Question: I’ve been told that salt is bad for you, but I just can’t resist it on my fish and chips! Is salt really all that bad for you and if so, could you suggest a healthy but equally tasty substitute?
17 September, 2008 – 18:53
Answer: SALT has got a bad name for itself in recent years as the substance we should avoid at all costs.
However a healthy, active lifestyle demands a sufficient reasonable salt intake. The contention that our body can function on no salt at all or on a restricted ration of salt causes more problems than it is intended to solve!
But we are talking about natural salt, not your ordinary table salt whose real name is sodium chloride. This type of salt substitute has all the bad elements of salt and none of the good ones.
Natural salts, such as sea salt and rock salt, are necessary dietary supplements containing large concentrates of important minerals.
Salts high in magnesium, for example, are needed to stimulate white blood cell activity. They also promote the action of vitamins, enhance the effect of numerous enzymes, and play an important part in metabolism.
A lack of magnesium can result from consuming refined grains and vegetables grown on chemically fertilised or sprayed fields, processed junk foods and from eating too much white bread.
In fact, the refining process can reduce the magnesium content of food by over 80%. However, by incorporating magnesium-rich salt into our diet, we can prevent our levels of magnesium from falling too low.
Sodium, too, is also an important salt mineral. Although sodium chloride can be bad for your health, other compounds of sodium, such as sodium phosphate and sodium sulphate, can control the build up of lactic acid in the muscles and hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
Furthermore, whereas processed sodium chloride causes us to retain fluid, these other forms of sodium actually reduce fluid retention.
So, it’s not all bad news! Salt can be good for you, especially in its most natural form.