I was reading something online the other day … that was so out there and crazy, I HAD to keep reading. Basically it was telling the reader that Americans don’t eat too much salt…they eat too much REFINED salt. And actually the ONLY way to salt your food for true health benefits was to use Gray Sea Salt, that is LOADED with beneficial minerals that are otherwise stripped from traditional table salt.
In the authors defense, we completely agree that table salt is NOT good for you. But that’s not to say replacing it with overpriced gray sea salt is much better. Gourmet salts actually seem to be all the rage lately … Himalayan Sea Salt, Purified Red Sea Salt, Organic bla bla bla.
All of it.
Does unrefined Himalayan sea salt from the depths of the Mediterranean have some more minerals than table salt?
That’s like saying orange juice is SO much better soda because it has a ton more vitamin C. Kind of a moot point since soda has no vitamin C.
Make sense? So since table salt has nothing really of benefit (unless you’re an athlete and needs to replace lost sodium), to praise the benefits of Gray sea salt (or any of the other "gourmet" salts) is not a fair comparison. I like that these are less refined, yes. But at the end of the day, none are good for you.
In fact, excess sodium intake causes over 100,000 deaths each year!
And since it’s a dietary factor that means it’s 100% preventable.
Seriously, but we STILL can’t stop eating too much of it?!
A study published in April 2009 looked at preventable causes of death in the US…
…and high salt intake accounted for more preventable deaths than any other dietary factor (approximately 102,000). Coming in a close second and third were low omega-3 fat intake and high trans fat intakes, respectively.
But let’s stick to salt for a bit.
Salt (or sodium) lurks in foods you’d never even guess (cookies, cakes, crackers, breadcrumbs, etc).
The America Heart Association recommendation is to eat under 2400 mg per day…
…Americans eat more than double that.
The easiest way to reduce salt intake is to eat less processed foods. Packaged foods, canned foods, fast food…are loaded with sodium.
Canned soups, for example, can have more than half a days salt in just 1 serving.
Have that as a side to a sandwich of deli meats and you’ve just hit your days intake in one sitting. 3 oz of ham, for example, has about 1000 mg alone!
So fresh foods win again. Surprise, surprise.
Here’s another trick – replace the salt in your salt shaker at home with kosher salt (or take it off the table completely). Because kosher salt is bigger, it won’t come out as quickly from your salt shaker, so you’ll use less.
I mean, you don’t have to do any of this…only if you want to live longer.
It’s really just the simple changes that make the biggest difference.
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