Salt, whether table salt or sea salt is a necessary part of many diets. The table salt mineral content ranges from minimal to very high. In spite of its popularity, there are misconceptions about the mineral and its effects on health. While some studies have indicated a positive effect of salt on blood pressure, blood sugar levels and body weight, others show that the negative effects of salt have been exaggerated.
Most of the salt consumed in the United States comes from the earth’s surface. Rock salt contains magnesium, potassium and sodium chloride. Sea salt contains trace minerals such as iodine, calcium, and magnesium chloride. Table salt does not. Some people mistakenly think that table salt is healthier than sea salt because it is not produced via the industrial process that sea salt undergoes, which makes it de-mineralized.
Table salt was created by early cave dwellers using natural sources that were readily available. Today, the refined process of creating table salt uses an environment that is artificially refined and chemicalized. It is often lacking in minerals that are beneficial to human health. When table salt is refined, it loses most of its minerals and begins to lose its color, absorbing various other additives.
In addition, table salt contains a preservative, often sodium benzoate, which may cause cancer. There are several ways to increase the amount of sodium in your diet without increasing the number of chemicals you put into your body. For example, choose unsweetened fruits and vegetables, and choose foods that are not fried in vegetable fat. Instead of eating salt on your regular table, sprinkle your food with a bit of table salt. Be aware that too much table salt can be harmful.
There are some things you can do to counteract the negative effects of table salt. Many cheeses and processed meats contain large amounts of sodium, so substitute them for leaner cuts or don’t eat the whole pound of meat. Also, many herbs contain a salt-like mineral called potassium chloride which can be substituted for table salt. Herbs such as sage, Rosemary, thyme, oregano and parsley contain a potassium salt mineral that may help alleviate some of the same symptoms you experience with frequent sodium consumption.
Be sure to read labels carefully when purchasing table salt substitutes. Many table salt brands use aluminum as a salt substitute, and it is actually corrosive. Not only does it Leach chemicals into the food, but it can also damage your expensive cookware. Some companies, such sodium hypochlorite, use chlorine bleach in their table salt in order to neutralize the effects of chlorine. However, this bleaching agent is very toxic and should never be used in a food or drink container.
When shopping for table salt, look for one that contains a high percentage of salt. This will ensure that the salt does not have any additives that could leave a negative impact on your health. Always read the label on the container to determine what minerals the salt is actually made up of. Table salt that contains only sodium chloride will result in a sodium-potassium balance that is out of whack. The best option is to purchase a salt that contains an iodine substance, such as potassium iodide.
When shopping for table salt at the grocery store, consider buying it in bulk. While table salt costs less per pound, purchasing in bulk can save you money in the long run. Bulk salt will keep you from having to continually purchase replacement salt for your family’s meals, as it will last much longer than regular table salt. Be sure to read the labels closely and pay attention to how many table salt minerals are in the product, as well as how many are in common table salt.