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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Take it with a Grain of SALT

I consider myself a bit of a foodie. I love cooking, trying new recipies and coming up with my own and certainly one of the most important ingredients..for sweet and savory dishes is SALT.
Salt has gotten quite a bad wrap for the health concerns that an over abundance of this mineral can have on the body. Too much salt in your system doesnt allow your body to absorb calcium. Your kidneys work overtime to process it all and your body retains water to help dilute the amount of sodium in your system which puts more pressure on veins and cells and blood vessels. Heart issues, cardiovascular problems, ↑ blood pressure, strokes, heart attack as well as cancers, swelling, hormone inbalance, dehydration, and many other diseases can be greatly affected by decreasing your sodium intake.
The average adult consumes about 3500mg of sodium per day. The recommended amount is between 1500-2300mg depending on activity levels, weight and age.
We consume sodium without even realizing it! The amount you shake on your food at supper really is miniscule to the amount consumed in processed foods such as cereal, canned veges, canned soup (anything in a can really), premade dinners,  take out food, baking mixes etc etc.
For example:
1T unsalted butter 2mg sodium
1T butter - 116mg sodium
1T Margarine - 145mg sodium ****PLEASE.DONT EAT MARGARINE for many other reasons then just sodium
Apple - 2mg
Applesauce 1cup - 8mg
Apple pie small slice 26-2708mg
When you consistently eat premade, pre packaged foods you are consuming huge amount of sodium but it is also the MOST refined, MOST chemically treated, and LEAST expensive/LOWEST grade available. 
Lets quickly take a look at the most commons forms of salt so you can make the best decisions when it comes to adding salt to your diet.
Table salt - totally stripped of minerals, bleached, refined, synthetic iodine additive, plus anti caking agents make it pour nicely but hinders the dissolving into you blood.
Kosher salt - tablesalt in flake form but with no caking agents and no iodine
Sea salt - retains some mineral such as potassium, iron and zinc. It is less processed, typically unbleached though is getting quite processed.  Pollution on our oceans is concerning.
Himalyan Pink salt - contains the most minerals (some all 84 trace minerals elements found in the body), less.refined, less sodium per serving and hasn't been touched by pollutants.
I have all types of salt in the house but use the pink salts as much as possible. We eat very little processed foods and get our fair share of potassium (bananas, fish, dairy, eggs, seaweed) which does the complete opposite Im in the body that salt does. Salt is necessary but an overabundance can be harmful.   Eat at home, keep food simple, homemade and natural and in the end remember that SALT has one main job... to add flavour .. not nutrition.
Make wise, educated choices!

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