5 Reasons to Eat MORE Salt

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Five Reasons to Eat MORE Salt
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Salt has gotten a really bad reputation in the past, and now there seems to be a lot of confusion about if salt is healthy or not.

It is important to note that the type of salt makes a big difference in whether it is healthy or not. Many of the studies about sodium intake were done with incomplete salts.

Just as…

  • Feed lot grain-fed beef is not the same as completely grass fed beef, and
  • Conventional produce is not the same as organic produce, and
  • Farm raised fish is not the same as wild caught fish, and
  • Hydrogenated trans fat is not the same as medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil

Man-made table salt is not the same as mineral-rich natural salt. Real salt has many important roles in the body and avoiding it can be problematic. As I said before:

Table Salt = BAD!

Table salt, which is 97% Sodium Chloride (NaCl) is chemically produced, bleached and devoid of most other nutrients. It also contains Aluminum in many cases, which has been linked to Alzheimers disease and other problems in the body. Plus, it’s devoid of many trace minerals that the body needs.

This type of salt is not naturally occurring and in fact, when salt-water fish are placed in salt water made with table salt… they die.

However, table salt is often iodized. Before you toss your table salt, be sure to start eating more foods with naturally occurring iodine, like seaweed.

If you have any of this type of table salt around your house, I’d recommend that you stop using it immediately. Don’t throw it out though… you can use it in natural cleaning and stain treatment. (Just don’t eat it!)

Real Salt = Good!

The cure for anything is salt water- tears sweat or the seaTo the degree that table salt is bad, real salt is healthy, necessary and good.

While the research linking regular table salt to disease and health disorders is correct, we’ve thrown out the baby with the (salt) water.

Consider this: the body contains high concentrations of many minerals and nutrients, and while it needs water, it also must have the proper concentration of these nutrients in bones, blood and organs to function properly.

A person can’t be given an IV of plain water- it must contain a careful balance of minerals, including salt!”

Why Should You Eat More Salt?

Here are five reasons I personally make sure I consume enough healthy salt each day:

  1. For Insulin Sensitivity: The “link” between salt intake and cardiovascular problems is getting a lot of scrutiny lately. At the same time, research is showing a link between low salt consumption and insulin resistance (and moderate/high salt intake and insulin sensitivity). With the rising rates of blood sugar related problems, this is an important factor to consider. (source, source)
  2. Hydration: I drink Sole (a specially hydrated salt water) every morning for the energy boost, reduction in allergy symptoms and the hydration. Salt (and the other trace minerals present in natural salts) are essential for proper hydration.
  3. For Longevity: Low salt intake is actually linked to shorter life expectancy. Chris Kresser explains: “The average American consumes about 3700 milligrams of sodium a day. This value has remained constant for the last fifty years, despite the rise in rates of high blood pressure and heart disease. (2) As a comparison, the Japanese, with one of the highest life expectancies in the world, consume an average of 4650 milligrams of sodium per day, and have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than most other developed countries. (3, 4)”
  4. For Hormones:  From Mark’s Daily Apple: “First, salt has been shown to speed up cortisol clearance from the blood. The faster you clear cortisol, the quicker you recover from a stressor. If cortisol lingers, you “stay stressed.”Second, there’s evidence that stress increases salt appetite. In lab mice, activation of the sympathetic nervous system by a stressor causes them to prefer salt water to plain water. Similar findings have been observed in rats subjected to stress. In humans, acute bouts of stress don’t seem to increase salt appetite, but chronic stress does increase intake of salty, processed junk food.” (source)
  5. Digestion: On a personal note, I’ve noticed a big improvement in my own digestion since adding Sole (hydrated salt water) each morning, and recent news is supporting this idea. From this article: “Salt plays a primary role in the processes of digestion and absorption. Salt activates an enzyme in the mouth called salivary amylase. At this point, the salt allows your taste buds to taste the food. Salt also plays a role in digestion by helping to break down food. Salt also creates hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is a very important digestive secretion, which lines the stomach walls.”

Keep in mind that not everyone should increase their salt intake. Those with Menier’s disease, congestive heart disease, hypertension and kidney disease especially should check with their doctor before changing their salt intake, as increased salt can really make them ill.

What Type of Salt?

The type of salt consumed is really important when talking about the health benefits. There is a tremendous difference between Himalayan salt which contains 93 additional trace minerals and regular table salt which is created in a lab and contains two.

I have a variety of healthy salts at our house and I use them in cooking, skin care and to make Sole. We use:

  • Himalayan Pink Salt– I use this to make Sole (here’s how to make it) and in cooking. It has a much milder flavor than conventional salt and after using this for a few months, conventional table salt has a bitter taste to me. It comes from ancient salt stores in the Himalayan mountains and we even have lamps made out of this type of salt in our house.
  • Redmond Real Salt– Also from ancient salt beds. Redmond salt has the mildest flavor of all the salt’s I’ve tried and I often use it in cooking dishes where I only want to lightly enhance the flavor but don’t really want the salt taste to come through.

More Reading

New Study Finds No Connection Between Salt and Heart Disease

CNN- Low Salt Diet Ups the Risk of Heart Attack?

Scientific American – It’s Time To End the War on Salt

Shaking Up the Salt Myths – Chris Kresser

Salt: What Is It Good For? – Mark Sisson

Salt, We Misjudged You – NY Times

How to Make Sole

Is Salt Healthy?

Sea Spray for Skin

Healthy Benefits of Salt Baths

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Ann Shippy, who is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and a certified Functional Medicine physician with a thriving practice in Austin, Texas. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Are you a salt eater? What kind of salt do you use? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


64 responses to “5 Reasons to Eat MORE Salt”

  1. Liz Beavers Avatar
    Liz Beavers

    I have recently discovered that salt gives me energy. I often feel weak and dizzy but everytime I sprinkle a bunch of the pink stuff on my food, I instantly feel better! Thanks for this informative post.

  2. Victoria Avatar

    Your link to Himalayan salt and the Redmond salt are the same. Is the Redmond salt also Himalayan salt? Thanks!

  3. Heidi Avatar

    Just wanted to mention that your links to Himalayan salt and to Redmond’s salt are the same…

    Thanks for the information. I have really enjoyed, in my own busy life, to find your blog. You have done a lot of the grunt work for the rest of us who just don’t have the time (or don’t take it). Thank you so much. My adult daughter and I always share info on your blog with each other. 🙂

  4. Mike Avatar

    I put 80ml of sole, that is 20g salt, made from 3/4 celtic and 1/4 dead sea salts in 2 quarts of mountain spring water and wait 1 day for the sole to activate the ormus in the water. The magnesium and potassium from the dead sea salt removes the excess sodium from the celtic sea salt. That is a 1% salt solution. Then I add 30g of refrigerated bee pollen that has been soaking in 60ml of organic lemon juice for 1 day, to make the nutrients more bioavailable. Then I drink 1 cup 8 times per day. The salts, sole water, and bee pollen are all high in ormus.

    1. Fiona Avatar

      Fascinating post, Mike. ….had to look up Ormus as I’d never heard of it but it seems to be incredibly health-giving. What are the health benefits of this drink? Have you seen an improvement in any area, health wise?

  5. Kim Williams Avatar
    Kim Williams

    Hi Katie,
    Love your site. Can you please tell me what exact brand of Himilayan salt you use? The link takes me to Amazon “Real Salt”. It doesn’t look pink. I also noted that you liked Celtic Salt, which I believe has iodine in it. If I was only going to try one, which one would you recommend? Or work it be beneficial to cook with the Celtic and use the Himilayan after cooking? Thanks!!

  6. Britanica Avatar

    Himalayan salt actually has poisons in it as well as beneficial minerals. The poisons in this salt can actually cause more problems in some people then good. They can even cancel out the benefits. The best salt is sea salt that has been iodized. It is clean but still has iodine in it. People in the US, specially women, suffer from iodine deficiencies. It is the number one cause of infertility, children being born with retardation, and even BREAST CANCER. If you don’t eat sea food, you NEED table salt or sea salt that has been iodized. Please keep this in mind everyone. The pink salt is better for skin absorption then drinking/eating because the skin will filter out the poison better their your digestive track.

  7. William D Fleming Avatar
    William D Fleming

    Table salt is not chemically produced. It mostly comes from underground salt mines. Some of it is made by evaporating sea water.

  8. Sandra Avatar

    We have the pink Himalayan salt. My dad tells my 8 yr old…”Without salt, it’s an insAlt”

  9. rebi Avatar

    How you supose to add iodine in your diet?Pink salt doesn t have iodine isn t it? I use pink salt but I m concerning about not having iodine

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      You could add kelp powder to the natural salts for a natural source of iodine. I personally can’t do iodine at all because of my thyroid condition so it isn’t much of a concern for me

      1. Camille Avatar

        Wellness Mama I’m confused. I’ve read that iodine is good to consume since it keeps the thyroid working well and those that have goiters or thyroid nodules like myself are apparently low in iodine. However you mentioned due to your thyroid issue you do not consume iodine. Please tell me your thoughts on this? Thank you.

  10. BEDA Avatar

    Have you all come across the Himalayan Salt shot glasses yet? The set is made for doing shots of tequila (just google Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses and you’ll find places to purchase them).

    I use mine for my morning “boost” shot. 1 Tablespoon of Spirulina dissolved in a couple of tablespoons of water, a shot of wheat grass (I use WOW, frozen shots that you buy at Whole Foods), the juice of a lemon or lime (for alkalizing, and to hide the taste of the Spirulina). Swirl it around in the Himalayan salt glass, and drink like a shot.

  11. Tom Harper Avatar
    Tom Harper

    The american alzheimers association states that aluminum is not a contributing factor for alzheimers.

    The salt thing is a fine example of why you shouldn’t listen to dietary studies. They’re about the most inaccurate and mistake ridden bits of ‘science’ available. Most rely on peoples recollection of what they ate, large swaths of the data are often removed or adjusted because it doesn’t fit with the preordained conclusion, and at best they produce weak correlation. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen a dietary study that ever produces causation.

    We spent 30+ years doing long term studies on salt and every single one of them turned out to show no connection between salt and health issues for most people. Undaunted, a group of doctors determined to establish a link between health issues and salt produced a set of studies that eliminated as much as 40% of the data. This data involved people who ate plenty of salt and were perfectly healthy. In the study notes, the operators stated that this data was eliminated because these subjects must be lying about their salt consumption or their health. In other words, they’d already decided that salt consumption would make a healthy person sick.

    More recent meta analyses of all the studies and data available shows no correlation whatsoever between salt consumption and health, unless you’re consuming too little salt or you’re one of the unfortunate few with kidney problems or a genetic predisposition to extremely high BP. But still the misconception persists because…well…lets face it…doctors don’t like to admit they’re wrong.

  12. Samantha Wright Avatar
    Samantha Wright

    Iodized Salt is also the way that most people receive iodine which is a necessary nutrient in order to produce hormones via the thyroid.

  13. James Cooper Avatar
    James Cooper

    You do not mention any concentrations or quantities of trace elements in you favorite salts to justify your enthusiasm for their contents. Nor do you mention what quantities are actually needed for better nutrition. It seems to me that salt is sodium chloride is salt, and you have not proven your case that some salt products are truly better than pure salt.

  14. Clarke Avatar

    Is sea salt or kosher salt better than table salt? or are they really the same kind of “bad” salt?

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