Salt is a very misunderstood component of our diet. Most people these days associate salt with high blood pressure and believe they should have very little salt in their diet. This is absolutely incorrect. Good salt (like sea salt) is important for digestion, for the function of several of your vital organs and for getting contaminants out of your system. It’s crucial to your diet. So why all the fuss and the thousands of products and books touting a low-sodium diet?
Processing. If you read my previous post, you’ll remember that one of the most important things to avoid in your diet is overly processed food. Unfortunately, traditional table salt is one of them. It is processed at high temperatures which strips it of all trace minerals which are an important part of its use in the body. Once it has been stripped of everything, it is bleached and fortified with potassium iodide, sugar and anti-caking agents. Sounds delicious, huh?
This is yet another example of how we process things for convenience and appearance rather than nutrition. Consider the following:
- Anti-caking agents are great for keeping the salt from clumping, but think about that for a minute. In order to accomplish this, you have to make the salt less likely to dissolve in water. What do you think happens to it in your body? That’s right, it tends to cake up.
- It’s bleached. That’s not the kind of clean we need in our bodies.
- The trace minerals have been removed. Your body can’t really use the salt as it should without these minerals, which means it just deposits the salt somewhere rather than using it.
So what should you eat? You should look for unprocessed salt, or minimally processed salt. The most common choice for that is sea salt. The process for producing sea salt is simply evaporation. That’s it. But beware, there are plenty of companies that find a way to over process things anyway. As a general rule, if your salt is pure white, it’s not good to eat. Sea salt should be a shade of gray. Or you could try Himalayan salt, which is pink.
Also, keep in mind that there’s hardly any place on earth today that isn’t polluted in some way, so there is no such thing as perfect salt or perfect any-other-kind-of-food. Regardless, sea salt is a far better choice than traditional table salt. There are other, more expensive salts you can get that are said to be free of pollutants, but I’ll let you check out the links below and read it for yourself.