OK In Health - Raw Food Column

Table Salt Versus Sea Salt Versus Crystal Salt - September 2019

Why you should be concerned about using table salt?

By Sandra Butler

Salt shaker

A few weeks ago my husband and I visited some friends.   As is often the case the conversation turned toward food.  Because I’m a raw food chef, I quite often make people feel uncomfortable about food.  For some reason, they think that I have latched onto some “far out” cult thing and that raw food is a foreign substance or that it might be illegal.  They have a fear around feeding me because they don’t know what to prepare. 

When I describe that I eat fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains they look at me with a glazed expression trying to determine how this could be.  For some reason they expect it to be complicated.   If you are experiencing the same concerns take a moment to explain to those who are ready to listen that a typical meal for a raw foodist could be a very large organic salad.  Start with leafy greens such as kale, spinach, or a spring mix.  Add some lovely chopped vegetables such as red peppers, celery, red onions, fennel bulb, carrot, baby tomatoes (a fruit), some sprouted quinoa and some chopped parsley.   Add a diced avocado, a few slivered raw almonds and some raw pumpkin seeds.  Sprinkle with some dulse, some fresh squeezed lemon juice, some cold pressed olive oil, a few grinds of fresh pepper and a small sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt and presto – you have a complete meal of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains.  This is a very delicious, nutritious meal and very attractive too. 

Why is it so complicated for some to think that a complete meal can consist of only one salad?   Because they are so used to trying to fill up on cooked food.  It takes a great deal of cooked food to bring satisfaction because all cooked food is essentially on its way to being “dead” food – meaning that the more you cook or process foods the more you destroy the enzymes so necessary for our bodies.  Without enough enzymes in our body, our bodies have difficulty absorbing vitamins and minerals. Have you noticed that when you cook food you have to add a great deal more salt to the dish you are preparing to give it some flavour? 

This brings me to the essance of this article.  Salt.  Why has it become a four letter word – oops - it is a four letter word, but it doesn’t have to be a bad word.  Salt was not always easy to come by and was highly valued, hence the biblical saying “the salt of the earth”.  Roman soldiers received salt as part of their pay, and the word “salary” originated from this practice.  Today, salt has become a free flowing commodity.  It’s added to almost everything we eat and then we add more at the table.  

The salt that raw foodists consume comes to them through a variety of vegetables and sea vegetables so they don’t seem to need to add it to everything.    Sodium (salt) is an essential mineral, necessary for maintaining proper water and electrolyte balance in the body.  Therefore, we do need to consume a little sodium every day along with a proper balance of potassium.   However, the recommended upper limit of daily consumption ranges from 1200 – 2300 milligrams per day depending on how active a person is and most people in this country consume 2300 – 4700 milligrams per day. 

Before I started down the raw food path I was constantly battling high blood pressure.  My doctor said, “Sandra, cut down on your consumption of salt”.  I followed those instructions but my blood pressure remained high.  Why?   This is my opinion.  I was eating a great deal of junk food to which refined, processed salt had been added.  I believed in the necessity of table salt and I was also adding table salt to everything I cooked. After all, where else was I supposed to get my iodine and not end up with a goiter?  Once I became a raw foodist, I began preparing recipes from raw food recipe books and they often called for “sea salt”.  What the heck was that?  Because I’m curious, I read everything I could about salt and what I discovered surprised me.  Most people simply don't realize that there are enormous differences between the standard, refined table and cooking salt most of us are accustomed to using and natural health-promoting salt.

Table Salt

Your table salt is actually 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents, and iodine. Dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt. What remains after typical salt is "chemically cleaned" is sodium chloride -- an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as something completely foreign. This form of salt is in almost every preserved product that you eat. Therefore, when you add more salt to your already salted food, your body receives more salt than it can dispose of. With the use of rigorous advertising, the salt industry is successful in convincing you there are actually health advantages to adding potentially toxic iodine and fluoride to salt. In addition, your table salt very often contains potentially dangerous preservatives. Calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, and aluminum hydroxide are often added to improve the ability of table salt to pour. Aluminum is a light alloy that deposits into your brain -- a potential cause of Alzheimer's disease. 

Sea Salt

Many people believe sea salt is a healthy alternative to table salt, but this is often no longer the case. The oceans are being used as dumping grounds for harmful toxic poisons like mercury, PCBs and dioxin. Reports of oil spills polluting the sea are becoming more frequent. With some 89% of all the sea salt producers now refining their salt, today's sea salt simply isn't as healthy as it used to be.  So what do I use for salt when I’m not getting it from vegetables and sea vegetables?  Himalayan Crystal Salt is my choice.

Himalayan Crystal Salt

It is salt in its native form, with all its vibrational energy intact and it helps promote a healthy balance in your body.  This is not a paid advertisement, but just my opinion on why I switched to Himalayan Crystal salt in my diet.  Stay tuned next month when I talk about the benefits of Himalayan Crystal salt, where it originates, and why we often crave salt.  Also, I will be providing you with a couple of interesting recipes – and reasons why a margarita might be good for you.  In the meantime, enjoy the recipe for “All Inclusive Raw Food Salad” and don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of vegetables in your salad and…. “please pass the salt” (Himalayan, that is). 

Until next month, I remain Rawfully yours, Sandra

Sandra ButlerSandra's Bio: I was a sickly child, almost entirely bed ridden for two years of my childhood. I was always weak and contacted colds and flu frequently which weakened my immune system. As an adult, I was anemic, had high blood pressure, and was underweight and chronically ill. Then, as I grew older, I developed the first signs of osteopenia and also began to gain weight – something I had no idea how to handle. I was getting older but not healthier. I began seeking new ways to lower my blood pressure, cholesterol and gradual weight gain that had crept up over the years. Respecting my body as the temple of the mind and soul, the gateway to the Spirit self, I sought a new approach to inspired health! Fortunately, a few years ago I was blessed with a friend who introduced me to a raw food lifestyle. Because I have always been interested in nutrition, raw food preparation inspired and excited me and I began experimenting with some delightful recipes. It was awesome! The results were immediate! The weight began to release and the blood pressure came down, arthritic symptoms disappeared and my energy levels rose. When the opportunity came for me to complete my “Raw Food Chef certification”, I jumped at the chance. Then I began to teach classes in a quest to share my new knowledge with others. I realized along the way that I wanted to become more enlightened about nutrition, so back to school I went to become a registered holistic nutritionist (RHN). Today, I continue in service to others, offering personal counseling, traditional, transitional and raw food preparation classes. I also organize and conduct special group events. I specialize in detoxification and cleansing for optimum health and in developing menu plans that suit each individual’s health concern. I am an avid gardener, practicing environmentalist, prolific reader and follower of all health related issues. I practice spiritual principles that go hand in hand, creating my optimum health. - Sandra Butler Website - Email

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