Consuming Unrefined Salt is Good for You

What if I told you you may not be consuming enough salt, and the salt you use is probably the wrong kind anyway. That challenges orthodox nutrition. But many MDs are challenging orthodox nutrition these days, including the low salt for heart health hoax.

There are some “official” dietary taboos that are false and even harmful, yet hotly defended when challenged. The first time I submitted an article challenging the orthodox dietary salt recommendations, an editor rejected it as dangerous.

After digging more into the false claims of high salt intake dangers and the health value of unprocessed whole salt, I’ve discovered even more supporting testimonies from several doctors, naturopaths, and nutritionists who are not lock-step with medical dogma.

One of the first was Dr. David Brownstein, MD and author of Salt Your Way to Health. Since then there have been others.

Breaking Down Salt Confusions

What is salt? It is sodium chloride. It’s chemical symbol signature is NaCl, indicating that salt basically is a one to one ratio of sodium and chloride ions. It’s admitted we need sodium to survive. It is both a mineral and an electrolyte that is important for balancing bodily fluids, muscle contractions, nervous system electrical conduction, and general hydration.

You may have heard of salt tablets taken in areas of high temperatures, especially among those who are involved in strenuous or athletic activity. Salt is important for hydration throughout the body. But what’s with the chloride ions?

This is surprising. Outspoken Scottish MD Malcolm Kendrick disclosed a 2013 study titled Serum chloride is an independent predictor of mortality in hypertensive [high blood pressure] patients, a study probably overlooked by most in the pharmaceutical/medical industry.

It concluded that low serum levels of Cl are associated with greater mortality risk among folks with high blood pressure. Half of salt is Cl (chloride).

Dr. Joel Wallach, an iconoclastic Chicago, Illinois MD, openly complained that many senior citizens who had died during a Chicago heat wave some years ago would still be around if their doctors, who had them on low sodium or low salt diets, would have instructed them to sip a quart of salt water daily during the heat wave.

Dr. Wallach called their imperative for patients to stick with their low salt diets during the heat wave “criminal”.

What too many consider excess sodium from salt is not harmful if it is balanced with potassium, which is in many whole fruits and vegetables and not necessary to supplement if one’s diet is focused on enough whole organic plant foods.

But those who eat lots of processed and junk foods are consuming other types of sodium, not just sodium chloride. There are additives rife in processed foods such as sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, and the notorious monosodium glatamate (MSG). These are unhealthy sodium compounds and suspected carcinogens.

Here’ the major difference that determines healthy salt over unhealthy salt. The type of salt used in processed food is common table salt, which most consume. It is highly processed with aluminum, ferro cyanide and bleach.

The processing adds these toxins into commercial table salt while robbing unrefined sea salt of its macro and trace minerals, rendering it both toxic and nutritionally vapid.

If you’re thinking I’m plugging unrefined NaCl, aka “sea salt”, you’re right. Others who flip the salt danger myth over recommend that sea salt is the only salt worth consuming.

There are a few types of unrefined salts on the market, and since they’re not refined they tend to be slightly off white, grayish, or pink. Some brands offer course salt for you to grind, but some offer finely ground salt. Unrefined salt has caught on pretty well.

Understand that all salt is originally from sea or ocean water, even though it is often mined from land sites or caves that were once under water and now dry.

Factually, the sea is considered the source of biological creatures. Our blood serum closely resembles seawater. And if you are incapicitated in ER or ICU, you may be subjected to up nine grams of slow drip IV saline (NaCl) solutions, maybe twice in one day for a total of 18 grams, to help you recover and survive.

Yet, the oficially recommended maximum oral intake of salt is under five grams of salt daily to restrict sodium intake to around 2.5 grams. Something is not making sense.

Dr. James Nicolantonio, author of the most recent pro-salt book, The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong–and How Eating More Might Save Your Life, points out that low sodium intakes for lowering high blood pressure and increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, which has been on the rise over the past couple of decades.

Dr. Nicloantonio says coffee depletes your body’s blood salt levels. If you drink coffee turn your salt intake up a notch. And if you purify your water with reverse osmosis, it’s a good idea to add a pinch of unrefined salt to your drinking water to replace the minerals removed by reverse osmosis

Unrefined Sea Salt Benefits

Unrefined salts contain 80 macro and trace minerals and other elements that are important for many internal body metabolic processes in addition to to retaining hydration.

Unlike refined salt, which usually no longer even puts back the iodine that was lost during the process, iodine remains in unrefined salts that were all part or seawater at one time regardless of where it’s mined now. Iodine is an important fuel for the thyroid gland, which regulates our internal hormonal distribution.

The NaCl part is around 85% while the many trace minerals, robbed from processed commercial salts, comprise the remaining 15%.

Without adequate salt, one may experience muscle cramps, low electrolyte levels, low pH or high acidity that creates disease, high stomach pH that creates low stomach acid, goiter, high blood pressure (suprised?), poor circulation and metabolism, weakness, and/or dizzyness. Salt also contributes to detoxing.

Just like the low or no saturated fat scam that still dominates our culture, creating poor public health, the low sodium or salt “official” restrictions are dangerous. You can still overdue salt intakes, especially if your potassium intake is low.

But decent levels of potassium will balance out the sodium in our bodies, allowing salt’s trace minerals and other properties to enhance our health.


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