It makes your food taste better but it is bad for you, right?
It seems that the good vs bad salt debate depends on which particular salt is you are using.
The main problem is with refined table salt, which is the product of both a chemical and high temperature industrial process.
Table salt is processed in the same batch as vacuum refined industrial salt.
It is treated with caustic soda or lime to remove the magnesium salts, vital trace minerals, elements and natural iodine salts. Potassium iodide is then added to put iodine back in,this can be toxic, so it is stabilized with dextrose.
Dextrose turns it purple, so it is must bleached to make it white once again.
Harmful aluminum compounds such as alumino-silicate of sodium, or yellow prussiate of soda are added to prevent moisture from being re-absorbed. This helps maintain the dryness that stops salt caking inside its shaker.
The addition of these harmful compounds to refine the salt prevents the actual salt from combining with the human body fluid, which may cause oedema (fluid retention).
Sea Salt, in its pure form contains many essential minerals and elements.
Most people would know that salt contains sodium, which is found in all body fluids and is essential to life.
Sodium works with potassium in every cell in the body.
The inner cell fluid is high in potassium while the outer cell fluid is high in sodium.
These levels need to be in proper balance to work together, and are important for chemical reactions within the cells. In iodized table salt, these levels are out of balance due to the way the salt is refined. This leads to much higher levels of sodium than nature intended. High sodium levels decrease the amount of potassium within the cells, which may lead to an increase in blood pressure.
Sea Salt is a powerful enzyme activator.
Studies have shown that cultures with predominate raw food diets, (raw foods are high in enzymes) like Eskimos do not need much salt, whereas cultures with largely cooked diets like the Chinese, require high amounts of salt to activate the enzymes in the intestines. Salt provides chloride for the body, which activates amylases needed for the digestion of carbohydrates. Chloride is also needed for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Sea salt also contains many other minerals, which are essential in small amounts to prevention deficiencies which may lead to disease. Sea salt contains traces of marine life, that provide organic forms of iodine.
Iodine is critical to human health, it forms the basis of thyroid hormones and plays roles in many other human biochemistries.
It is essential to normal growth and development.
Iodine deficiency may be found in the Himalayas, far away from any ocean or sea.
The population have a high rate of Goiters which manifests through the enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Although Himalayan rock salt does contain many essential minerals, it is missing naturally occurring iodine. This means to cycle or mix it with sea salt to ensure an adequate iodine intake.
Many brands of sea salt are still produced by industrial methods, and when choosing which to choose first I'd offer the following tips:
1) The best you can buy is extracted by the action of the sun on seawater in clay-lined ponds.
2) Look for sea salt which is light grey in colour, this indicates a high moisture and trace mineral content.
Good quality sea salt is available in most health food stores, or alternatively simply by ordering online through organic suppliers.
As a last point, beware of processed package foods containing this cheap processed salt.
Ensure great effort is made to obtain fresh, whole, natural foods as often as possible, and you definitely will be reducing your accidental refined salt intake.
Add sparingly a good quality sea salt to any meal, using sea salt like this will not only bring out flavour in your food, it is also essential to your health.