Salt: Eat real salt to taste

Salt in wooden cup Dr. TheresaI disagree with the conventional hype that salt is evil. We should eat real salt to taste, but less refined salt. Real salt — like Celtic Sea Salt, Himalayan pink salt (halite rock salt) and Redmond’s RealSalt — contains salt plus about 50 other minerals our body requires for health.

Humans need salt
Salt has been tremendously important throughout human history. Salt allowed food preservation, facilitated long-distance travel, and helped deal with seasonal availability of foods. Because of this, salt has been used as a trading currency and for paying wages (“salary”). That is why we say someone is “worth his salt.” The word “salad” comes from salted vegetables. Salt tames the bitter taste in many vegetables. The liquid in salad dressing helps the salt stick to the leaves.

Relax. Many humans used to eat more salt
British sailors consumed salt pork because it preserved well for long ocean voyages. With refrigeration and other methods of food preservation, salt is less important for food preservation.

Salt isn’t just salt
Salt obtained in the traditional ways – mined salt or sea salt — is a mix of many minerals. It isn’t just sodium chloride. Humans evolved a taste only for salt, not for each of those other minerals, because the other minerals came along for the ride.

Refined salt lacks vital other minerals and micronutrients
When they “purify” salt, food producers remove those other minerals. These are then sold to you in vitamin pills or used in industry. One of the reasons we crave salt is that our bodies expect salt to come packaged with all these other minerals. In the natural world, we wouldn’t need to have separate cravings for each one. So we keep adding more salt to try to get the missing nutrients.

Iodine
In most salt, even in some real salts, one missing mineral is iodine, which is important for thyroid health. There’s good evidence that people, especially women, need iodine. Breasts need a lot of iodine, so it is more important for women. Himalayan pink salt naturally contains iodine. A great source of both Omega 3 and iodine is seaweed (kelp, arame, kombu). To make it more popular, marketers are now calling seaweed “sea vegetables”. I keep kelp flakes in a shaker in my kitchen. Seafood is great for iodine.

Try using a salt cellar
Good salt processed salt Dr. TheresaUnlike refined salt, real salt doesn’t pour well from a shaker. Unrefined, colored salt (pink, gray) tends to clump. That’s why we used to put our fingers in the salt cellar to sprinkle it on food. Some people think salt cellars spread germs. But salt stops germs, which is why it has long been used for food preservation.

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