Janet Vargas - Independent Natural Health Researcher
An interesting question. I remember standing at a Bakery counter about 20 years ago when I bought a quiche as did someone next to me. We asked for a little salt to be sprinkled on them and the reply was, they can't do that, they don't have any salt shaker in the place and they don't use salt. Talk about extremists, they were determining what we could or could not do, based on medical blurb I call paranoia.
At that time, "No Salt" was being promoted - many people joined in the craze and some Cafes weren't placing salt shakers on their tables anymore. Being a Researcher, I commented to the other person that I had worked out about 10 things that can go wrong with our health if we don't have salt in our diet, some weeks before and listed them by memory to her. 5 related to Sodium deficiency and 5 related to Chloride deficiency. Imagine, no salt with egg? Yuck!
I've heard and read the other side of the argument that made some sense to me 1. that certain foods have some naturally occurring Sodium in them but who has those every day? 2. if we have a lot of Salt in our diet, it dulls our taste buds when it comes to tasting Veggies and Salads per se and when we cut out the Salt, we enjoy these tastes again (apparently it corrects a kind of paralysis our taste buds experience when consuming excess Salt). 3. Also, it came to our attention there is glass in commercial salt, that isn't good for our heart. Not to mention, I think it is bleached.
There are options:
We can have a quality Sea Salt, Himalayan Salt, Celtic Salt or Kosher Salt. They are HEALTHY for us and most of them contain 84 Trace Elements to benefit our health and they taste nicer:)
The thing is, Manufacturers and Medicos have unbalanced our Normal Healthy Diet in so many ways, with the Low Salt/No Salt Diet, Low Fat/No Fats etc and some new diets in recent years by certain Health Enthusiasts, advising us to have a High Fats Diet or High Protein Diet or Low Carbs/No Carbs Diet.
If they would just leave us alone in the first place, so we could keep to the Old Pyramid Chart recommendations and some exercise - which so many people don't have much of these days or they're overdoing it with strenuous exercise (not all Fitness venues give wise advice) we would all be a lot healthier. We need to tell Manufacturers to stop messing with our Food by adding HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and all manner of chemicals, we would benefit too.
Let's see the True Facts about SALT hey?
Why the Body Needs Natural Chloride
By Jeanna Smiley
Chloride is an essential trace mineral for human life, crucial for digestion, hormone secretions, carbon dioxide distribution, and acid-base balance in the blood. It inhibits excessive fat and autointoxication and facilitates nerve transmissions and kidney function. Chloride partners with other electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium to work throughout all our internal systems. The body excretes chloride rapidly, however, and the mineral must be replaced daily to maintain proper metabolic balance.
1. What Is Chloride?
Chloride (not chlorine) is an electrolyte -- a mineral that carries an electric charge. It is the most abundant anion in the body, present in many chemicals and bodily fluids, and is an integral component in some enzymes and proteins. Just a few of the ways chloride functions in the body include
- pH balance in the blood,
- body fluid regulation,
- nerve impulse conduction, and
- making hydrochloric acid which is necessary for digestion.
Some Scientists Are Arguing That A Low-Salt Diet Is Just As Dangerous As High Salt Consumption. What's The Reality?
Observational evidence is in abundance. After the Japanese government launched a campaign to persuade people to reduce their salt intake in the late 1960s, intake decreased from 13.5g to 12g per day. Over the same period there were falls in blood pressure and an 80% reduction in stroke mortality. In Finland, daily salt intake dropped from 12g in the late 1970s to as little as 9g by 2002, and there was a 75-80% decrease in deaths from stroke and heart disease in the same period.
In fact, some scientists are now arguing that a low-salt diet is just as much of a risk factor for developing high blood pressure as high salt consumption. In other words, there is a J- or U-shaped curve with a threshold at the bottom where risks starts to go back up.
One meta-analysis, for example, found a link between low salt intake and cardiovascular-related events and death. The researchers argued that consuming either less than 5.6g or more than 12.5g a day is associated with negative health outcomes.
An optimal level is always found somewhere in the middle – Andrew Mente
“The finding of a sweet spot in the middle is consistent with what you would expect for any essential nutrient… where at high levels you have toxicity and at low levels you have a deficiency,” he says. “An optimal level is always found somewhere in the middle.”
There you have it, avoid either extreme and aim for BALANCE!
Here is a professional guy who makes sense. Dr James Nicolantonio,
Dr of Pharmacy and Cardiovascular Research Scientist author of THE SALT FIX. He writes:
We are Salty Folk. The cells in our body are bathed in salty fluids. Just as we relish the satisfaction and savory heartiness that salt adds to our food, salt plays a fundamental role in dozens of critical functions in our bodies.
Salt is needed to maintain the optimal amount of blood in our bodies. It is essential for our digestion, cell to cell communication and prevention of dehydration. Sodium is also critical for the proper functioning of cells and muscles and the optimal transmission of nerve impulses to and from the brain and heart. Without an adequate Sodium intake our blood volume goes down which can lead to the shutting down of brain and kidneys.
Sodium Chloride, aka salt, constitutes 90% of the ocean’s entire mineral content is found in our blood. This has been known for decades. Cells can’t survive outside a narrow range of Electrolyte levels in the Extracellular Fluid that bathes them.
I find it so sad that countless people's health has been adversely affected or compromised by faulty Medical advice - like the Low Fats/No Fats also - and Governments promote it "in the interest of better health" to the public. Yes, sometimes it is nothing but propaganda we're taking so seriously - so unethical, so unbalanced. In the name of commonsense, may I suggest our Governments access better Information in the interest of Public Health before they go campaigning, instead of echoing messages Big Pharma wants out there and helping them rake in big profits. Please read my post Medical Profession And Big Pharma: Inseparable Allies – Be Careful!
Dr. David Brownstein in "Salt Your Way to Health" reports:
The technical differences between refined and unrefined salt. In the refining process salt is treated with chemicals to remove minerals that are then sold off for use in industry. Up to 2% of refined salt may contain preserving agents including the potentially dangerous sodium ferrocyanide, ammonium citrate, and aluminum citrate. In the refining process moisture is removed to increase shelf life, and the salt is bleached to produce a cleaner look that will increase sales.
Shows you the drastic difference in Cheap Nasty Man-Made Salt, doesn't it? Oh the evils of Manufacturers - we could all talk about them!
Here Is Another Medico Who Has Things Right. Dr Christiane Northrup MD Says On Her Website:
Sodium is an essential nutrient that your body depends on. And like any essential nutrient, getting the right amount is important for maintaining good health.
Why You’re Confused About Salt
There are a few pieces to the salt puzzle that keep people confused. One part of the confusion when it comes to dietary salt is that many people—doctors included—use the words “salt” and “sodium” interchangeably. However, they are not the same. Sodium is a mineral found in salt. Salt is a naturally-occurring compound comprised of sodium and chloride. Then there is table salt, which is created from natural salt but then is refined through a process of heating it to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which destroys most of its beneficial compounds. To use the words sodium and salt interchangeably is not accurate. But, to confuse table salt with natural salt is where you get into real problems, as with any refined foods.
Another area of confusion is the theory behind why salt is bad for you. The theory stating that sodium (and therefore salt) causes high blood pressure stems from the myth that when you eat salt, you get thirsty and drink more water. Your body holds onto the extra water in order to dilute the saltiness in your blood. This results in increased blood volume, which the theory suggests leads to high blood pressure. Therefore, the theory states, a low-sodium diet reduces blood pressure.
However, this theory has never been scientifically supported. In fact, some studies show that salt actually helps your body conserve water and makes you less thirsty. Additional studies show that the connection between salt and high blood pressure is more complicated or even non-existent. The Framingham Offspring Study—an offshoot of the Framingham Heart Study—found that participants who ate a low sodium diet (under 2,500 milligrams of sodium per day) had higher blood pressure than those who consumed higher quantities. And, more recent studies show that there is really no link between salt intake, high blood pressure, and risk of heart disease.
Why You Need Salt
Despite the fact that you will probably continue to hear messages that sodium is bad for you, your body cannot function without enough sodium, and the best way to get enough sodium is through dietary salt.
There are many studies that show the adverse effects of too little salt. Some of these adverse effects include insulin resistance and an increased risk of death from heart failure in patients with heart failure, plus an increased risk of death for both type 1 diabetics and type 2 diabetics. Low-sodium or low-salt diets are also associated with elevated LDL cholesterol and tryglicerides and low blood pressure (hyponatremia), which can be particularly concerning for certain populations such as athletes and the elderly.
And these effects aren’t just the result of purposeful salt restriction. Low-carbohydrate diets, such as Paleo and Keto, and certain medications can cause sodium loss. And even if you don’t eat a low-carb diet, if you don’t have a healthy microbiome, you may not be absorbing enough sodium from your diet.
Symptoms of sodium deficiency from salt restriction or poor salt absorption include dehydration, muscle cramps, headaches, weakness, irritability, and even cognitive decline. In addition, when you restrict salt, your body eventually will start to increase insulin to help your kidneys retain more sodium. Over time this can lead to chronically high insulin levels, a craving for sugar and refined carbohydrates, and a cycle of weight gain, insulin resistance, and even diabetes.
By contrast, adequate salt intake can help you to stay hydrated, prevent muscle cramps, support a healthy nervous system and a healthy metabolism, and even help you sleep better.
How Much Salt Do You Need?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the minimum physiological requirement of sodium simply to sustain life is 500 mg per day. However, in The Salt Fix, author James DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D., a cardiovascular research scientist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in St. Louis, says scientists have found that when people’s consumption of sodium is unrestricted, they typically consume between 3,000 to 4,000 milligrams per day. This amount holds true for people across all populations, in all hemispheres and climates, and across a range of cultures and social backgrounds.
You can read more on her webpage HERE. Congratulations Christine, for such an excellent article. Happy to promote her articles, she has a way with words, that’s for sure. One word of caution, many professionals need to be updated on True Facts with Soya Beans – they’re not a good idea. See my article about that HERE.
Interesting Feedback on a book about Salt I found on Amazon today.
I Salted my way to Health after spending several hundred dollars on various supplements to improve my health, it was the low sodium diet that made me sick. I had acid reflux, depression, anxiety, insomnia, high blood sugar, hypertension, and aching joints...ALL GONE once I started consuming SALT and water. I use CELTIC and REDMONDS and eat 3g to 5g a day of sodium. It was nice to hear an MD (Dr. Batman) say salt is good for you. All I could get out of all the MDs I saw were prescriptions. They never once asked me what I ate! The only suggestion I would make for books on minerals is to reemphasize how unreliable "normal results" with routine blood work are in representing whole body status...just says your homeostasis is working.
Hanna Kroeger, a Pioneer of the Natural Health Movement in America and a Mentor to many, had a remarkable grasp on which Nutrient to take specifically for what ails you. In her out-of-print book from the 70s and 80s Instant Vitamin-Mineral Locator she wrote the following about Sodium Deficiencies:
Adrenal Gland Exhaustion, Confusion Of Mind, Excessive Thirst, Hair Falling Out, Mental Depression, Loses Temper Over Nothing, Hysterical Behaviour, Glasses Have To Be Changed Often, Getting Real Angry Over Little Things, Bloating, Constipation, Gas In Stomach, Indigestion, Loss Of Smell, Hayfever, Exhaustion.
In the near future, I will be making another Post on the benefit of natural Salt and good healthy Water (genuine spring water or properly filtered).
By Law, we have to tell you to contact a practitioner about informative articles you read. In some instances, you may need professional advice. You could see a Naturopath or similar, that is up to you.
HOPEFLLY YOU ENJOYED READING THIS ARTICLE AND FEEL FREE IN REGARD TO SALT. IT IS NOT OUR ENEMY (if we buy healthy salt) THE MEDICAL PROFESSION HAS GIVEN FAULTY ADVICE. MEDICAL PRACTICES GET MORE CUSTOMERS THAT WAY, WHEN WE ARE LACKING IN THIS VITAL NATURAL ELEMENT. WHY DO ALL NATURAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS ON WEBSITES HAVE TO SAY AT THE END OF SO MANY ARTICLES WITH EXCELLENT INFO, TO SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PRACTITIONER? (which most times is medical). BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS THEIR MONOPOLY OVER NATURAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. WHY IS THIS SO? BECAUSE THE MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT BRINGS IN FAR MORE REVENUE THAN THEY DO. THATS THE REALITY OF IT.
The medical profession is actually a sickness industry whereas Naturopaths and Herbalists and Functional Food Experts work at prevention and getting you well. Tell me if that is not so? Do you see many of their patients recovering, or do you see their "waiting rooms" full with lots of the same people all the time? I do get tired of their scare campaigns, distorting truths and spinning yarns. In my opinion and other Researchers, just plain profitable fear mongering and the general public has been duped.
Disclaimer: My work as a Researcher is not to diagnose or recommend treatments. You can seek the help of a true health professional if there is some element of doubt. I encourage you to choose a Natural Practitioner over Medical.