Not all salt is created equal.
Salt has earned a bad wrap in the media, and for good reason. Mainstream table salt is horrendous for your health – but not all salt is bad! Contrary to popular belief, you actually NEED salt in your diet to survive. Salt is essential to our human bodies –problems only occur because of the TYPE of salt in our diets.
Table salt started out innocently enough, but over time manufacturers found faster, cheaper, and easier ways to manufacture it causing the once natural salt to not even slightly resemble its original state.
Let’s look at why table salt is bad today:
1. It causes hypertension and heart disease
The more table salt you eat, the more water your body retains. This causes elevated blood pressure. Hypertension is prolonged elevated blood pressure which in turn leads to heart disease. When you have elevated blood pressure your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. When a muscle is constantly under pressure it becomes thicker and larger, which over time actually makes the heart much less efficient at pumping your blood. This is what eventually leads to heart failure!
2. It causes strokes
A stroke is caused when blood flow to the brain is cut off. This often happened when you have high blood pressure which narrows the blood vessels and the blood cannot reach the brain. Numerous studies have shown that increased sodium intake is linked to increased chance of stroke.
3. Table salt is bleached
No, natural salt is not the pristine white granules that pour out of the Morton Salt tub you have. In order to create a consistent product, manufacturers decided to bleach the salt. Traces of this bleach remain on each granule of salt, so every time you sprinkle that lovely table salt on your food you’re also sprinkling on bleach. If that’s not alarming, I don’t know what is!
4. Table salt is completely devoid of vitamins and minerals
Naturally occurring salts provide trace minerals that benefit a healthy diet. Table salt has been so processed and stripped of its natural state that the only thing it contains is salt and iodine. Some table salts even strip out the iodine and then add it back in after it has been processed. The problem is that this form of iodine is not as natural and therefore not processed by the body. Therefore, table salt has virtually zero value to your health.
So, not to scare you off, but that’s some pretty serious stuff. The good news is you don’t have to give up salt! I actually LOVE salt, just not table salt.
The key is to find naturally occurring salts.
My two favorites are Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and Celtic Sea Salt.
Pink Himalayan sea salt is pink just like it sounds. Don’t be alarmed by the color – its all those minerals you are missing in your table salt! Pink Himalayan sea salt is actually already dried by nature and just dug up from the earth. The solids that aren’t edible are separated, and the remainder is the pink sea salt – how’s that for minimal processing? For that reason, pink Himalayan sea salt is one of the healthiest, most natural salts you can eat.
Oh, and by the way, you don’t need to go to some exotic store to get this stuff either. Check out this big tub I got from Costco. I just fill up my salt shaker with this and guests never know the difference!
Celtic Sea Salt is another great option. Celtic sea salt is completely unprocessed and unrefined. This sea salt actually is gray most of the time, and they grayer the better, because that means that more minerals are in the salt! It may look odd to you at first if you are used to pristine white table salt, but I promise that this stuff is even more delicious than you can imagine.
Any unrefined, unprocessed and naturally occurring sea salt will do. You can find this stuff in a variety of stores, and will almost always be surprised with a new color combination.
Eliminate sprinkling table salt on your food, but also watch out for food items that already have salt added. There are ways around this, and you can add your own healthy salt to almost anything.
The first thing I started doing was buying unsalted, unrefined peanut butter. I really love salt in my peanut butter, so the natural stuff just wasn’t cutting it. I now mix in my own sea salt and it is absolutely divine!
Any time you can skip the table salt and add your own delicious, healthy salt – DO IT! Not only will your taste buds thank you, but your heart and brain will as well!
Tell me - Have you tried sea salt? Do you like it, or did it take some getting used to? I'd love to hear your thoughts.