For as long as I can remember we have been told that salt is bad for us, it will give you high blood pressure and you will have a heart attack!
Turns out that this may not be the case.
Let me say that first, too much of anything is a bad thing, so keeping in mind throughout this post that I am not encouraging excessive salt intake.
What is salt?
Also know as Sodium chloride. Salt is 40% sodium and 60% chloride. You can get many different forms of salt. Sea salt, Himalayan salt and the table salt we all know to well.
Why do we need salt?
Aside from it may be making our food taste better we actually need salt! The essential minerals in salt act as important electrolytes in the body. They help with fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function.
What we all thought we knew about salt.
That too much salt contributed to high blood pressure and heart disease. New studies are now showing that this is not quite the case. This study (link below) found there was no actual link between salt intake, high blood pressure and risk of heart disease.
What happens if we restrict salt?
Evidence in recent years is emerging that restricting salt is bad for us as we are not getting enough. It can contribute to the follow.
Reduced hydration, especially in athletes Muscle cramps Higher risk of heart attack Headaches Weakness Cognitive decline in elderly Irritability Sleep disruption
Wow hey, who knew!
Which one is the healthiest?
They actually don’t differ a huge amount, but it seems Celtic salt is the king salt!
Table salt – is heavily processed however the pro’s to table salt are that it has iodine added to it so we do not become iodine deficient. Table salt has the least mineral content with the iodine aside.
Sea salt – its less refined that table salt with a slightly higher mineral content. However, it’s said to have a higher metal content and to contain trace plastics.
Pink Himalayan rock salt - is rich in minerals, containing all 84 essential trace elements required by your body. Pink salt can assist in many bodily functions, such as reducing muscle cramps, promoting blood sugar health and promoting healthy pH in your cells.
Celtic sea salt - is an unrefined, unprocessed and sourced from clean coastal waters. Containing unprocessed and naturally forming minerals contains a higher mineral content than Himalayan and even contains trace amounts of iodine, naturally.
Benefits of adding natural salt
· Balances electrolytes and prevents muscle cramping
· Helps you stay hydrated
· Can Improve sleep
· Supports a healthy nervous system
Recommended daily amount.
The government guild lines for an adult are 1 teaspoon a day (6g). If you already eat a lot of processed food, then you will be getting more than enough (maybe too much) so don’t add extra salt to your food. If you eat lots of fresh food adding some natural salt will benefit your health.
Take home message – moderation again!!