded that:

1)     An estimated sodium intake between 3 grams per day and 6 grams per day was associated with a lower risk of death and cardiovascular events than was either a higher or lower estimated level of intake. Sodium intake above 7 grams per day was associated with an increased risk with the strongest association in those with hypertension.


In a 1996 meta-analysis, a total of 56 trials were considered by researchers and after analyzing the data, they concluded: “Dietary sodium restriction for older hypertensive individuals might be considered, but the evidence in the normotensive population does not support current recommendations for universal dietary sodium restriction.”


What Do the Current Guidelines Say?

It is interested to note that the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming “no more than 2.3 grams of sodium per day (about 1 teaspoon of salt) and moving towards an ideal limit of no more than 1.5 grams per day for most adults.” The DASH Diet, which is promoted by the US Department of Agriculture (the publisher of the food pyramid) and the National Institutes of Health, recommends similar guidelines for sodium consumption levels. These guidelines are in conflict with the research and following them by consuming less than 3 grams of sodium per day is associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular events in all populations. A reduction in sodium consumption can be beneficial in populations who are already consuming large amounts of sodium and have hypertension, but do not take that advice to the extreme and consume an ultra-low sodium diet. Moderation is important here. Do not follow the ultra-low sodium recommendations of the American Heart Association or the sodium-related guidelines of the DASH diet as a general practice. Have a valid, medically-justified reason before considering dropping below 3 grams per day.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is relatively simple. Just follow these rules:

1)     Do not consume more than 7 grams of sodium per day.

2)     Do not consume less than 3 grams of sodium per day.

3)     If you have hypertension, consider staying at the lower end of that range and consult with you doctor.

4)     Do not follow ultra-low sodium recommendations.

5) If you are active, especially in hot weather, you probably require higher levels of sodium (and other electrolyte) intake. Consult with a sports nutritionist or other medical professional to determine your required sodium intake based on activity levels if you are concerned.


EDIT: Some specifics on the study that led to the low-sodium DASH diet recommendation:

-Used 412 participants

-Conducted in the late nineties

-Used short studies: two week introductory period and 30 day intervention phase where the diets were controlled by researchers.

-Participants had hypertension or prehypertension. 60% were African-American and 59% were women.

-Compared DASH diet to a control diet. The researchers tried to make the control diet mimic a typical American diet and was designed to be low in key nutrients like potassium, magnesium and calcium.

-Sodium was varied in each group at the following levels: 3g, 2.4g and 1.5g.

-The outcomes they measured were diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

-The DASH diet led to better reductions in blood pressure than the control diet.

-The ultra-low sodium diet (1.5g) led to an average reduction in blood pressure of 8.9/4.5 mm Hg (systolic/diastolic) relative to 3g/day. Furthermore, since 60% of the study participants were African American and African Americans on average are more hypersensitive to salt relative to white populations, these blood pressure reductions are likely to be skewed higher than what would be observed in the average US population (e.g. 13% black and 73% white).

-This led researchers to propose these low sodium recommendations along with the DASH diet.

-The problem with these recommendations is that they were solely based on blood pressure reductions, not actual outcomes like cardiovascular events or increased risk of death.

-Had the researchers taken into account the studies mentioned above, which includes hundreds of thousands of people and looked at more meaningful outcomes, they would have come to a different conclusion.

-The conclusion the reader should come to is that ultra-low sodium diets will only slightly reduce blood pressure and will increase the risk of cardiovascular events and death (compared to the 3 gram per day safe minimum).

-Link to DASH-Sodium Study: Link

News for the Week (2/8/2019)

City of Sandusky makes Election Day paid holiday, eliminates Columbus Day from r/UpliftingNews

This undersea robot just delivered 100,000 baby corals to the Great Barrier Reef from r/news

Culprit found for honeybee deaths in almond groves. (Insecticide/fungicide combo at bloom time now falling out of favor in Calif., where 80% of nation’s honeybees travel each Feb. to pollinate 80% of the world’s almond supply.) from r/science

NASA Is Going to Knock an Asteroid Out of Orbit in First-Ever Planetary Defense Test from r/news1.5 Million Volunteers Plant 66 Million Trees In 12 Hours, Breaking Guinness World Record from r/UpliftingNews

How Psilocybin—A.K.A. Shrooms—Could Become the Next Legalized Drug from r/Futurology

News for the Week is posted every Friday. Click here to read last week’s news.

News for the Week (2/1/2019)

Canada Rules That Bankrupt Energy Companies Must Clean Up Their Environmental Damages Before Paying Creditors


oilImage Credit: The Canadian Press / LarryMacDougal

Paralyzed Person Regained Upper Body Movement After Stem Cell Treatment


Winter Monarch Butterfly Population in Mexico Increases by 144%


monarchsImage Credit: Getty Images

Investors Worth $6.5 Trillion Urge KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King to Implement Low-Carbon Emission Plans


News for the Week is posted every Friday. Click here to read last week’s news.

Asthma and Dietary Fats

Image Credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi/Pexels

I was entertaining a hypothesis that those suffering from asthma may benefit from a higher fat diet that includes plenty of saturated fat. My reasoning to explore the hypothesis is that there is a layer in the lungs composed of almost entirely saturated fats that helps with the breathing process and clearing out of a variety of bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. I went online and googled “saturated fat and asthma.”

The first result was “High-fat meals a no-no for asthma patients, researchers find.” Well, it looks like I was wrong… I clicked the link and read on… “Individuals with asthma who consumed a high-fat meal showed increased airway inflammation” I kept reading: “Asthma prevalence has increased dramatically in westernized countries in recent decades, suggesting that environmental factors such as dietary intake may play a role in the onset and development of the disease. Westernized diets are known to be relatively higher in fat than more traditional diets.”

After 5 paragraphs, I got to the study specifics: “Researchers recruited 40 asthmatic subjects who were randomized to receive either a high-fat, high-calorie “food challenge,” consisting of fast food burgers and hash browns containing about 1,000 calories, 52 percent of which were from fat; or a low-fat, low-calorie meal consisting of reduced fat yogurt, containing about 200 calories, and 13 percent fat.”

So… this study didn’t compare high fat to low fat diets. It compared binging on pure junk food to a eating a snack-sized portion of reduced fat yogurt and concluded that dietary fat is the enemy to asthma. Far too often, this is the status quo for research on fats, especially saturated fats.

Don’t get me wrong, there are bad fats out there and wrong ways to eat fat:

– Trans fats

– Any type of damaged fats (fried foods, cooking with polyunsaturated fats, or using refined vegetable oils like corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, etc.)

– Consuming large amounts of polyunsaturated fats

– Over-consuming fats AND carbs at the same time.

– Etc.

I kept searching for evidence to support my hypothesis. This was the 2nd Google search result: “Dietary fat and asthma: is there a connection?” (Link)

“The last two decades have seen an increase in the prevalence of asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis in developed countries. This increase has been paralleled by a fall in the consumption of saturated fat and an increase in the amount of polyunsaturated fat in the diet. This is due to a reduction in the consumption of animal fat and an increase in the use of margarine and vegetable oils containing ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as linoleic acid. There is also evidence for a decrease in the consumption of oily fish which contain ω-3 PUFAs, such as eicosapentaenoic acid.”

The research article goes on to talk about how asthma is more prevalent in those of HIGHER socio-economic status. They found that non-manual workers consumed significantly more linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated fat). I have to wonder if this could be because people in higher socio-economic classes may be more concerned about health and diet and more likely to listen to the “experts” who have been telling us to avoid saturated fats and eat more polyunsaturated fats, which results in eating things we now know are bad like margarine, Crisco, salad dressings made from refined vegetable oils, snack foods made with soybean oil, etc.

Food for thought,

MK Gus

PS: After doing more research, the following conclusion seems accurate:

Don’t replace natural fats (even if they are saturated) with processed fats.

– A Finnish study found that children who ate the most margarine were more likely to develop asthma compared to healthy kids who ate more butter.

– An Australian study found that children who ate large amounts of margarine and foods fried in polyunsaturated vegetable oils were twice as likely to development asthma.

– Don’t eat trans fats. Trans fats can take the place of saturated fats in the body but fail to perform the necessary roles of saturated fats, which leads to disease.

– Don’t overeat polyunsaturated fat. High levels of polyunsaturated fat in the diet cause inflammation in the body. Keep the balance of omega 6 to omega 3 about equal and no more than 4 to 1. Omega 3’s are found in fatty fish like salmon and omega 6’s are found in some nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil and in high levels in polyunsaturated oils. (The average American consumes a ratio of 16:1 to 25:1 – far too high).