What is the healthiest salt for your body? You may think that it is better to avoid salt altogether; especially if you have high blood pressure. Salt has gotten a lot of bad press in recent years and many people are under the impression that it is best avoided. There is a salt that is good for your health: unprocessed sea salt, which is taken in combination with a healthy diet of unprocessed natural foods.
In ancient times, salt was so valuable that it was literally worth its weight in gold. The word “salary” comes from the Latin word for salt, a connection that dates back to a time when Roman soldiers were sometimes paid with salt.
It is true that these days Consuming too much common iodized salt is a common problem., contributing to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular complications. The main reason for this is consuming too much refined salt. Refined iodized salt is often hidden in processed foods. Salt is an inexpensive way to make food tasty and is used generously in the production of packaged and fast food. Avoiding excess salt in processed foods is just one more important reason to eat lots of fresh, natural foods and less processed foods.
If we eat a diet based primarily on natural plant foods, we need some additional unprocessed natural sea salts. We need the vital “electrolytes” in salt, sodium and potassium, to control water levels in the blood and tissues. An excess or deficiency of any of these ions can be life-threatening.
Healthy salt consumption also plays a key role In other ways:
So why use raw sea salt? Minerals
The most balanced and healthy salt comes from evaporated seawater: natural sea salt. It may be slightly gray in color, indicating the presence of a variety of mineral salts other than sodium chloride. Processed iodized salt has only two minerals, while unprocessed natural salt has hundreds. It will taste less harsh and more rounded than refined salt. I always recommend using unprocessed sea salt in my recipes, but this is not just for health reasons, it also adds a more subtle and complex flavor to the foods that are used for seasoning.
How much salt should we use to season food?
I suggest that the best level of salt seasoning in foods is the one that brings out all the flavor of the other ingredients. The best way to learn this is by making soup. If you add salt gradually, perhaps ¼ or ½ teaspoon at a time to a pot of soup, you will notice that the flavor of the soup “builds up.” At a magic point, the soup will taste “full”, without being salty at all. If you keep adding salt it will start to dominate and your soup will start to taste salty. Well seasoned food is a sign of an experienced and skilled cook. Keep practicing!
An important note about additives in regular iodized salt
Many cooking salts contain hydroscopic (water absorbing) additives. These help prevent salt from building up and absorbing water. They are not added for the sake of our health! Bright, flowing white salt is sure to have additives. Read the packaging carefully and if possible buy “raw” or “certified organic” sea salt.
Copyright Roger Wild and Wild Health 2007