Too Much Salt Or Not Enough Real Food?

Do we eat too much salt? Or do we eat too little "real food"?

Salt contains sodium, a mineral necessary for life. But when we don't get enough of the other necessary minerals, sodium causes great mischief in our bodies.

Sodium is just one of the minerals that we need in significant quantity.

These are known as the macrominerals:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium

Many more minerals, known as the trace minerals, are used by the body in smaller quantities.

The Right Kind of Salt

The salt that's in supermarket table salt and in processed food is the wrong kind of salt: refined, industrial-made, heat-treated, and processed with chemicals..

It is refined salt; that is, purified sodium chloride. All the other natural minerals are removed during processing!

Fortunately it is possible to use unrefined, mineral-rich salt--the right kind of salt!

Read about: Unrefined Salt

Two excellent brands of unrefined salt are reviewed here: Redmond Real Salt and  Celtic Sea Salt.

High Blood Pressure

It is now believed that the lack of the macromineral potassium is the ultimate cause of high blood pressure. We can solve this by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other "real foods."

Read about what to do to prevent "salt sensitivity": Salt and High Blood Pressure

Where Does All This Salt Come From?

At least half of American calories come from processed food. And these processed foods contain enormous amounts of salt, more than anyone's natural taste would require.

Nearly 80% of the salt in our diet comes from processed food, not from the salt shakers at home or restaurants!

We couldn't even salt our food enough to match the salt we get in processed food.

The saltiest processed foods:

  • White bread and buns
  • Chips and crackers
  • Pizza
  • Canned soup
  • Fast food
  • Frozen dinners
  • Cold cuts and processed meat

Potassium and other minerals are lost from food because of the techniques used by food manufacturers: baking, extruding, and other processes at high temperatures.

Read more about: Processed Food

The Missing Macrominerals

Our biggest problems with salt all involve deficiencies in the other minerals:

1. Processed food contains a huge amount of purified sodium chloride, but very little of the other macrominerals.

2. Purified sodium chloride is used by food manufacturers and by us at home, and it's the wrong kind of salt.

3. Deficiency in the other macrominerals causes “salt sensitivity” and high blood pressure.

It is not that we use too much salt, but that we get too few of the other macrominerals.