Most Americans today eat too much refined salt. While our bodies do need some sodium to survive, the amount is very little. Many health experts say that 220 milligrams (mg) to 500 mg per day is more than enough.
The federal Dietary Guidelines now say that Americans should eat no more than 2300 mg of sodium per day. That's just less than one teaspoon of added salt. While it's easy to cut down on salt at home, what about when you eat out in restaurants? There you could get several days allotment of salt in a single meal. But with a few easy guidelines, you can keep your salt intake well within reason and still enjoy a delicious meal. How Refined Salt Affects Your Health Salt, as it occurs in the Earth, is a complex crystal containing eighty-four elements that are vital to life. These include sodium, magnesium, silicum, chloride, calcium, titanium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, zirconium, silver, iodine, platinum, gold, and many more.
These nutrients are the same elements originally found existing in the "primal ocean" where all life originated, and the same elements our bodies need for good health. By contrast, refined table salt contains none of its original minerals. To make refined table salt, natural salt from the sea or mines is refined to pure sodium chloride. Then sodium ferro cyanide and green ferric ammonium citrate are added as anti caking agents.
If you purchase iodized salt, it also contains potassium iodine, dextrose (that's refined sugar) to help stabilize the iodine, and sodium carbonate to preservative the color of the salt. Instead of building health, eating refined salt destroys body health. Whether or not we are aware of the dangers of sodium chloride, our bodies recognize sodium chloride as an unnatural substance--a poison--and try to eliminate it as quickly as possible.
The problem is, we eat more salt than our bodies can process out. Here in the United States, our average daily consumption of table salt is between 0.4 ounces and 0.7 ounces.
Our bodies are only able to excrete 0.17 ounces to 0.25 ounces a day through our kidneys, depending on our age, constitution and sex. Our bodies then try to neutralize whatever sodium chloride is left in the body by surrounding it with water molecules in order to break it down into sodium and chloride.
For this process, our bodies take water from our cells. Without water, our body cells die. The result is edema, or excess fluid in the body tissue. This is why doctors tell us to avoid salt.
If there is more sodium chloride in a body than it can neutralize by pulling water out of cells, the body get rids of the excess sodium chloride by making it into new crystals. These are deposited directly in the bones and joints and are known as arthritis, gout, and kidney and gall bladder stones. Refined salt also contributes to high blood pressure, which greatly increases the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Why So Much Salt is Used in Restaurant Foods About 93 percent of the salt produced throughout the world is used directly for industrial purposes.
It is essential to make products such as laundry detergent, varnish, plastics and other products. For these industrial uses, chemical processes require pure sodium chloride. To obtain sodium chloride, all the essential minerals and trace elements that make natural salt so vital to life are removed discarded as impurities. Since sodium chloride is already being produced for industry in massive amounts, it is easily available as an inexpensive food preservative. This is why so many ready-to-eat food products are heavily salted with industrial sodium chloride. The sodium chloride inhibits the natural breakdown of the food, increasing its shelf life of foods that would naturally spoil very quickly.
Since foods break down in our bodies with the same processes nature uses to break foods down outside of our bodies, sodium chloride in food products also makes them more difficult to digest. Refined Salt in Restaurants Refined salt is present in many foods in restaurants. Most restaurants cook with refined salt, and it is also an ingredient in most packaged prepared foods that restaurants use.
Because many people are now on low-sodium diets, restaurants are now accustomed to their customers wanting to minimize salt. Here are four simple tips for reducing your intake of refined salt while eating in restaurants. 1. Choose restaurants that make dishes from fresh ingredients rather than "fast food" establishments that serve pre-prepared dishes. While you will spend more on the meal, you will save on medical bills.
2. Choose dishes that are likely to be prepared from scratch and ask that your dish be prepared without salt. 3.
Watch out for condiments such as catsup, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, and salad dressings that contain a lot of refined salt (ask for oil and vinegar or lemon juice for your salad or ask for the dressing to be served "on the side". 4. Watch out for ingredients that contain a lot of salt, such as bacon and ham, and avoid them.
Canned soups and soups made with bouillon cubes also contain a lot of salt, so only order soups that are made from scratch in the restaurant's own kitchen. Bring Your Own Natural Salt Now, just because you are reducing the amount of refined sodium chloride you eat doesn't mean that you need to eat completely salt-free. The health affects associated with salt--edema, arthritis, gout, kidney and gall bladder stones, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke--are the result of eating refined sodium chloride, not from eating natural salt. When we eat natural, living salt, which contains all it's original elements, our bodies receive the salt it needs to thrive. Though you probably won't find natural salt in the shaker at most restaurants, you can carry a small amount of natural salt with you to use when you eat away from home. The perfect container for carrying salt is a small cotton bag (4" x 3") with a drawstring (don't use metal or plastic containers, such as a pill box, as they may leach toxic components into the salt).
By carrying your own natural salt, you can enjoy the enhanced flavor of foods with salt that will add to your good health, naturally. Read more about healthful salt at http://www.HimalayanLivingSalt.
By: Hilde Bschorr