Salt is very much a controversial element in the food industry, nowadays it’s not unusual to flick through a newspaper featuring article after article demonising the ramifications of salt consumption. Coming from an African Caribbean background SALT is a dietary staple. We are infamous for adding copious amounts of salt to food unmeasured. Growing up as a young girl our house had to have salt. In our humble opinion, salt was an imperative ingredient to perfect all recipes. Plus you could always taste the difference when it was absent from food.
Salt was what partly constitutes seasoning our meat, vegetables, rice and other produce. Now moving with the times I can see where the problem lies with identifying its dangers and ways to raise awareness. On the contrary, salt is one of our taste buds, we have a biology taste (no pun intended) for it and it is a mineral which helps the musculosketal system, the underlying issue is as a nation we are guilty of using refined salt that causes health adversaries.
Why is refined salt so bad for our health?
Firstly, let me make this very clear NOT ALL salt is bad for you, it’s merely a case of understanding the difference between refined salt vs unrefined salt I will speak more about the unrefined type later. Refined salt is our greatest nemesis, due to being processed and bleached, destroying all the natural occurring minerals.
Moreover, commercial salt increases a greater risk of high blood pressure (caused by water retention), type 2 diabetes, stoke and other associated cardiovascular disease. The department of health and world health organisation recommend 6g of salt a day, that’s roughly a teaspoon. Sadly the western diet contains double the recommended daily allowance.
Although an active stance can be taken to control refined salt, you’d be surprised to know that the majority of irresistible treats contains salt. If you don’t believe me, next time you’re at the groceries look at the first few ingredients and I can guarantee salt/sodium – the refined kind is one of the top 3 ingredients. Restaurants, bakeries and manufactured food alike all contain refined salt which makes it increasingly hard to escape this phenomenon.
The benefits of unrefined salt
As much as we may vilify salt, our bodies are actually designed to fortified sodium. Salt is essential for human growth and development. The minerals help the nerves and muscles throughout our body to function properly and also assist with regulating the body’s fluid and metabolism. Ultimately, without sodium in our diets, the body would become seriously imbalanced, creating a cycle of internal toxicity.
Thankfully there is an alternative to the toxic, zero nutrient, health compromising refined salt which is rife amongst western diets. That answer is unrefined salt which tends to be an off white, pinkish or even grey colour depending on where and how it was sourced.
Pure, unadulterated salt has been consumed by human for centuries and has excellent health benefits. When I discovered unrefined salt (my favourite is himalayan salt) I felt as if I won the lottery. I immediately converted to unrefined salt and the rest of my family use it too including my grandmother who is diabetic. Unrefined salt also helps to maintain blood sugar levels making it suitable for diabetics. I’ve been using unrefined salt for a few years now and would never go back to refined salt, for the sake of my health and taste. Everyone should at least consider this as an alternative especially people from minority backgrounds who are statistically known for being susceptible to vascular diseases.
Here are some more interesting facts about unrefined salt
- The magnesium and sodium stabilise/regulate heart beat
- Acts as a calmative for the nervous system
- Contain iodine – good for reducing mental retardation and iodine is absorbed in the thyroid/regulates endocrine system
- Supports muscular function
- Boost the immune system
- strengthen bone eliminating brittle bones and osteoporosis
- superb at holding the bodies water/regulating water retention
I hope you found this article useful, as always I would love to engage in some discussion about the great salt debate.
Do you believe refined salt is wrongly demonised? what are your thoughts on unrefined salt as an alternative solution?