Monday, January 18, 2010

Beware the Table Salt

Table Salt is poison. I know it sounds extreme and you probably don’t even want to read the rest of this because well, let’s be honest, salt makes food yummy. Don’t worry…I’m a victim too! Yes, our bodies need salt. We cannot function without it but the fact is our body only needs about 500-1000 mg of salt and this is easily obtained through fresh fruits and vegetables. Trust me, it is severely difficult to become sodium deficient. Actually, it is almost entirely unheard of in normal everyday situations.

So, you ask…what is honestly so wrong with a bit of table salt? First, we must understand that table salt simply isn’t just the salt sitting on your table; table salt is also referred to as cooking salt and this is the salt you find in condiments, grains and breads, canned or frozen foods, meats, drinks and pretty much all processed foods. Unless you go out of your way to purchase raw, unprocessed salt (sea, celtic, or Himalayan) you are eating table salt. Table salt must undergo a process called chemical cleaning. After becoming chemically cleaned, table salt actually turns into sodium chloride, which is an unnatural chemical and is treated as a poison once it enters our bodies. Plus, there are the chemical additives, iodine and fluoride, that we are forced to believe as necessary for our health. Then there are those things added without our knowledge in order to make the salt pour better or help it avoid clumping. Aluminum Hydroxide—yep, the chemical said to cause breast cancer and possibly Alzheimer’s disease…it is right there in our salt ingested everyday. No wonder we have so many health issues! And why do they add these poisons? It is all about making money and the marketing appeal.

Ok, so we know about the chemicals in the salt but there is also the fact that eating this type of salt causes the body to work overtime in order to rid it from our bodies. Sodium chloride upsets the fluid balance in our body and overburdens the elimination systems. Water molecules must surround the sodium chloride to break up the structures (sodium and chloride ions) in order for the body to be able to neutralize the salt. The water is stolen from our hydrated cells and this leaves the cells dehydrated, dry, and rigid and can end up prematurely killing them. All this causes excess fatigue, arthritis, kidney and gallbladder stones, poor blood flow (slow recovery from workouts…not cool salt just not cool), and ugly cellulite.

I think most of us know how to cut our salt intake but it never hurts to reiterate the facts. First, make sure to keep all salt eating below 2000mg a day and the 2000mg doesn’t mean… oh, I ate some soy sauced veggies (soy sauce contains 1000mg of salt per tablespoon) and I don’t really know how much salt that was so let’s just say 500mg. No people. You need to make calculated judgments. It’s your health here! Eat foods that you know are salt free or super low in sodium or if you do go out to eat RESEARCH the menu options and yes, all dressings are loaded with salt. Fresh fruits and Vegetables are free (careful with frozen) as that isn’t where are problem lies. Processed foods are all but evil. Condiments are table salts deceivingly dressed in a tasty disguise and meats rarely are void of salt injections. You need to immediately replace all table salts with celtic, Himalayan, or sea salts -- these are easy unnoticeable replacements that can save you big time but remember even with raw unprocessed salts we need to make sure we stay below 2000mg. Be conscious of what you are eating!


NJ said...

Great post...I've been hearing a lot lately about how bad salt truly is for us and how it poisons out body, but I hadn't gotten as far as doing my own research yet. Heart disease runs in my husband's family and he has recently become very conscious about his intake, but his dad still puts lots of salt on his food despite his heart attack 8 years ago and his numerous other health problems. He just won't change despite all the proof otherwise.

Do you have any resources you could point me in so I can read more? I find that the more I know, the easier it is to stay way away. Thank you for your blog...I've been significantly changing my nutrition after reading some of your posts.

Kate said...

There is a lot of scary stuff out there! Small changes in your diet can make a huge difference. Keep at it and keep educating yourself. Here are some great websites:

NJ said...

Thanks for the links!

Ewa said...

NJ pointed me to your post. I used to love salt, actually I still do only ever since I started looking deeper into my diet I realized that this is not what nature had in mind for us to consume in such quantities.
Good post, thank you.