Health Tip #30

health-tip-30

“There must be something sacred in salt: It is in our tears, and in the ocean.”  Kahlil Gibran

Why We Need Salt

In fact, salt is in our blood, sweat and tears.  And salt, or sodium,  is also needed to regulate our fluid levels and blood pressure, help the brain communicate with muscles through nerve impulses, the contraction and relaxation of muscles, adrenal function and the uptake of nutrients into the cell.  That’s all pretty important stuff.  Salt cravings can be a sign we are lacking in needed minerals or that our adrenals need nourishing.

Don’t Forget The Potassium

So why are we told to seriously reduce or eliminate salt from our diets?  This is because of sodium’s job of regulating fluids and blood pressure.  It is believed that too much salt in the diet results in high blood pressure which in turn increases our risk of heart attack and stroke.  Studies have shown that a diet too low in salt could be as unhealthy as diets too high in salt.  And that the unhealthy effects of salt consumption could have more to do with our sodium-potassium balance than with too much sodium alone.  Adequate potassium levels have been associated with a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.  Potassium can be obtained from vegetables and fruits including: avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes, coconut water, white beans, bananas, acorn squash and dried apricots.

Ditch The Table Salt

The other problem with salt is that most of the sodium in our modern diets comes from processed table salt added to nearly all processed foods.  Table salt is highly refined and stripped of nearly 60 trace minerals, leaving it devoid of nutrients.  Table salt contains sodium chloride, added iodine and many man made chemicals including anti-caking agents, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, and preservatives like aluminum hydroxide.

Choose Natural Salts

Natural salts such as pink Himalayan salt and sea salt contain sodium chloride but unlike table salt, they also contain their natural trace minerals including phosphorus and potassium.  Iodine is not present in significant levels in these salts but iodine can be obtained by adding sea vegetables to our diet. Locally, Harmonic Arts has a sea-vegetable blend that can be added to soups and stews to up the mineral and iodine content of our meals.

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Health Tip #9

health-tip-9

Low Fat, Sugar Free, Low Calorie, Cholesterol Free, Lean, Diet…  If you see these words on food labels on products on the grocery store shelf, put them back and walk away! When you see these words think chemical $&!% storm.  Low sugar or sugar free often means artificial sweeteners.  Saturated fat free can mean these fats have been replaced with damaged trans fats and vegetable oils.  Low fat often means high sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used to enhance the flavor.  To make any of these products taste good after all the natural goodness has been stripped from them,  artificial flavors, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and artificial colors are added to them.  And of course to keep all of this … whatever it is, “fresh” then of course food companies  add preservatives to the products.  Most if not all of these products will also be produced using genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs).

I’ll have more to say on each of these in further posts but for now, what’s the bottom line? All of these “foods” because of their toxic nature, promote weight gain, not weight loss.  If you want to lose weight, just eat real food.