This week, 9 – 15 March 2015 is AWASH (Australian Division of World Action on Salt & Health) Salt Awareness Week so we thought we would shed some light on the topic.
Facts on Salt:
There is much controversy around the consumption of salt so here are some facts that will help you better understand salt, its role and how it impacts your body.
- According to AWASH resources, a high salt diet can not only lead to high blood pressure, but has been implicated in other major health problems including osteoporosis, obesity, stomach cancer, kidney stones, diabetes, asthma and stroke.
- The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Nutrient Reference Values define a Suggested Dietary Target of four grams of salt (1,600 mg of sodium) per day. However, the optimal level of daily salt intake is actually much less (one to two grams per day) although the government takes a compromised position.
- Australian adults eat an average of nine grams of salt each day! Significantly more than the actual one gram we need.
- There has been much debate around the level of dietary salt required to maintain optimal health. The bottom line is that over the years the suggested upper limit has continued to decrease.
- If you follow the Paleo diet, it has been theorised that dietary salt in the Paleolithic diet was very low (sources suggest 768mg of sodium daily). We also do know that these hunter-gatherer diets seemed to avoid many of the chronic diseases of the Western world today.
- Sodium is actually a vital nutrient. Sodium is the major component of extracellular fluid. Did you know it is in fact essential for maintaining the plasma volume and healthy cellular metabolism?
- Sodium plays a crucial role in optimal health, and too little salt intake can be dangerous in the long run.
- Sodium is actually needed to replace the amount lost daily through sweat and urination. This is particularly important in very active and sports people.
- Too much salt can be addictive! Over-salting dishes can turn them into a stimulating meal and can encourage you to overeat.
- Did you know? 75% of the salt that we consume comes from processed foods.
Looks like too much (refined) salt (from processed sources) isn’t good for us yet your body requires salt for its natural processes. So to salt or not to salt?
- The key is to avoid refined salt found hiding in processed foods! Where do you find hidden (and heavily processed) salt? In processed foods such as breads, cereals, baking, crackers, biscuits, sauces, condiments, takeaway food, convenience and fast foods, pizza, burgers, pastries etc.
- Sticking to a whole foods diet and avoiding processed foods will drastically reduce your consumption of processed salt.
- Avoid adding excessive salt to you and particularly your children’s food during cooking.
- Get your daily requirement of sodium from natural sources such as seafood, seaweed (nori, dulse, wakame), fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Instead of adding salt at the table, use alternatives such as lemon or lime juice, garlic, herbs and herbs and spices.
Which type of Salt is best to use?
- Not all salt is created equal! Regular table salt is highly processed and stripped of trace minerals as well as many containing anti-caking agents. Whereas, salts like Himalayan Salt or Celtic Sea Salt are less refined and actually contain beneficial amounts of minerals.
- Himalayan salt and Celtic Sea Salt are considered to be the best sources available to us.
- Himalayan salt, our favourite at Live Love Nourish, actually contains 84 essential minerals utilised by the human body.
- One of the minerals you will find in Himalayan salt is magnesium, an essential mineral needed for many processes in your body.
- Himalayan salt is also known to assist the absorption of food, regulate your body’s water content and promote a healthy PH balance.
Where to purchase Himalayan Pink Salt?
Himalayan Pink Salt can be purchased at health food stores, at some supermarkets and also online here.