Is Salt Healthy?
Is salt healthy?
Salt is essential to good health and one of the most critical nutrients on earth for humans. Yet it’s one of the most “beat-up” by the media and medical industry.
In fact, chances are you’ve heard some of the following BS at some point from somewhere… ”Salt clogs your arteries. Salt causes high blood pressure. Salt makes you retain fluid. Salt causes osteoporosis. Salt is harmful for diabetics. Salt can cause all kinds of health problems and you should avoid it.” It is such a load of crap.
Salt is a vital substance for the survival and health of all living creatures.
We’re talking about pure and unrefined salt found in nature, NOT regular table salt that has had toxic chemicals (typically aluminium) added to it so that it doesn’t cake together.
Recently we’ve received many questions as to whether we can provide ‘low salt’ meals because the Doc wants you to watch your blood pressure.
Let’s clear something up. Any diet that does NOT include processed foods is going to be low in salt. Packaged and processed foods found in your supermarket all contain salt. A lot of salt. Most of it hidden.
The standard western diet rich in fast food, cereal, tinned foods etc. is typically a high salt diet in exactly the same way as it’s also a high sugar diet.
The act of simply removing processed foods from your diet and moving to a diet based on clean whole foods, will reduce your sodium consumption.
Salt alone does not cause hypertension. An unhealthy diet and lifestyle does.
High stress, regular alcohol consumption, low potassium intake via not enough fruit and veggies, inadequate hydration, low physical activity and high amounts of processed foods all contribute to high blood pressure.
By increasing your consumption of veggies, high quality fats, fruit, nuts/seeds etc. you automatically provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stabilise blood pressure naturally.
Did you know that those with high blood pressure readings were generally found to have low or inadequate potassium levels?
The typical western diet these days just doesn’t provide enough! Bananas are one great source of potassium along with dark leafy greens and sweet potato.
Studies suggest boosting your potassium intake can reduce your blood pressure and slash your stroke risk by 21% and may also lower your odds of developing heart disease. Interesting hey and just another reason to move to a whole food or paleo diet.
Restricting salt consumption can also result in elevated stress hormones in your body such as cortisol, which can lead to adrenal fatigue and chronic inflammation as well as contribute to insulin resistance. None of these are things you want! Salt in your diet may actually help us cope with stress not cause it.
The key here is to avoid extremes. Research is showing us that both low AND excessive levels of salt in our diet can cause stroke and heart disease.
Middle ground is best. Give the body what it needs to function optimally, nothing more and nothing less. This equates to about 2 teaspoons of salt a day.
We only ever use high quality Pink Himalayan salt in our meals for it’s incredible mineral profile of over 80 trace elements. We don’t use it in extremes but we don’t use it with a fearful hand either.
So the answer to the question of is salt healthy…… yes in our opinion as long as it’s the right salt used in conjunction with a nutrient dense diet and healthy lifestyle.
That’s our two cents on the world of salt and we hope it answers your questions out there on what can be a very contentious issue.