To Salt or Not

by Leisa on September 1, 2008

A lot of health conscious people shun salt, and many people with high blood pressure also take most of the salt out of their diet in an effort to bring their blood pressure down.  But salt has unjustly been given a bad name.

I have read studies that have come to new conclusions about the role of salt (and we’re mainly talking about sodium chloride here) and high blood pressure, and that is that it doesn’t really have that much of an impact at all, and that having too low a salt intake can raise blood pressure due to the dehydration factor.  So that’s another urban myth that can go the way of “cholesterol causes heart disease”…

I have had a lot of interest in salt, having suffered from adrenal fatigue in the past.  In full blown Addison’s Disease, the kidneys can waste sodium through the urine, so in adrenal fatigue this happens to a lessor degree, but can lead to salt cravings and dehydration.  So in my case, part of my recovery was to make sure that I added salt (and I use Himalayan Salt) into my diet.

I read a book once that said the only people who listened to the “take salt out of your diet”, were the healthy ones, and they already had a minimal salt intake!

Sodium is essential to life, and we need sodium for healthy fluid balance, lymphatic function, bone and muscle strength and brain function.  Many vegetables have natural sodium, such as celery, and sea vegetables contain plenty of it as well.

Dr. John McDougall, author,  physician and nutrition expert who promotes a vegetarian diet (although cooked), gets amazing results with his patients and others who choose to learn how to live the McDougall diet and lifestyle.  He has written an excellent article about how frequently salt is misunderstood, that I would encourage you to read.



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5 commentsAdd comment

JAcqueline September 1, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Cool site. I’ve been reading about ayurvedic medicine and menopause and adrenal fatigue on women to women dot com — I’m glad to find more on this. September 2, 2008 at 10:59 pm

I agree, salting food can greatly increase recovery from adrenal fatigue. As you said, the only people who removed salt, were the healthy ones! I was definitely guilty of that.

Leisa September 4, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Me too! But I found using that little bit of extra salt has helped a lot. Our body is pretty clever, although sometimes with our distorted food supply we crave the wrong “type” of foods – if we look closer we often see what we need underneath that.

A lot of people I’ve seen in clinic with adrenal fatiuge craved potato chips – but it wasn’t the chips, it was the salt and it was a sign that they were low in sodium…

It just goes to show that you can’t live by “one rule for everyone” when it comes to health – we are all individual and have different needs at different times and if we listen closely to our body, we can often get on the right track.

Jim Bernard July 21, 2009 at 6:53 am

One comment about salt.
Most people with weight problems consume large quantities of salt.
They don’t realize it but all processed food on supermarket shelves, contain heaps of salt used as preservative.
The average loaf of bread contains TWO PER CENT SALT
Unfortunately when they consume that processed food – the salt tends to bind with fluids and stay in the body.
One of the advantages of a mostly raw foods diet is the absence of salt.
So people slim down.
Over several centuries one million sailors died from scurvy.
What caused them to get scurvy ?
Long sea voyages living on salted meat and salted biscuits.
It was not intil about the time of Captain James Cook that sailing ships
started to stock up on long lasting fruit like oranges, limes, lemons etc, and scurvy startd to fade away


Leisa July 31, 2009 at 12:58 am

Dear Jim,
You are quite correct and I do support your views there that a high consumption of processed table salt will lead to fluid retention and weight gain and will also bind up essential minerals and can create hardening processes in the body as well. In a raw food diet there is plenty of natural salts that actually promote fluid balance, such as celery and cucumber – and in heavy exercise or adrenal fatigue I do suggest the taking of small amounts of Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt to support the body.

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