Salt gets a lot of bad press. If you’re a lover of the salt shaker at the dinner table, you’ve probably been ridiculed by your friends and family and told to reduce your daily intake. Let’s be honest though; the facts about salt are far less black and white than they seem.
Your body actually requires salt (aka sodium) to function. Sodium is a mineral that is required for maintaining blood pressure and a normal fluid balance in the body and transmitting nerve impulses.
There are various types of salt. Table salt, Himalayan Rock salt and Sea salt. Known to enhance flavour when added to food, here’s the grain by grain breakdown of salt and how you can incorporate it into your diet and which types will give you the most benefit.
Table salt has all of its minerals removed. The challenge here is these minerals are important in helping balance blood pressure; this means the more table salt you consume, the more likely you are to experience gross blood pressure fluctuations. This is why doctors recommend a salt-reduced diet when you have high blood pressure.
Himalayan Rock salt has an impressive nutritional profile with dozens of minerals including calcium (for bone health), iron (to transport oxygen), zinc (for immunity), iodine (to maintain a healthy metabolism).
Sea salt naturally contains selenium, which helps to remove toxic heavy metals from the body. It also contains boron which helps prevent osteoporosis, and chromium which regulates blood sugar levels.
According to The National Health and Medical Research Council – they have set an ‘Adequate Intake’ of 2.3g of sodium per day. Most adults consume more than this based on the volume of processed salt they already have in their diet, let alone the amount that may be added to foods.
Foods that can be high in processed salt include:
- bread products such as crumpets, bagels and ciabatta
- pasta sauces
- ready meals
- tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and other sauces
- breakfast cereals
Processed foods, such as microwave dinners, are extremely high in processed salt. For the temporary convenience, the high levels of sodium within will impact your health long term. If you do choose to eat highly processed foods, we definitely recommend you steer clear of adding salt to your dish.
If, however, your diet is high in whole foods, you can feel free to add a little bit of Sea salt or Himalayan Rock salt to your meal - use it sparingly though!
Remember your health is not a race it’s a marathon and you need to be dedicated and in it for the long haul. Let’s start ensuring we are nourishing our body in the best way possible to help it GLOW!