For the average person following the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), processed salt (also known as table salt) has become a serious risk and a major factor contributing to heart disease, blood pressure issues, thyroid imbalances, obesity, and kidney disease. According to research statistics, the average person consumes approximately 3500mg of salt daily. Based on my experience (using computerized software to determine dietary salt consumption) the actual number ranges between 4000-5000mg daily. The current guidelines recommend a diet no higher than 2300mg/day and believe higher risk candidates would benefit from a reduced intake to 1500mg. Many people claim not to add salt to their foods. If that’s true, how can the average person consume so much salt?
PROCESSED SALT is a key ingredient found in many of our PROCESSED FOODS. These numbers are so high, you can avoid adding salt altogether, and still easily exceed the recommended limits. Below is a sample list of foods and condiments demonstrating where SALTHIDES. These foods commonly use PROCESSED salt to add shelf life as well as flavor:
Cold Cereal (3/4 cup) 85-350mg
Spaghetti Sauce in a Jar (1/2 cup) 310-510mg
Beef Jerky (1oz.) 500mg
Eggo Pancakes (3 pancakes) 580mg
Morningstar black bean burger (1 burger) 700mg
Heinz ketchup (1tbsp) 190mg
French’s mustard (1tbsp) 165mg
Kraft single slice American cheese (1 slice) 200mg
Pepperidge Farm Pumpernickel (1 slice) 190mg
V8 Spicy Hot Vegetable Juice( 8oz) 480mg
Green Giant Mushrooms (1/2 cup) 440mg
Perdue Short Cuts Carved Chicken Breast (1/2 cup) 460mg
Birds Eye Asian Vegetables in sesame ginger sauce (1 cup) 630mg
Vlasic Kosher Pickles (1 pickle) 880mg
Ramen Noodle Soup (1/2 package) 790mg
The reason PROCESSED is bold is because this is what makes salt so dangerous to the consumer. Standard table salt and those typically found in many processed foods contain approximately 97+% Sodium Chloride and 2.5+% anticaking chemical compounds (ex. ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate.) Natural salt like himalayan salt is only 85% sodium chloride and 15% trace minerals according to Dr. Joseph Mercola. Today, additional choices include sea salt, celtic salt and kosher salt.
SHOULD WE AVOID SALT ALTOGETHER?
No. The first step we need to take is SIGNIFICANTLY reducing processed foods in our diet. The second step we need to take is reducing our frequency of eating out in restaurants. These meals frequently contain large quantities of salt. Preparing meals at home creates control over the quality and quantity of food choices. The third step requires evaluating grocery product labels to see the quantity of salt in the products being purchased.
Unless the consumer is willing to change their dietary habits and begin eating REAL FOOD in place of processed food, even the healthiest choices of salts will add health risks to an individual’s profile. Those willing to make the change and commit to eating REAL FOOD will also be able to add better quality salts including himalayan or celtic salt in moderation to enhance flavor and provide the following health benefits:
Create an electrolyte balance.
Regulate water content both inside and outside of the cells in our bodies.
Balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux.
Prevent muscle cramping.
Aid in proper metabolic function.
Lower blood pressure.
WHAT ABOUT IODINE ADDED TO TABLE SALT?
Although iodine was added to table salt to prevent thyroid issues including hypothyroidism and goiter, the dangers we face consuming large quantities DO NOT outweigh the benefits. By substituting REAL FOODS including fish, dairy, eggs and seaweed (or seaweed capsules,) daily iodine requirements can easily be achieved while promoting a healthy body.