If you thought it was difficult to navigate the world of processed sugar as a consumer, go ahead and add processed salts to the confusion. Don’t fear however, Sweet Freedom is here to clarify what it all means and get you to a place of empowerment when it comes to using a good salt.
Let’s start from the beginning: salt is essential for human bodies. Every single cell of your body requires salt to operate. This doesn’t give free reign to add as much salt as you want to every meal you’re eating. The presence of added salt is completely unnecessary as the vegetation we consume, if it is grown organically in good soil, will have adequate amounts of salt found within it.
Most of us have become accustomed to our palates being assaulted by salt considering 70% of our salt consumption comes from processed foods. Food manufacturers add salt to enhance flavor and preserve the product.
Just like the processing of sugar, the salty additives make the food into a highly addictive substance that we can’t get enough of. This is good for big business but extremely bad for our health. This means you need to be on the lookout for added sodium to food products you find in the grocery store, even if the product is not salty in nature.
If you’re eating a mostly whole foods diet void of highly processed foods and are looking to buy a good salt, there a couple things to keep in mind. Just like sugar, most of the cheap salt that you find in the grocery store has been stripped of all of it’s nutrients and minerals that are found naturally in the salt when it is harvested.
In order to have a better understanding of the type of salt you should be looking for we’ll break down the typically used types of salt and what to watch out for:
Table salt is the prime example (just like white sugar) of a substance that has been completely stripped of any of its nutritious qualities. It is straight Sodium Chloride and is devoid of all of the other minerals that are so beneficial to our body. (Health tip: if you are worried about missing out on iodine (which is often added to table salt), look at adding iodine rich foods to your diet such as seaweed).
Sea salt has become a very popular salt to use because of its mineral content, however, make sure that you are getting a non-processed type of sea salt. Many of the cheap sea salts that are sold at grocery stores are highly processed and bulked up with additives. Also keep in mind that ocean pollution is a serious threat and if the sea salt is harvested from an extremely polluted area, it will consequently contain those pollutants.
This type of salt has become a new trend as more and more people become worried about the polluted oceanic areas where sea salt is harvested. Don’t just buy Himalayan Salt blindly, however, larger companies may use less ethical extraction methods in which they use explosives. This use of explosives means that there are levels of mercury found in the salt. Hand-harvested himalayan salt is your best bet.
As always, try it out for yourself. Do a taste test between these types of salt and find out what feels right in YOUR body. Learning what works best for you is the best way to make your way down the path to Sweet Freedom.