Unless you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and directed by a doctor to reduce your salt, there is good reason to add good quality salt to your diet. We have natural taste receptors on our tongue for salty foods and there is a good reason for that. If we don’t get enough salt, we die.
If we don’t eat salt or if we eat primarily low sodium foods, we may continue to eat more and more calories trying to satisfy our innate salt appetite. Just as people eat too many low-fat cookies, we might eat too many low-sodium chips.
Risks of Low-salt Diets And cutting down on salt can be hazardous to your health. Lower sodium levels are actually associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death. Low-salt diets lead to higher rates of cardiac events and to death. Low-salt diets are also linked to an increase in insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes. Also, elderly patients with low sodium levels have more falls and broken hips and decreased cognitive abilities. When we don’t get enough salt we may have cravings for it because it provides essential minerals to our bodies.
Quality Counts Quality makes a big difference when you are choosing salt. Refined table salt has been stripped of all minerals and bleached white. That mineral deficiency can create a mineral deficiency in your body that may manifest as a craving for salty pretzels, chips and nuts. If you add unrefined, unbleached sea salt to your diet, those cravings will diminish. Also remember that salt cravings can indicate that our adrenal glands, so important for hormonal balance, are out of whack and need salt.
Finally, unrefined sea salt can actually help us detoxify our bodies from certain poisons that are everywhere in our environment. Dr. David Brownstein points out that our environment is full of toxins called halides which include fluoride and bromide (found in bread!). Both of these can raise the risk of breast cancer in the absence of healthy iodine levels.
To detox your body, Dr. Brownstein recommends iodine supplementation, plenty of water, vitamin C and unrefined sea salt. He advises 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons per day as a detoxing agent. The best salt is unrefined Celtic Sea Salt which you can find at many health food stores. Himalayan Pink Sea Salt is another good choice which you can buy on Amazon.com.