The #1 Thing People Get Wrong About Salt

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For the longest time sodium has been given a bad rap.  So many products advertise as low sodium because somewhere along the way we’ve been told that sodium is bad for us. But let’s take a deeper look at this because only one study showed any relationship between high blood pressure and consuming sodium, and it was called the dash sodium study.  This study didn’t highlight the fact that they also lowered the sugar in the participant’s diets which is what really resulted in the lower blood pressure more than the salt. Even a recent study that involved 6000 people showed that there is no strong evidence in relationship between eating salt or sodium and increasing blood pressure. Why would that be? Simply because sodium is an essential mineral which means it’s necessary for survival. But you need to have it the right amounts and we need about 1000 milligrams a day that’s probably 1/4 teaspoon a day of salt. We must understand that salt is sodium chloride not just sodium. About half of that sodium chloride is sodium so you need a little bit more salt than you do sodium. We need this sodium to regulate our heart, our fluids, it acts like an electrolyte that allows the balance of fluid and it controls the volume of fluid through our body. It works with other minerals to maintain that balance and without that essential mineral we would have all sorts of problems with our muscles, our heart,  and our brain.

Low Sodium

Low sodium in the blood leads to a condition called hyponatremia.  This is simply low sodium in the blood due to drinking lots of water and very little salt. When we don’t eat salt and drink lot of water, we are just flushing out the electrolytes. The end result is very low sodium in the blood which could lead to a lot of heart problems, swelling in the brain, or even death. So how do we know if we need sodium? Quite simply if you crave salt then you need it.

Too Much Sodium

If there is fluid retention in the legs, fingers, or body there’s probably too much sodium in the body. But instead of reducing sodium, it’s much more important to raise the other electrolyte that works with sodium and that is potassium. We need about four times the amount of potassium than we do sodium. The best source of potassium is vegetables, and you need about 7 to 9 cups of vegetables daily to get the potassium to balance out the sodium. The average person consumes about 3400 milligrams of sodium and only 1000 milligrams of potassium, so their ratios are off which leads to fluid retention.

What to Avoid

There are a lot of hidden salts like MSG – monosodium glutamate in fast foods and ready made or canned foods. These are the kind of salts to avoid.  Also, eating sugar depletes potassium and retains sodium.  That’s why you can gain a pound of water after consuming some sugar. So, again, it’s the junk food, MSG that that increases the sodium.

It’s not a good idea to consume one mineral by itself but instead you want to consume it in a complex like sea salt versus just taking sodium.

Adrenal Burn Out

If your adrenal glands are burnt out, you’re not going to have the hormones like aldosterone or the mineral corticoids which are hormones that regulate minerals, specifically, salt and potassium. When the adrenal glands are burnt out you lose salt and therefore crave it.  For example, you get home and you’re burnt out you’re tired and you’re craving salt, so you consume something salty. Then what would likely happen is that you’ll crave some sweet and some salt together because people that are low in minerals also have low blood sugar issues. The likely source of these cravings and low blood sugar problems is adrenal gland burn out.

Type of Salt

The best is Himalayan salt because its source is from a mountaintop which used to be an ocean a long time ago. It’s the most pure, unpolluted sea salt. You want to try to avoid getting the sea salt that is in the current environment because there is a lot of sewage and chemicals in it. There is also black Himalayan salt which is high in sulfur. But it tastes like eggs because of the high sulfur content so it may not appeal to everyone. However, sulfur is very good for the liver and skin because it’s a detoxifying mineral.

In Praise of Salt

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For the last 40 years or so, salt has been getting a really bad reputation. Many people are terrified of salting their food, and actually think salt is UNHEALTHY for you.

Time for MYTH BUSTING!! The body needs salt and the electrolytes it provides.

Salt, NaCl, is an ionic compound made of sodium and chloride ions. It has been important to humans for thousands of years, because all life has evolved to depend on it.

Humans, like all life, need dietary salt to survive. Salt’s ability to preserve food was a founding contributor to all civilization. It helped to eliminate dependence on seasonal availability of food, and made it possible to ship some foods over long distances. (Think preserves, pickling food etc).

However, salt was difficult to obtain, so it was a highly valued trade item, and considered a form of currency by certain peoples. In fact the Roman historian Pliny the Elder stated as an aside in his Natural History’s discussion of sea water, that “in Rome … the soldier’s pay was originally salt and the word ‘salary’ derives from it …”

I was one of these people, rarely used salt except maybe to salt the water for my gluten free pasta noodles. But I found out this summer how much my body really loves salt, when friends invited us out to swim in their salt water pool. We took my 90 year old mother, my daughter and son for a daily 30 minute swim. Mum’s wrinkles softened, her body thrived, her aches and pains disappeared and all she did was float and soak. My daughter’s persistent rashes disappeared, and her skin felt like silk. At first we thought it was because we were enjoying the sun – Barrie summers are so short – but we didn’t get the same results in a chlorine pool at all.

By the end of October, my body was missing our beautiful swims, not just because I missed the exercise, but it missed the salt waters healing properties!!

Epsom salt baths didn’t feel quite the same (my tub’s not big enough to splash around in, and I am too impatient to sit around idle in a tub, I prefer to shower).  Since my skin was getting dry I tried an experiment … mixing salt with my favorite moisturizer – coconut oil. I’ve never liked commercial moisturizers because parabens make itch and inflame my skin).

The result was: An amazingly effective and gentle exfoliant. At 62 years of age my skin is smooth, and almost entirely wrinkle free. I do not even need to moisturize afterwards! My daughter loves it too.

I used different salts till I found the right texture. Sea salt took too long to melt and was course, Himalayan salt was too rough and didn’t melt at all, but my favorite believe it or not is normal Sifto or Windsor salt. It melts quickly and isn’t abrasive, and most people are somewhat thyroid deficient in Ontario anyway so the fact that it is iodized is just fine, and I mixed it with coconut oil, added a dash of my favorite essential oil/aroma i.e calming lavender or rose, zesty tangerine or lemon to wake me up in the mornings.

Try it… I’m positive you will love it! Your body and senses will thank you. And your kids and significant other will comment on the silky smoothness of your skin.

By the way, if you have really sensitive skin use baking soda instead of salt, it’s very finely ground, and melts easily too, this is my daughter’s favourite facial scrub. You do not need a lot; a little goes a long way.

Worried about salt ingestion? Actually all the hoopla we listen to has been proven to be outdated and a result of faulty conclusions to data accumulated in the 1940’s. It comes from a time when everyone ate canned goods preserved with salt. Now we have refrigerators and we are more health conscious and eat fresh.  Enjoy, but don’t overdo the pretzels and potato chips.

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Blog by Guest Author:

01Jessy headshotJessy Morrison
For over 25 years now, Jessy Morrison has been called The UNflakey Reiki Lady/ a Body Talker/a Body Whisperer/ and a  Healing Catalyst,  but really, she is just a rebel with a cause. As single mother of a daughter who had “every allergy under the sun” and “failure to thrive” she is making sure everyone becomes their own best healer by not conforming to being a “Sheeple”, by embodying their true authentic self.
She was a Founding Member of the Ontario BodyTalk Association, co-founder of the Whole Life Learning Collective, & is the founder of Transformational Tuesdays for Soul-opreneurs. She is a contributing author to “The joy of an ex”, Another View, and Women with Vision Magazine, yet her passion is still working 1:1 with clients to heal their dis-ease labels, reclaim their bodies, refresh their mind, and renew their spirit.

Although she’s still a work in progress, her passion is to guide you on your own journey from “I can’t…” to “I AM!”

You can contact her at [email protected]jessymorrison.ca 705-241-8680
www.jessymorrison.ca
www.transformationalTuesdays.ca  (soon to come)