Posted on 18th October 2023 at 07:29
Yes, it’s another case of déjà vu!
Having revisited the topic of Glyphosate a couple of a weeks’ ago – you can find it here if you missed it – we’re going to take another look at a topic that’s turned out to be much more complicated than anticipated.
It relates to one of those health mantras that simply hasn’t delivered the desired results, despite having been part of conventional health advice since the 1960’s. While it’s aimed at those with Heart or Kidney problems, it’s generally considered a “good thing” for our health and has become a basic diet guideline. To adopt a low salt diet.
As with so many mantras, it sounds deceptively simple and easy to make part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, it’s become clear that salt is a much more complicated topic than it initially appeared.
To start with – and a common misconception – is that all salt is automatically unhealthy. This simply is not the case. Salt comes in many different forms, from the white table salt we all know so well, to its very different natural cousins, such as sea salt or himalayan crystal salt. Not only is the amount of processing they undergo very different but, more importantly, so is their chemical makeup.
Table salt is just that, salt – or sodium chloride to be more exact. It’s a highly refined product – have you ever wondered why it’s so bright white? – and also contains anti caking agents and other substances to ensure easy pouring and a good shelf life.
By contrast, natural salts contain a wide range of other minerals and trace elements. Their very different colour, texture and taste are an instant giveaway of how different they are from white table salt. And this is all down to their minimal processing and lack of additions.
While this may not sound like much, it’s a crucial difference.
Because natural salts contain a range of other minerals, particularly potassium, needed for the body to be able to process and use the salt. If they’re not present – as in white table salt – then these minerals have to found elsewhere in the body and that’s where problems can start.
Ideally, it comes from other foods eaten at the same time, which is why having a wholefood diet is so important; particularly one high in fresh vegetables, salad and fruit. It ensures our bodies have the widest possible range of nutrients, as well fibre for a healthy digestive system.
However, if this isn’t the case, then the body will have to start releasing any stores it may already have. These may come from many different places including the body fluids, Bones, Muscles and other body tissues.
Which brings us on to another unanticipated complication.
Minerals can’t be released singularly, others are released at the same time.
So, on the plus side, the necessary minerals are made available to help process the salt.
On the minus side, not only is Potassium released, but many other minerals and trace elements too.
In the short term, this affects the body’s natural chemistry and balance, particularly the composition of blood and body fluids. However, it’s the potential for longer term damage to the Kidneys that’s a real concern, as they have to work harder to try and clear the excess minerals from the body. So, it’s no surprise that increasing rates of Kidney Stones are being linked to this. And this is without potential damage to the Heart and Cardiovascular System…
In addition, with the Bones being one of the main places that minerals are stored in the body, they can become weakened and demineralised as the necessary minerals are released to help process the salt. Longer term this in being linked to Osteoporosis.
Yet another example of one simple change having completely unintended effects across the body as a whole.
While it may seem like a simple way to address the problems of eating too much white table salt, it’s easy to see how focussing on one part of the jigsaw can have completely unanticipated effects…
The good news is there’s a very easy solution to this problem. And, there are no prizes for guessing what it is. Avoid white table salt. Not only in cooking but in the salt used to flavour food at home. Equally important is to avoid it in any foods you buy and, by that, we mean anything prepared or processed. Even those marked as being “low salt”. And that means reading the labels on any foods before you even think about buying them.
At the same time, making fresh vegetables, salad and fruit the mainstays of every meal. It really is that simple.
Once you start to do this, you’ll soon notice how quickly your taste buds change. Processed foods suddenly taste very salty, as well as being less filling and appetising than their home cooked cousins. Yet another example of a very small change having huge health benefits.
As always, the choice is yours.
Picture by unknown author
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