Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Great Salt Debate

For many years now there's been a debate about whether salt is good for you or bad for you. Common practice is to tell those with high blood pressure to eat a low-salt diet. And foods labeled "low-sodium" are supposedly healthier for you. 

Well, let's see if we can sort through the information and misinformation about salt. 

First, I like to start with God's perspective, since He created us and everything in this world. Consider these words from God about salt: 

Leviticus 2:13 - Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.

Mark 9:50 - Salt is good...have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.

Colossians 4:6 - Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt....

These are just a few of the passages in the Bible that talk about salt. 
-God told the Israelites to add salt to the offerings they brought to Him. 
-Jesus told His followers to have salt in themselves (figuratively speaking). 
-And God compared salt to grace. 
I think it's pretty clear that God views salt as a good thing. 

So if salt is good for us, why all the bad press? 

Well, the second thing to consider is what kind of salt we're talking about. Regular table salt is actually so refined and processed that it is no longer like salt, thus it's not good for you. Man has taken a good thing - salt, and "improved" it until it's now a bad thing for the body. 

If you want to read all the details on this, I recommend this excellent article by Dr. Mercola which exposes the salt myth. 

But if you've been eating normal table salt, it's not a good thing for you.

For the last few years I've been using sea salt instead of regular table salt. And sea salt is definitely better than table salt. However, I recently realized that even sea salt is not entirely good for you either. Because of the pollution of the oceans, sea salt is now more processed and not as healthy.

The best option for salt these days seems to be himalayan salt, which has not yet been polluted and also contains trace minerals. 

(Here's a brief article explaining the differences between table salt, sea salt, and himalayan salt.)

I found some himalayan salt at our local health food store, and I'm looking forward to trying it. 

If you're worried about himalayan salt not being "iodized," don't panic. =) It does contain some naturally occurring iodine. However, if you switch to himalayan salt after eating iodized salt, you'll want to be sure to add more iodine to your diet. 

I'll address this issue of iodine next week. It's rather a lengthy topic, so I want to give it full attention in its own post.

Any questions about salt?

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