To salt or not to salt; that is the question?

There is this big controversy going on right now about salt. Is there really a difference between regular iodized table salt and sea salt, and should you use it or omit it totally from your diet? Some States are even talking about banning salt altogether. I agree with the fact that many people are exceeding the daily recommendation of sodium in their diet.
Now, did you catch what I said, “daily recommendation” Hmm, apparently the experts believe that a daily recommendation is necessary, and I believe it is.

Here’s the problem, most people have no idea what their daily sodium intake level is, so how do they know if they are exceeding it? You need to know this! The American Heart Association recommends consuming less than 1500mg/day1. I have spent numerous hours doing research on the internet regarding salt, and the information out there is very confusing, very conflicting on both sides, and very much opinion based. Having said that, I am going to express my opinion on this controversy.

I exercise daily, running between 4 or 5 miles a day, and my body sweats out the salt. I have to replenish it with salt, as your body does require it! So exercising and/or lack of exercising then becomes a factor in the amount of salt that your body will require. Secondly, Americans eat out 4-5 times a week. The average restaurant meal contains almost an entire day’s worth of calories, fat and sodium.2 So don’t eliminate eating out, just limit eating out, and you will probably reduce your sodium intake by half in doing so! The next thing you want to pay attention to is avoiding frozen foods, and processed foods as these usually contain high levels of sodium. Canned goods including soups; choose wisely.3 I use canned beans quite often, but I will always rinse and drain them, because they are packed in salt as it is often used as a preservative. This allows me to control the amount of salt that I will add to a dish later. Next, taste your food first to see if it needs any added salt. I’m always amazed when I see people going for the shaker and you see this snow of salt covering their plate! Eliminate diet pop altogether, there is nothing good about the stuff! This might be shocking to some of you, but the next thing to consider is prescription and over the counter drugs. If you are taking one or a combination of many, you will be increasing your sodium considerably. Many drugs like Ibuprofen and Naproxen Sodium are basically sodium based medications. Sodium is what allows the pill to be distributed through your body. Try to always use fresh ingredients, such as garlic, vegetables, and fruits. Grow your own if it is possible! The last thing I want to add is, try to cook more at home, that way you control what goes in it! Choose alternative products, seasonings and blends that are all natural and don’t contain MSG, Preservatives and Fillers. You can’t totally eliminate all the garbage unless you just stop eating altogether, but you can reduce it! Read the labels on everything you buy! You don’t have to sacrifice the flavor or the salt!

That is what The Zesty Moose is all about! All of our products do contain sea salt, and there is a big difference in iodized table salt vs. sea salt. There is a very concise paragraph on our website under Finishing Salts that will briefly explain the difference, and why we choose to use sea salt in our products. I also recommend that you go to the internet and look up information on sea salts and how they are harvested; as it is a very detailed process, but that is what makes it natural and better for you. Educate yourself so that you can make decisions on what you need to do; because it isn’t going to be the same for everyone. All of these things are important factors to consider when it comes to salt. Know your source; and in most cases you will have more than one source contributing to your sodium intake. Also, do what you can to reduce it. So my answer to this ongoing controversy, to salt or not to salt; in my opinion, go for the right salt in moderation!

1. American Heart Association
2. Fast Food or Fast Fat Article – Katie Bogue-Registered Dietitian
3. Do You Know The Daily Recommendation For Salt Article – Ashley Bond
(Published Jan. 14 ,2011).

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