Hey, It's OK To Use Salt! Stop the Non-Sense.
Salt is no longer the evil villain lurking on your table next to the stately and proper pepper (known as the master spice). Salt is NOT bad in general, we simply need to be more discerning in the type of salt we’re using, where it comes from and for normal use add it to food during cooking or just before serving. To be clear, processed food is the culprit and is where the average American is getting too much sodium, it’s not from the salt shaker. Salt, if used properly can add very different and beautiful flavor to your food. The mineral content in salt mined from many parts of the world provide our bodies with trace minerals that we otherwise would not get. My love of salt began after a quick education from Dr Joel Wallach. Check out his quick video on YouTube (You Need More Salt).
The CDC states that the average American is consuming an average of 3,300 mg a day of sodium and the USDA recommends we consume less than 2,300. Even lower yet is the AHA (American Heart Association) urging Americans to consume less than 1,500 mg per day.
The medical and pharmaceutical industries have convinced us that salt is bad and causes a host of health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. Our doctors have been urging us for decades to decrease sodium intake. Salt has gotten a bad reputation since the 1960’s and 70’s with the advent of the TV Dinner. As home life began to shift and working families had expressed a need for convenience and speed, processed foods became a way of life. The demand for frozen and boxed up foods filled up our freezers and pantry. Manufacturers found that using an abundance of sodium played several roles. Shelf life being the most important and of course, taste. Chemicals, salt and preservatives were added as means to increase “freshness” and allow food to keep from spoiling for months and even years. Sodium was also added in abundance for flavor. It was easy and cheap to add sodium to processed food and by nature humans crave salt and the more we get it the more we want it.
There is good reason that we crave salt. It’s by design and essential to move water in and out of our cells, balance the pH of our bodies and help our nerves function properly. For an in depth read on salt check out Chris Kresser’s article, Shaking up the Salt Myth: The Human Need for Salt
Again, Salt is Good! Three of my absolute favorite salts are Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, Fleur de Sel and Himalayan Pink Salt. The origin of these specific salts are varied and the mineral content is vastly different as seen by the color. The Hawaiian salt is black, Fleur de Sel is gray and Himalayan Salt is pink. These salts are unrefined by nature and due to its mineral content the color pigmentation is 100% natural.
Typical table salt is refined, stripped down to it’s basic components and contains additives such as sugar and iodine. Change your salt and add back the essential minerals that salt was intended to provide for proper and balanced health.
Oh, and there are many different ways to get iodine in our diets that do not entail the use of refined table salt… so continuing to use table salt for the iodine is not a viable argument. Check out this article from Dr Group on 7 Foods Rich in Iodine. Sea vegetables are the richest source of iodine but you can also get it from yogurt, navy beans and more.
Until next time.
Cheers to good health and pass the salt!