8 Reasons to Quit Table Salt

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I am a salt fiend. Always have been, always will be. I can usually tell who my newer friends are by the way they stare at me when I eat. If my pouring half the salt shaker on my meal is a surprise, then we haven’t broken bread before.
I am right there with Homer who called salt a “divine substance”, and Plato who called it “especially dear to the gods”.
So if you’d told me a year ago that I would swear off table salt for good, I probably would have freaked out and kicked you in the shin in some salt deprived tantrum or something. Because a year ago I didn’t fully understand the difference between table salt and, well, REAL salt. To me, salt was salt!
But as I did more research into a natural living lifestyle, I learned that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not all salts are created equal, and table salt just doesn’t measure up.

Check out the top 8 reasons why I quit table salt.. for good!

1.       It is nutritionally void junk food.

Like most consumables, there is both a “natural food” salt and a “junk food” salt.
Salt in your diet is kind of a big deal. Without it, you would quite literally die. Even with a slight deficiency your risk of dying increases by upwards of 40% according to The American Journal of Medicine. So basically, not eating enough salt is very bad for you. Like, 2 bullets in a 5 chamber gun game of Russian roulette bad for you.
This is because the human body is made up of 72% salt water and 28% minerals. We need salt and minerals to survive. This means that:
Mineral salts (unrefined salts) are essential for life.
Table salts (refined salts) which are stripped of all their minerals are not.
The high heat used in processing refined table salts basically kills the salt, removing all of it’s 60 to 65 minerals. While it is possible to live off of “dead” foods, a dead diet will eventually kill you too. You are what you eat, after all.

2.       It’s not intended for human consumption.

According to the Diamond Crystal Salt Company – one of the largest refined salt manufacturers – this is what the refining process of table salt looks like:
First, salt brine enters a series of heaters which elevate the temperature to 290 degrees under high pressure. The brine then goes into a “graveler” filled with cobblestones to remove impurities. The pressure is then lowered via a series of “flashers,” cooling the brine to 226 degrees, allowing crystallization to begin. As salt crystals form in a large evaporator pan, the wet salt is automatically raked into a large well. This wet salt then goes into a centrifugal separator removing the remaining brine. Then the salt goes into a rotary dryer, with magnetic screens used to separate the salt into different sizes.
Soooooo.. if refined table salt is so bad for you, why even go through all that trouble to make it? The answer is simply because, it was never really meant for you to eat in the first place!
The primary use of refined salt is for industrial purposes. Somewhere between 93 to 97% of all refined salt is sold to labs and processing plants as ingredients for things that are not meant to be consumed. The chemical industry requires chemically pure sodium chloride in a uniform grain size for manufacture of explosives, chlorine gas, soda, fertilizers and plastics. The rest of the refined salt produced (about 3 to 7%) is packaged for people who never grew out of the Industrial Era and want the “ohh shiny” factor of sparkling white table salt.
When the refining process was invented for the chemical industry during the Industrial Revolution, refined salt became an expensive novelty to families that could splurge on impressing the neighbors. No one used white salt for cooking, they only pulled it out when company was around and stuck it on the table for meals to show off their expensive stark white salts. Hence why it is called “table salt”.
But the novelty has long worn off, and there is no getting around the fact that table salt is made for the chemical industry – NOT for human consumption!

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3.       It contains chemical additives, some of them potentially toxic.

Almost all refined salts have chemical additives meant to control stability, enhance color or taste and act as anti-caking agents. If your salt has any of the following ingredients, then it has been refined or processed:
Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Iodide, Silicon Dioxide, Yellow Prussiate of Soda, Sodium Ferrocyanide, Sodium Silicoaluminate, Magnesium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Calcium Silicate, Potassium Iodide, Tricalcium Phosphate, Dextrose, Potasium Chloride, Potasium Bitartrate, Potassium Glutamate, Adipic Acid, Fumaric Acid, Polyethylene Glycol, Disolium Inosinate, Polysilicate
While these ingredients won’t hurt you right off the bat when you consume them, many of the chemical additives DO have negative effects on your health when consumed frequently over a long period of time. And some, like Yellow Prussiate of Soda and Sodium Ferrocyanide, are actually known toxins, never meant for human consumption!
General rule of thumb: If anything is added to your salt, it’s not fit for consumption.
But what about that scary label on salt that tries to pressure sale you into a fear based purchase? You know the one I’m talking about: “THIS SALT DOES NOT CONTAIN IODIDE, A NECESSARY NUTRIENT”
The mineral iodide was first added to salt in the early 1900s when scientists discovered that an iodide deficiency in American diets was causing thyroid goiter – a mass in the neck that could press on the trachea and esophagus.
The FDA, that bumbling health junkie friend that always quotes decades old (sometime centuries old) information and thinks they always know what’s best, requires that all salt companies that do not add potassium iodide to their product, must slap that scary, ominous sounding warning on their labels.
The thing is, unrefined salts DO contain naturally occurring iodide.. just not the daily recommended allowance, which is 150 micrograms. So if you opt for using real salts instead of chemically processed, unhealthy salts, then you simply MUST get your daily requirement of iodide from other sources – like yogurt, eggs, strawberries, and cheese. (Sounds awful, doesn’t it?)

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4.       It dehydrates you.

So, what’s the big deal? Don’t ALL salt dehydrate you? Well.. no!
Remember, salt is meant to be mineral rich. Your body needs both minerals and sodium to regulate the fluids in your body. When a body only gets sodium (from mineral depleted table salt) there is a higher concentration of solutes in the vascular space (in your vessels). If you remember from chemistry class, water follows solutes, so when you have an excess of solutes in the vascular space the water will leave your cells (causing them to shrink). When your cells get smaller, your thirst sensation is triggered, making you thirsty.
As table salt pulls water from your bloodstream, it then interferes with the normal absorption of water in all of your organs, which leads to constipation, increased risk of kidney stones and wreaks havoc on the delicate balance of the lymph system in the body.
Meanwhile, if you consume mineral-rich real salts, your body has an opposite effect. It will actually hold on to more water in an attempt to keep your sodium at a normal level, and works to keep you hydrated. This is why sports drinks contain salt… real salt actually hydrates you and keeps your fluids functioning properly!
Many experts and doctors are now recommending the use of unrefined salts to help combat dehydration in the body, just by simply adding it to your drinking water!

5.       It raises your blood pressure.

One of the important minerals that get stripped from table salt during the refining process is magnesium.  Magnesium is required for over 1000 enzymes in our bodies, and is deficient in most people’s diets due to the prevalence of processed foods.
Milling wheat to make white flour removes 85% of the magnesium.  Refining sugar cane to make white sugar removes 98% of the magnesium. And so on and so on and so on.
Magnesium has a balancing effect on sodium, and a lack of proper balance directly affects your heart. Magnesium has a relaxing, regulating influence on the heart, which is one reason a shot of magnesium is often the first “drugs” given during a heart attack.
The blood pressure raising effect of table salt is directly related to its high content of sodium with not enough magnesium to balance it. Eating table salt actually has a magnesium lowering effect that can constrict the arteries and raise blood pressure.
It’s also linked to the dehydration issue above. When table salt dehydrates you, it makes it harder for the kidney to eliminate the excess sodium, which leads to an increase in blood volume. This forces the body to work harder to pump blood, raising blood pressure to a dangerous degree.
Real, unrefined salt contains plenty of magnesium and work to hydrate you, which is why it does not affect blood pressure at all. Food sources of magnesium are rare, so cutting out refined salt completely is one of the best things you can do for heart health.

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6.       It addicts you.

After eating table salt, the body craves more table salt. While health experts are still trying to fully figure this one out, they all agree is comes back to table salts lack of minerals. Here are a couple of explanations for table salt’s addictive nature:
Sodium without minerals to balance its adsorption into the body works to temporarily increases calcium levels in the blood, which then tricks the body into thinking it’s been given calcium. But the more sodium that’s consumed, the more calcium will eventually be excreted, resulting in extra salt and not enough calcium. So your body craves calcium and your tongue interprets that as more salt.. and thus starts the vicious cycle.
Another theory is that the lack of potassium in table salt may also cause people to crave more, though the chemical connection between the two nutrients is still unclear. The current theory is that the lack of potassium triggers dopamine reward systems in the brain once you start eating.
While there is still much to learn, it is clean that a lack of minerals in table salt is what makes it so addictive. Not because it tastes good, but because the body’s requirement for nutrients and balance was not satisfied!

7.       It accumulates harmful toxins in your body.

Because salt without minerals draws water (as we discussed above), it damages the digestive system by pulling water and thus accumulating toxins in the intestines. Furthermore, the additives in salt and lack of trace minerals causes acidosis – a lowered pH level in the blood and body – and that is NOT good for you.
When acidosis occurs, existing minerals begin leaching from your body, leaving you and your internal organs deficient. Minerals are required for cellular health and for the regular excretion of toxins. So the more table salt you consume, the more dehydrated and mineral depleted your body becomes.. and the more toxins your body begins to build up!
The Nemours Foundation describes body toxins as, “A toxin is a chemical or poison that is known to have harmful effects on the body. Toxins can come from food or water, from chemicals used to grow or prepare food, and even from the air that we breathe. Our bodies process those toxins through organs like the liver and kidneys and eliminate them in the form of sweat, urine, and feces.”
The human body actually sees salt without minerals as a toxic invader. The body cannot dispose of it in a natural, healthy way, so water is removed from other cells in an attempt to neutralize it.  Studies show that for each gram of table salt your system cannot process, your body will use over twenty times the amount of cellular water to neutralize it!
When salt taxes your liver, kidneys, heart and blood, you simply can’t excrete toxins at the rate you should. And the toxins just keep building and building, with eat gram of table salt you consume. Scary!

8.       It just doesn’t taste as good as real salt!

Once you start using REAL salts – Himalayan Pink Salt, Hawaiian Black Salt, Celtic Sea Salts and Redmond’s Real Salt – you’ll realize that white, chemically processed table salt is bland, boring and bitter. It just doesn’t measure up taste-wise!
Every salt has a unique taste, with a unique history. It’s a LIVING food! It contains minerals essential to survival, with individual properties inherent with its location and environment. No two salts are the same, but all unrefined real salts have nutritional values that are essential to life and provide flavor nuances that add zest and original seasoning and finishing touches to your food.
Give it a taste test and you’ll find that after a week or two of real salts, you won’t even be able to go back to table salt, even if for some deranged reason you wanted to! 

Are YOU planning on quitting table salt? What is your favorite real salt? Share below!

Also! Don’t forget to enter to win a Gift Box of Redmond’s Real Salts! Raffle runs till April 8, 2014!

SALTGIVEAWAY

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Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

17 thoughts on “8 Reasons to Quit Table Salt

  • 28 March, 2014 at 3:19 am
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    I only use salt on potatoes; mom got us out of the salt habit when I was a teenager. Now most things tend to taste too salty for me, but I must have it on potatoes. 😉

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    • 28 March, 2014 at 7:08 pm
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      Have you tried any real salts? They are soooo good. I am quite literally obsessed, haha..

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      • 28 March, 2014 at 8:25 pm
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        Just the Himalayan; don’t need much of those, let me tell you! 😉

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        • 30 March, 2014 at 1:40 pm
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          You really have to try Hawaiian Black Salt.. it just LOOKS so cool!

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  • 28 March, 2014 at 8:24 am
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    The first time I realized there was ‘salt’ other than table or rock or even sea salt, was when we tried it at The Daily Grill in Burbank. You had to ask for it, and it was the Hawaiian Black Salt. I was amazed that ‘plain salt’ could have such a different/better flavor! I’m really looking forward to trying Redmonds.

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    • 28 March, 2014 at 7:09 pm
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      Jonathan just surprised me with some Hawaiian Black Salt with Activated Charcoal added. I think that is proof right there that he loves me… and “gets” me, haha.

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  • 28 March, 2014 at 11:05 am
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    Thanks for the info. Many of us are not conscious about this and don’t check the back label.

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    • 28 March, 2014 at 7:09 pm
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      I’ve only just learned to do so! Now when I shop I tell my hubby I’ve become one of “those” people, lol

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    • 30 March, 2014 at 1:40 pm
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      Thanks! And thank you for stopping by!!

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  • 4 April, 2014 at 1:38 pm
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    I so agree with this post! My entire family struggles with high blood pressure and I do not add salt to any recipe. I am hoping that I can help myself and my children by using different seasonings that have a less harmful effect on our health. Thank you for reaffirming my beliefs!

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  • 4 April, 2014 at 8:41 pm
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    I too am a big salt fiend. My family just laughs each dinner as they pass the salt to me. I have switched to Real Salt and LOVE IT. 🙂 My doctor told me since I have low blood pressure that I didn’t need to worry about my salt intake 🙂 Yippee free pass from my doc.

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  • 19 April, 2014 at 10:02 pm
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    I loved the information. I know it is bad and trying to cut down on salt and high sodium products.

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  • 25 April, 2014 at 12:34 pm
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    Thank you for sharing these facts with us.

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  • 16 May, 2014 at 9:47 pm
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    Wow…. thank you for all of that. Very compelling evidence to avoid the stuff!

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  • 16 June, 2015 at 4:54 pm
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    Thanks.Potassium ferrocyanide like chemicals have some negative role in glucose metabolisum of some individuals even though it is a non toxic substence .

    Reply

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