Friday, August 13, 2010

Red Pill Reality Dispelling Blue Pill Delusions: Salt

An installment in the series: Red Pill Reality Dispelling Blue Pill Delusions

Just as saturated fats and animal-base protein food has largely been demonized by the Government and the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industry, so too has salt been given a bad rap.

Red Pill reality: Salt is not only not bad for's downright good for you and necessary for you to maintain good health.

Lets look at a recent "report" from the likes of the American Heart Association:

The U.S. food supply contains excessive amounts of sodium (salt), which makes limiting sodium (salt) consumption to less than 1,500 mg difficult. According to the CDC report, Americans over the age of 2 consumed a daily average of 3,436 mg between 2005-2006, up from a daily average of 3,329 mg from 2001-2002.

In recognition of this fact, the American Heart Association is currently working with federal agencies to identify strategies to reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply and is encouraging food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the sodium (salt) added to food by 50 percent over the next ten years.

Salt in the food supply? Notice how the press release says: sodium (salt).

What the American processed food manufacturers use is a highly processed, de-vitalized, nutritionally stripped and bleached, than laced with anti-caking chemicals "salt" that is added to the industrial-processed food supply.

That's not salt. That's sodium chloride. Real salt has approximately 84 trace minerals in it.Table salt is stripped of 82 of those trace minerals through high heat, pressure, and bleaching, so that only sodium chloride remains. After that, they may or may not add iodine (iodized salt).

Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, The Essence of Life, points out what should otherwise be obvious:

"These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life originated. We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid.
Salt, is vital to life.

Highly processed sodium chloride, not so much.

From an article that references Dr. Hendel,  Well Seasonsed: How Salt Can Actually Be Good For You:

Dr Hendel believes too few minerals, rather than too much salt, may be to blame for health problems. It's a view that is echoed by other academics such as David McCarron, of Oregon Health Sciences University in the US.

He says salt has always been part of the human diet, but what has changed is the mineral content of our food. Instead of eating food high in minerals, such as nuts, fruit and vegetables, people are filling themselves up with "mineral empty" processed food and fizzy drinks.
Due to modern farming methods, fruit and vegetables are much lower in minerals than they once were. Meanwhile, table salt is stripped of all minerals save for sodium and chloride. These changes, he believes, are responsible for the current prevalence of high blood pressure.

Nutritionist Patrick Holford goes one step further. He claims that high-sodium table salt has more to account for than just high blood pressure and heart disease and can actually create mineral imbalances that lead to health problems. "Minerals work together and need to be balanced," he explains. "For example, potassium and magnesium works with sodium to regulate water balance and nerve and muscle impulses. The more sodium you eat, the more potassium and magnesium you need. Few of us eat enough of these, yet we eat high amounts of sodium in {processed} salt. This leads to potassium and magnesium deficiency, where muscles become tight, nerves become over stimulated and you feel more anxious."

As magnesium is involved in maintaining bone density and hormone balance, low levels may compromise bone strength and lead to premenstrual problems. That's where swapping table salt for mineral-rich salt can make a difference.
"A lot of people say salt is bad, but bad salt is bad," says Amanda Nelson, founder of The Natural Salt Seller. "If you put a fish in table salt solution, it will die. Good salt, on the other hand, can be wondrous."

I spent years buying low-sodium or sodium free foods. Than I discovered the Weston Price Foundation website and changed my diet. One of the things I discovered from their site was the following:
We have been told for years to avoid salt, but following this advice can lead to even more problems. We are all salty on the inside--our blood, sweat, tears, and even our urine--it's all salty. It's important to replenish the salt in our body, using the right salt is what makes all the difference in the world. The best way to put salt back into your body is to use Celtic sea salt. This high quality salt contains over 80 balanced minerals from the sea. Celtic sea salt is essential for maintaining proper fluid balance and utilization in the body. It also normalizes blood pressure, enhances digestion, and nourishes the adrenal glands.
Celtic Sea Salt is very expensive, especially in comparison to table salt....but in Hawaii we have plenty of Hawaiian sea salt for sale in most stores.

I bought a salt grinder and big bags of Hawaiian sea salt, and now salt all my cooking with gusto. Eating only real sea salt actually made me aware of the difference between real salt versus sodium chloride. I had some regular table salt sprinkled on some bland vegetables while eating dinner at a friends house last week. Like most people, they were horrified at the idea of putting butter on their steamed veggies...ugh. No butter, only margarine. I said no thanks and grabbed there salt shaker.  I could immediately taste the difference, and regretted using it.

Try it some time for yourself. You'll see.


Anonymous said...

I thought this was going to be a review of the Angelina Jolie movie.

However, even reading some boring nutrition info is actually more entertaining than seeing Ms. Sausage Lips shake her collagen, so ...


108spirits said...

In addition to the minerals:

Sea salt: makes blood alkaline (you want a healthy pH balance)
Table iodized salt: makes blood acidic

Most processed foods have the latter, and thus increases the chances of the body succumbing to diseases and cancers.

Salty Dog said...

What about Kosher salt. Is it of any value?

Anonymous said...

Kosher salt is just sodium chloride in larger crystals. In other words, no.

Get real sea salt. It tastes better too.

Dennis said...

You say that Celtic Sea Salt is expensive. I googled and the first place I found was this, $5 for 1 lb. Definitely more expensive, but not prohiitively so, and that would last my family a year at least. Is this a the real deal, or just a cheap knock-off?

Keoni Galt said...

Dennis - that's only here in Hawaii, where you can only find it in health food stores at a premium...whereas I can get Hawaiian Sea Salt in 10 lbs. bags at Costco here for $6.

If you can find it cheap in your area, than by all means, enjoy!

Dennis said...

Thanks. I've got friends that make frequent trips to Hawaii. Maybe I can have them pick me up some. :)

I've been experimenting with the various Trader Joes salts, and I have definitely noticed a difference. It tastes better, and it doesn't dehydrate you in the same way.

Unknown said...

great article, but you missed the core of the whole problem. Ergo regular salt is 'sodium chloride' - unprocessed and sea salt is 'potassium chloride'.
All modern diets (excepting fringe diets such as eating healthy) are deficient in potassium according to USHDA - wonder why?
You need plenty of potassium in your diet and that is the reason to use sea salt.