Which salt is the healthiest?

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Salt or sodium chloride, is another one of those very controversial issues with most people coming down on the side that it is not healthy and should not be consumed.

I think it is important to remember that salt is actually useful to our bodies in many ways. It helps maintain electrolyte balance, helps with the absorption of food in the intestines, acts as an antihistamine, acts to clear the lungs of mucus, helps lower the acidity of the cells, and helps regulate blood sugar among other things.

As with everything with respect to food, it is the quality of the salt that determines whether or not it is healthy. The refined white table salt that is typically seen everywhere really does cause health problems, and should be avoided at all costs.

First of all, in the refining and bleaching process all of the healthful minerals that were in the salt have been removed to leave only sodium chloride. Anti-caking agents are usually added which are frequently aluminum-based, adding to heavy-metal toxic load.

Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Sodium silico-aluminate and sodium acetate are also frequently added, and have been associated with kidney issues. The sodium acetate may increase blood pressure and water retention.

Sodium chloride is everywhere in packaged foods, so once again, try to eat fresh so you can control the amount of refined salt you are consuming.

Look for sea salt that has simply been air dried. There is far more magnesium and calcium in this salt, in addition to many other trace minerals, and the amount of sodium and chloride is much less than in refined table salt. This salt retains the mother liquor and therefore will be moist, and is usually gray or pink in colour.

Don’t put this moist salt in a grinder with metal parts, as the grinder will rust! Instead, keep in a glass jar and use a small spoon, or find a ceramic grinder. Be suspicious of salt that is completely dry.

Celtic, French or New Zealand unprocessed sea salt are the best sources. Only add salt after tasting your food. Adding a pinch of organic, unprocessed sea salt to each liter of water you drink can provide minerals in a form that is easy to assimilate, and can help maintain electrolyte levels, which may be helpful if you find that you frequently become dizzy upon rising.

Only do this if you are eating a diet fairly free of packaged foods, however. You can order quality sea salt here or here, if you can’t find it in your health-food store.

Related tips:
Remineralize your water

Chek, Paul; How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!  Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2004.

Chek, Paul; You Are What You Eat CD Series Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2002

De Langres, Jacques; Seasalt’s Hidden Powers Happiness Press, 1994.

Copyright 2006 Vreni Gurd

www.wellnesstips.ca

6 Comments »

  1. BEVERLY SHELDON said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 7:53 am

    I AM TRYING TO FIND SOME INFO ON WHICH KIND OF SALT IS THE BEST.I PURCHASED KOSHER SALT TODAY AND WONDER IF IT IS THE BEST,IT SAYS THAT IT IS 35 PERCENT LESS SODIUM THAN OTHER SALT,,BUT IT IS BETTER THAN THE SEA SALT THAT I HAVE BEEN USING THAT I GET FROM AMISH COUNTRY,IT HAS THE IODINE IN IT,I HAVE BEEN USING THE SEA SALT FOR ABOUT 7 YEARS,I HAVE DEVELOPED HEART PROBLEMS SIX MONTHS AGO,AGE 69,AND HAVE BLOOD PRESSURE PROBLEMS,,,I SEEM TO HAVE A LOT OF TROUBLE USING LESS SALT,,SO I WANTED TO FIND THE BEST ONE,,I AM NOT SURE ABOUT THE KOSHER SALT,,I DOUBT THAT IT HAS IODINE IN IT,,CAN YOU HELP ME WITH SOME INFO,,,,,,,,,,,

  2. Vreni said,

    June 5, 2008 @ 1:04 am

    Hi Beverly,

    Although I have not researched Kosher salt, I would expect if your sea salt is moist and grey it is probably quite healthy. If this is the salt you were using, I doubt it is what caused your blood pressure to go up.

    I would suggest if lowering blood pressure is your goal, to focus most on eliminating all sugar and flour products from your diet (bread, pasta, muffins, crackers etc.). High blood pressure is a function of high insulin, and to lower blood pressure you need to eat in a way that lowers insulin. I would also avoid juice and flavoured yogurt, and if you are really sensitive to sugar, you may even need to watch the fruit, and no-fat milk. Full-fat milk would cause less insulin response. You may find that if you are overweight, this may help you lose weight too, which will also help lower your blood pressure.

    For more on how to lower blood pressure naturally, and for a more detailed explanation as to why eliminating sugar and starch works, read my article Lowering blood pressure naturally.

  3. Michael said,

    November 9, 2010 @ 5:20 am

    Vreni..

    I agree with you about the article that you wrote on it. I had overweight and got congestive heart failure. I decided to change the foods system, I had to write down the book on what I did eat daily. I usally count the sugar grams, Fat trans and carborhydrate. Once I use 15 grams of sugars a day, Carb 240 grams a days, and be alerts on trans fats, but the salts should not be infernces because, the blood flow that need to be activing. doing exercise, that had to be sweat out the old salty from the body, My doctor surprised, and was told me that I am no longer to use the medicines. That is why we have to make sure that we control the weight managments. I lost over 130 lbs and feel great. I recommaned everyone need to understand about the label from the back of the foods igredients, it is importance understand how to handle the foods and weight managements, therefore life will be longer. Honestly medicines are not good for us because they can build up toxic and slow to increase pain and can lead to death. It the only ways to to keep your refines foods down.

    Michael

  4. Carol said,

    May 20, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

    Hi Vreni,

    I am wondering what is wrong with using unrefined Himalayan rock salt? It isn’t a moist sea salt, but is very dry and it is pink. Personally I think it is a wonderful salt, and I love it. I believe that It is much less likely to be contaminated than some other sea salts. Do you see a problem with Himalayan salt?

  5. Vreni said,

    May 20, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    Hi Carol,

    I think Himalayan salt is fine! Enjoy!

  6. Rob said,

    April 13, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

    Thank you Vreni for your always useful content. :)

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