In recent years, it has been increasingly clear that salt is bad for your health. Doctors all over the country are advising patients to cut back. In some cases, patients are being told to cut salt out completely because salt can cause high blood pressure, kidney stones and liver failure, just to name a few serious problems.
But, there’s also proof that some salt may be good for us. How could it be that something so bad can be good for our health? The truth is, there are many different types of salts out there. The salt we typically use in everyday cooking may be slowly killing us, but not every type of salt is bad for your health, and some can actually have benefits.
Table Salt: The Silent Killer
Table salt is likely the type of salt you currently have on your kitchen counter. This type of salt is highly refined, which means that it is processed and has no minerals or nutrients in it.
Table salt is stripped of any sort of health benefits. What’s left is really just chemical. Sodium chloride. Of course, salt is marketed as table salt and not table sodium chloride. Who would willingly buy chemicals to put into their everyday cooking?
Oh, wait. We would.
Not only is table salt processed so much that it’s only a chemical, it is also bleached. As you may have guessed, almost nothing found in nature is pure white. When you consume table salt, you aren’t eating salt at all. You’re eating a bleached chemical.
While it may make your dishes flavorful, it’s doing more harm to your body that you can’t see or feel until it’s too late.
How It Affects the Eyes
When you consume too much salt, say after eating an especially salty snack or meal, it can dry out your eyes. Table salt causes you to become dehydrated. This affects the eyes by causing the mucus layer on the outside of the eye to recede.
When the eyes become excessively dry, it can lead to vision problems. Dry eyes often cause blurred vision. This type of blurred vision can only be corrected through moistening the eye. Unlike refractive errors, this type of blurred vision cannot be corrected with corrective eyewear.
In addition to that, too much salt can also cause blood pressure to increase. This can affect the retina. The retina and the blood cells in the eye are closely linked. When blood pressure is high, it can cause the blood vessels to damage the retina or impair your vision.
Salt also causes you to age faster. If more people knew about this one, we doubt that salt would be in everything! Salt speeds up the aging process in your cells. This can affect your eyes by increasing your risk of early development of age-related diseases.
Some of these diseases include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, presbyopia and glaucoma. Once these diseases begin to develop, there isn’t anything that can be done to stop them. They can be treated to have the symptoms alleviated, but there is no cure, unfortunately.
Good Salts for Health
The question is, can salt be good for you? The answer is yes, but not in the form of table salt. Salt is tricky and companies know this, which is why they get sneaky with their marketing.
Often processed and dyed salt will be advertised as sea salt. This leads many consumers to believe that the salt is natural. It is coming from the sea after all. But most of the time, it isn’t sea salt. It’s just refined salt made from sea salt. It is not the salt in its natural form. Far from it, actually.
The salt found in nature has on average of 84 different types of minerals. Many of the minerals found in salt are minerals our bodies need. The body needs trace amounts of certain minerals that are found in salt in trace amounts. It’s the perfect way to get these minerals!
However, unrefined salt is hard to find and can be expensive because it is so rare. If you can find it at your local grocery store or health food store, we recommend you make the switch for your health and your family’s.
Celtic Sea Salt
Celtic sea salt is one of the best types of natural salts. It is found just off the coast of Brittany, France in the Atlantic Ocean. This natural salt is sun and air dried in clay ponds. Once dried, it is harvested with wooden spoons to preserve the living enzymes. In doing this, the 84 minerals are protected in the salt.
This salt is damp and has a grayish color. Unlike table salt, which is unnaturally white and verges on being a powder, Celtic sea salt is always a little wet.
Himalayan salt may sound a little more familiar to you. It has become somewhat of a craze in the personal wellness industry with spas all over the country offering Himalayan salt rooms, baths and scrubs.
Himalayan salt lamps have also become quite popular. They are supposed to cleanse the air and clear your sinuses.
This salt is the purest type of salt there is on Earth. Himalayan salt is a beautiful pink color. Like Celtic sea salt, it contains all 84 minerals.
When using either of these types of salt in your cooking, you’ll use about two thirds of what you would typically use. They are slightly more concentrated than regular table salt. So for any recipe that calls for a teaspoon of salt, you would use 2/3 of a teaspoon of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt.
Making the switch to natural salt will not only benefit your health, but you’ll also have more flavorful food. Natural salt is not refined, but it is bursting with flavor.
If you don’t particularly like cooking with salt but still want the health benefits, you can dissolve salt in your water. Won’t that dehydrate you? Actually, it won’t. Surprisingly, only refined salt dehydrates. Natural salt won’t. Add less than a teaspoon to a glass of water and you’ve consumed your daily recommended amount of trace minerals!