When it comes to salt, it seems like everyone has a strong opinion on that. Either you must include it your diet, or you must not? To find out the truth, let’s have a look at the both sides.
Why you should not consume salt.
When you eat too much of the salty foods, there is sodium chloride overload in your blood. Your body will do everything to “dilute” it, so it attracts water from intestinal tract and your cells. The result will be water retention in your tissues. This can lead to hypertension, i.e. high blood pressure. A lot of people in western countries suffer from hypertension, and one of the main reasons is the consumption of processed foods which usually contain large amounts of sodium chloride.
Having a high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. Water retention will also make you look fatter than you are. Water stored in your tissues will increase your weight, though it is not fat. A lot of people get too excited or too upset (depending on results) when they see rapid changes on the scales. However, it is impossible to burn 2kgs of fat overnight, or 5kgs in a week. Rapid weight loss or weight gain is just a result of water retention / loss. So if you want to look the best reduce or remove salt in your diet.
People, who eat a lot of salt and do not drink enough water, usually have sacks under their eyes. If you want to look younger and fresher, you should also remove or reduce salt from your diet. The most common type of salt consumed in the western world is iodised sodium chloride. This type of salt is very refined, bleached and has lost all of its nutrients and is fortified with iodine which is very low in bio-availability. This type of salt is very toxic to your body.
Overconsumption of salt contributes to the formation of kidney stones, could lead to osteoporosis, stomach cancer, arrhythmia or even blindness. It can also lead to potassium deficiency because sodium will compete with potassium and will be absorbed preferentially.
Where could the salt be useful?
Well, our bodies need sodium chloride for many functions of our body. However, you don’t need to consume table salt in order to get it because there is plenty of sodium in fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, celery, lettuce, cauliflower, bell peppers, onions, cabbage, pineapple and grapes. There is a theory that if one exercises and sweats a lot, he should replenish the lost salt.
However, if you consume enough fruits and vegetables, it should definitely be enough even for active people. So there is no physical need to consume refined salt in your diet. However, salt could be beneficial in some instances, only for one reason: it makes food taste so much more delicious. And hey! I’m not here to promote salt consumption.
However, I am here to make you face the reality. I have seen too many people crash on a raw food salt free diet because they were not enjoying the food! We all have emotional attachments to food and it does take time to break them down. I strongly believe that it’s way more better to include some salt in your salad, raw or cooked veggie soup or other vegan food, rather that eating only bananas until you go crazy, and then go to McDonald’s and binge on burgers and French fries (well, this might sound like a very radical example but I have seen some people do just that).
Five days eating fruit and then two days binging on fried chicken is way worse than 7 days having 80-100% raw vegan food with some salt. There are periods in my life where I would eat only low fat fruit and veggie salt-free diet. Also there are some periods where I would eat some cooked veggie soup with some salt, pepper and herbs, or some salad with salty dressing. Though I may feel more energy on a salt free all raw diet, my health remains as good on a 80% raw diet.
In a perfect world, I would enjoy my food without salt, 100% of the time, and I believe this day will definitely come. Though it’s not about perfection, it’s about the progress. Cutting meat and dairy is already tough for a lot of people (was very tough for me either!). Let them enjoy the tasty food that at least reminds them of the familiar flavours. Yet it doesn’t mean that you have got my blessing to go and eat as much salt and salty foods as you like!
If you chose to consume salt, please use Celtic sea salt of pink Himalayan salt, as they are not bleached and not that refined. You should not consume more than 3 g of salt a day, which is about half of a teaspoon. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water! Sounds paradoxical but drinking more water does relieve water retention.
Life is beautiful and we should appreciate every moment of it. Let’s enjoy nutritious nourishing fresh delicious food! Be conscious of what you put in your body because you get only one of it in a lifetime. Love your body and it will love you back. Don’t think about restrictions, think about creating new habits!
Loved this article? Share with your FRIENDS!