What is Salt?
Sometimes “salt” simply refers to table salt, which is commonly sodium chloride. In chemistry the term “salt” is applied to an ionic compound produced by reacting an acid with a base (ie. NaCl, KCl, CuSO4).
Too Much Salt is Bad
Salt is something that we are told is bad for us. Bad for our blood pressure, heart health, kidney function, liver disease, etc. Sodium deficiency can cause nausea, dizziness, even muscle cramps. It is not salt in it’s own right that is bad, it is the sodium.
According to UCSF Health the main source of sodium is table salt. The average American eats 5 or more teaspoons of salt a day. About 20 times as much as we need. Sodium is in almost everything we consume.
A Pinch of Salt is Good
The FDA recommends that the average person needs 2,300 mg. of sodium a day. To get a perspective of how much sodium we are actually consuming, according to NutrtionData, 1 oz. (28 gm.) of table salt has 1,0852 mg. of sodium. One oz. of Himalayan salt (pink salt) has 2,660 mg. of sodium. One oz. of sea salt has an average 13,104 mg. of sodium depending on the source.
The National Institute for Health says sodium is an essential element in order for our bodies to function properly. Sodium is needed for our muscles, nerves to work properly.
Sources of Salt to Avoid
Sodium is added to many prepared and processed foods. Not always in forms that are good for us, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrate, sodium saccharin, sodium bicarbonate. Even drinking water can contain salt depending on the source.
- Regular canned vegetables and vegetable juices
- Olives, pickles, sauerkraut, and other pickled vegetables.
- Vegetables made with ham, bacon or salted pork.
- Packaged mixes, such as scalloped or au gratin potatoes, frozen hash browns and Tater Tots.
- Commercially prepared pasta and tomato sauces and salsa.
- Don’t use softened water for cooking and drinking since it contains added salt.
- Salt substitutes made from potassium.
- Avoid medications which contain sodium such as Alka Seltzer and Bromo Seltzer.
- Calorieking is one site that lists amount of sodium in common foods.
Worth It’s Weight In Gold
As far back as 6050 BC man knew the importance of salt – cultures began relying on grain, vegetable, or boiled meat diets instead of hunting and eating roasted meat, adding salt became an absolute necessity for maintaining life. Salt was not only important for health but for preserving foods. Cultures without salt traded their gold for this necessary element. The history of salt is colorful and extensive proving its vital role in life.
Worth One’s Salt
The expression to be, “worth one’s salt” means you’re competent and deserve what you’re earning, is most often said to have its roots in ancient Rome. Roman soldiers were sometimes paid in salt or given an allowance to purchase it. Actually, the word salary is derived from the Latin “salarium,” which originally referred to a soldier’s allowance to buy salt.
Salt Tips for Metabolic Balancers
Eat more home-cooked meals. Foods cooked from scratch are naturally lower in sodium than most instant and boxed mixes.
Dr. Wolf cautioned that because metabolic balance plans are naturally low in sodium that for some metabolic balancers this could result in blood pressure that is too low, so it is important to season our food using natural salt.
Examples of natural salts
Using natural salts, such as the ones pictured below, offer a variety of important trace minerals. The minerals vary based on the source. Variety and rotation can offer balanced nutrition even when it comes to salt.
(left to right)
• (top) Sea salt with flowers – Goes in a grinder
• White with blue specks – Persian Salt – Goes in a grinder
• Chunky salt with Barlach – Pyramid Salt with Baerlauch (a garlic type herb)
• (bottom) Alpine Mountain Salt – Brownish salt
• Fleur de Sel – French Sea Salt, Damp and sticky clumpy
• Himalaya Salt – Pink chunky salt goes inside a grinder
If you have health concerns that require reducing dietary sodium, discuss them with your coach. If you are in doubt, you may want to check with your doctor.
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I am Myra and I am a a metabolic balance coach & a homeopath. If you like this post visit my other blog.
Photo Credit: Emmy Horstkamp