Salt

Ditch that table salt faster than you can say “pass the…”

Salt

Get ready to swap that regular table salt for a healthier alternative: Either sea salt, Himalayan pink or Celtic. (The difference is how they’re harvested, but all three are excellent options.) Table salt is heavily processed to eliminate minerals, which are then sold to companies that make supplements—it’s literally taking all the good stuff out to sell you as a separate product (so cheeky!). Then a man-made chemical additive is put in to prevent clumping. And then much of it is iodised, to get iodine in the system, which is necessary for thyroid health. But guess what? If people eat too much iodised salt, they start to have thyroid problems because it’s a gentle balance. (You can get iodine from a number of natural sources like seafood, sea vegetables, asparagus, cranberries, prunes and leafy greens.)

Did you know that if you’re suffering from dehydration or conversely, water retention, that a pinch of sea salt in a glass of water or two can remineralise your system? Can’t do that with traditional table salt.

And what about intake? Like fat, salt has been demonised more than it deserves. We actually need sodium for numerous bodily functions including brain and nervous system function, regulation of bodily fluids, controlling blood pressure, and muscle contraction and relaxation, among other things. The problem comes from too much salt in processed foods like processed meats, chips, tinned foods and condiments. The bottom line: We need to reduce consumption of processed foods in general, not just sodium-rich ones (so don’t think you’re being healthy by grabbing the lightly-salted chippies instead of salt and vinegar). And in fact, studies have shown that for those with high blood pressure, a diet high in potassium (from leafy greens, kumara, almonds, tuna and more) can actually bring more healthy benefits to the body than a low-sodium diet. Plus, you gotta wonder what’s being added to packaged foods that are labeled as “no salt” or “low sodium” in order to maintain taste. If you eat a clean, whole-food diet cooked at home, it would be incredibly hard to overdose on salt. 

So what should you do with the table salt sitting on the kitchen shelf that will no longer be needed? Make play-dough of course! (Or donate it to a pre-school so they can.)

 

Photo by Monica Stawowy

Making Healthy Swaps: One Week at a Time

One of the main messages I’ve pulled from watching Frozen II 342 times (which is nothing compared to the 933 times I’ve watched the first Frozen) is that if something seems overwhelming, take it one step at a time—“The Next Right Thing,” if you will.
When I began studying nutrition, I felt completely overwhelmed at the idea of making healthy changes all at once. But when I started to channel Anna, Grand Pabbi and Lieutenant Mattias and do one step at a time, it made it easier to adopt a new habit. On that note, we’re going to make one swap per week. Some of them are easy, some take a bit more time to master and some you may already be doing.