Monthly Archives: March 2011
Salt is essential to life, you can’t live without it. They type of salt you use can make all the difference. Unrefined natural salt is important to many biological processes that include:
- A major component of your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid
- Carrying nutrients into and out of the cells
- Helping the lining of blood vessels to regulate blood pressure
- Regulating nerve impulses
- Helping the brain to send communication signals to the muscles
Too much salt can hurt you as with most things. There is too much sodium in processed foods. All salts are not created equal. Table salt is sodium chloride. Most people don’t realize that there are differences between common refined table salt and natural, unrefined salt. One will damage your health and the other can actually be healing.
Table salt undergoes a lot of processing. It’s about 98% sodium chloride and the rest is chemicals like iodine and moisture absorbents. Unrefined salt is 84% sodium chloride and 16% other naturally occurring minerals including many trace minerals like silicon, phosphorus and vanadium. If you want your body to function properly, you need a balanced salt that has all the minerals and is free of pollutants. So you can see that there is a difference. In order for your body to try to metabolize processed salt, it must use lots of energy. It can keep you from an ideal fluid balance and overburden your elimination system. This can cause an imbalance of fluid in the cells. So this can cause fluid to accumulate in your tissues and contribute to things like; cellulite, arthritis, gout, and kidney stones. Some of the preservatives contain things like aluminum which may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
The American Heart Association suggests limiting your sodium consumption to about 1,500mg. day to decrease your risk for high blood pressure and weight gain but the CDC reports that less than 10% meet this limit and many are consuming more than 7,000mg. per day. This is about 3 teaspoons!
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition considers a product high in sodium if it has more than 500mg per 100gm. serving. The foods that are highest in sodium are processed meats which can contain up to 800mg. a serving! You definitely need to reduce this sodium. People with congestive heart failure need to maintain strict levels of sodium.
Years ago people salt was the only way to preserve food. It kills bacteria that causes food to spoil. Nowadays, we use chemical preservatives and refrigeration and salt may be added to improve taste in HUGE amounts in processed food. It’s used in lunch meats and cheese to extend shelf life. Sodium can also be another component in other ingredients like; MSG, baking soda, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, etc.
Can your sodium level be to low? Since salt is essential to good health, you need an all natural source. One example is Himalayan salt which contains 84 minerals. There is also Celtic Sea Salt with minerals and trace minerals to balance the body. These salts are delicious and taste better. You can also use these salts as a bath soak, sinus flush or throat gargle to stay healthy!
Bottom line is that we all need some salt for health and mineral balance but the type of salt you choose can make all the difference. It’s all about balance, education and a willingness to make changes. You can even lower blood pressure with lifestyle changes and get off medication in the long run. It’s never too late!
What does it mean to be healthy? It’s not always easy. The decisions you make and what you eat play a big part in being healthy. It takes time and you need to do it a little bit at a time. As time goes on, you get used to making healthier decisions. After awhile, being healthy will seem effortless.
Here are some ways to live healty:
- Realize that it’s not easy at first. None of us want to have extra weight, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or any other health issue. So why do we still eat unhealthy? It has to do with the foods available, our emotional ties to the foods and our lack of understanding what’s really good for us and what’s not. We need to educate ourselves and find out why we are attached to certain foods.
- Don’t buy unhealthy foods. It sounds easy but you have to be conscious about making that decision no matter what you’re doing or where you are. Pack your lunch. Replace unhealthy food with healthy food (that tastes good).
- Get support from family and friends by telling them that you are going to eat healthy and why. If someone teases you or tries to convince you to eat something unhealthy, don’t cave in! Stick to what you know is right. Misery loves company!
- Set goals and stay motivated. Why are you doing this? Write it down and put it where you can see it. Break it up into small mini steps. Remind yourself of your goals daily and reward yourself each step of the way.
- Make it liveable. You will be successful if you are making recipes you like and eating where you like to eat. As you make healthy changes, you will change. Find new places to eat and shop.
- Stop the negative thoughts. These go through our heads all the time! As soon as you get a negative thought, replace it with a positive one. Over time, this habit will change your outlook and you will feel better.