Food For Thought

 Salt, Sugar, and Oil: The GOOD, The BAD and The UGLY

Salt, Sugar, and Oil: The GOOD, The BAD and The UGLY

Coach Melanie, 07/28/2015

What I Learned from Dr. Klaper's Film

It is generally known that excess salt, sugar, and oil are bad for us and can lead to long term health issues. However, our bodies do need natural sources of these foods to flourish. Dr. Klaper’s Salt, Sugar, and Oil: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly illustrates how natural sources of these foods benefit our health while food giants addict us to processed foods that have the opposite effect. I highly recommend watching the video yourself. Here are some key points I took away from the film:



It is found in all living tissues in small amounts, in processed foods, and in the salt shaker. Salt consumption should not exceed the 1,500-2,000 mg range (about a quarter teaspoon) for people who are healthy and are not experiencing any health problems.

The Good

The sodium in natural, unprocessed foods is not a problem. We need this for mineral balance and electrical energy. Some natural sources of higher sodium vegetables are celery (1 cup = 104 mg sodium), boiled beets (1 cup = 131 mg sodium), and boiled beet greens (1 cup = 347 mg sodium).  

The Bad

Too much salt can cause water retention (edema), bloating, and weight gain. It can stiffen the walls of the arteries, leading to increased blood pressure which can cause strokes. High blood pressure also damages small vessels, which can affect the retina in the eyes. Excess salt also affects the kidneys by destroying the filters.


Good substitutes for salt are lemon juice, Benson’s Table Tasty and other salt-free seasonings, and flavored vinegars. If you choose to add salt to a dish, add it at the table and not while cooking.


Refined sugar is from sugar beets and sugarcane and is turned into white powder. Popular sources recommend no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men (1 teaspoon sugar equals 5 grams).

The Good

We need sugar for energy signaling between cells. Eat whole fruits, vegetables, and starchy grains, and you’ll get the natural sugars your body needs

The Bad

Processed sugar ages you, decreases the elasticity of the skin, and can form cataracts in your eyes. Because it is devoid of fiber, sugar enters the bloodstream rapidly, causing insulin to spike. Sugar in the blood causes molecules to become sticky and muscle fibers to stiffen, crack, and break. Excess sugar promotes intestinal yeast overgrowth that can lead to autoimmune diseases via the “leaky gut” syndrome.

The most detrimental sugar is high fructose corn syrup. It can lead to fatty liver, diabetes, kidney disease, insulin resistance, abdominal fat, teeth rot, and it raises high blood pressure to higher levels.


The best substitute for sugar is nature’s fruit.


Olive oil is not heart healthy! It contains 4,000 calories per pound and has 14% saturated fat. Those who are convinced olive oil is healthy usually align it with the benefits of the mediterranean diet. However, they should take into account that “Most likely, the heart benefits of a Mediterranean diet are due to it being a nearly vegetarian diet” (Am J Clin Nutr 61:1321S, 1995).

The Good

We need fat for survival, hormones, and for the skin and nerves. Omega 3 fatty acids turn off inflammation and are found in flax, hemp, chia seeds, walnuts, and green, leafy vegetables.

The Bad

Omega 6 fatty acids turn on inflammation and are found in safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, and peanut oils.

Omega 6 oils steal the enzymes that are needed to create eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are part of the Omega 3 family -- EPA is known for its role in reducing inflammation, and DHA allows metabolically active tissues such as the brain, retina of the eye, adrenals, and testes to function properly.

Excessive saturated fats stiffen the walls of the arteries and decrease blood flow to the tissues and organs, while trans fatty acids damage the arteries.


Do not pour oil on your food! Use broth, water, or balsamic vinegar for sautéing. You can blend vegetables, fruits, and nuts together for dressings.



It is too easy to use too much salt, sugar and oil, which can lead to many health problems. Do your body a favor and stick with natural sources of these foods!




Am J Clin Nutr 61:1321S, 1995

The Raw food Nutrition Handbook by Karin Dina, D.C.

Find the film here:


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