Excessive amounts of salt in the diet damages healthy bacteria living in our intestines and leads to high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and fatigue.
But we need some salt. If you perspire, whether it's from exercising, using a sauna, or living in a hot climate, you can lose too much sodium and other minerals in your sweat causing serious consequences, even death.
People with weak adrenals often don’t retain enough salt leading to excessively low blood pressure, so they need extra salt.
According to Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt: A World History, humans began to include salt in their diets once crops were cultivated and grains introduced. Salt mobilizes enzymes that help to digest grains and balance their acidity with alkalinizing minerals. (Unless it’s conventional salt, stripped of its natural minerals, in which case it will only increase the acidifying effect of eating grains. More about that later.)
The problem is most people are getting too much salt, and it’s the wrong kind.
Too Much Salt!
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day (about a teaspoon) and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg a day (a little more than ½ a teaspoon) for most adults, especially for those with high blood pressure. But according to the FDA, Americans consume on average 3,400 mg per day.
Where’s all this sodium coming from? About 10% is found naturally in food; 15% comes from salt added at the table or during cooking; and 75% or more comes from processed and restaurant foods.
Eating real, unprocessed food prepared at home while being mindful about the salt you’re adding is the simple answer. Most Americans have developed a taste for a high-salt diet, so some adjustment may be needed initially.
The Right Kind of Salt
The right kind of salt comes with all its natural minerals in ratios similar to those found in the ocean and in human body fluids. It’s hand-harvested by skilled salt farmers in a traditional way passed down through generations. The resulting salt is NaCl crystals embedded in brine called the "Mother Liquor" which contains more than 80 different minerals and trace elements. This salt will always be moist. We sell such a salt at Beyond Health, Celtic Sea Salt.
Unfortunately, this is not the kind of salt most people are consuming; even those who go out of their way to get "natural sea salt" froSalt, sodium, minerals, acidity, alkalinity, adrenals, blood pressure, grains, American Heart Association recommendations, processed food, Celtic Sea Salt, refined salt, aluminum, salt cravings, Beyond Healtm the health food store.
The wrong kind of salt, refined salt, is sodium chloride (NaCl) stripped bare. (Refined salt is 99% NaCl;
the salt described above is 84% NaCl.) Like refined sugar and refined flour, refined salt is an anti-nutrient; foreign to the body, it robs the body's nutrient stores in order to process it. It also disturbs cell chemistry.
This salt is an industrialized product that has been heated (which disrupts its molecular structure), iodized, and bleached. It can be a major source of aluminum. Silicoaluminate and/or aluminum calcium silicate are added to table salt to help it run freely and not cake. Other chemicals can be added including dextrose (sugar).
Conventional, refined salt has an undesirable acidic effect on the body. The right kind of salt, such as Celtic Sea Salt, is alkaline because it’s filled with its natural minerals.
Eating conventional salt can also create salt cravings leading to overconsumption, whereas eating Celtic Sea Salt will diminish the cravings. Why? The cravings are really for the magnesium and other minerals found in traditionally harvested sea salt but missing in conventionally processed salt (even salt labeled "sea salt").