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Eat - Salt

Salt or sodium chloride, is another one of those very controversial issues with most people coming down on the side that it is not healthy and should not be consumed.  I think it is important to remember that salt is actually useful to our bodies in many ways.  It helps maintain electrolyte balance, helps with the absorption of food in the intestines, acts as an antihistamine, acts to clear the lungs of mucus, helps lower the acidity of the cells, and helps regulate blood sugar among other things.

As with everything with respect to food, it is the quality of the salt that determines whether or not it is healthy.  The refined white table salt that is typically seen everywhere really does cause health problems, and should be avoided at all costs.  First of all, in the refining and bleaching process all of the healthful minerals that were in the salt have been removed to leave only sodium chloride.  Anti-caking agents are usually added which are frequently aluminum-based, adding to heavy-metal toxic load.  Aluminum has been associated with Alzeimer's disease.  Sodium silico-aluminate and sodium acetate are also frequently added, and have been associated with kidney issues.  The sodium acetate may increase blood pressure and water retention.  Sodium chloride is everywhere in packaged foods, so once again, try to eat fresh so you can control the amount of refined salt you are consuming.

Look for sea salt that has simply been air dried.  There is far more magnesium and calcium in this salt, in addition to many other trace minerals, and the amount of sodium and chloride is much less than in refined table salt.  This salt retains the mother liquor and therefore will be moist, and is usually gray or pink in colour.  Don't put this moist salt in a grinder with metal parts, as the grinder will rust!  Instead, keep in a glass jar and use a small spoon, or find a ceramic grinder. Be suspicious of salt that is completely dry. Celtic, French or New Zealand unprocessed sea salt are the best sources.  Only add salt after tasting your food.  Adding a pinch of organic, unprocessed sea salt to each liter of water you drink can provide minerals in a form that is easy to assimilate, and can help maintain electrolyte levels, which may be helpful if you find that you frequently become dizzy upon rising.  Only do this if you are eating a diet fairly free of packaged foods, however.  You can order quality sea salt here or here, if you can't find it in your health-food store.

Related tips:
Remineralize your water

Chek, Paul; How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!  Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2004.
Chek, Paul; You Are What You Eat CD Series  Chek Institute, San Diego, CA, 2002. 
De Langres, Jacques; Seasalt's Hidden Powers Happiness Press, 1994.