Confusing the Truth with the Facts?
At any given moment in time, the sun is shining and its completely dark out. Which of those realities is true for you depends on one simple fact…your geophysical location… our view of the sun depends entirely on where we are looking at it from.
The same is true of our view of salt. A recent news article published in the New York Times was the third high profile article in the last year on the subject of salt and personal health. Interestingly, vacillation and indecision are the cornerstones of the entire argument made both for and against the consumption of salt. The most recent article suggests there are serious concerns associated with the consumption of too much salt in our diets!
We agree and cite the often wrong, age old adage: If a little is good, a lot must be better. That’s not always true, so where do you draw the line? The following brief discussion might very well change your view. Let’s look at the consumption of salt in the context of drinking sea water.
Feel free to skip the somewhat generalized albeit wordy chemistry lesson in the next paragraph!
A bit of renal capacity math: Your kidneys can output approximately 1,000 ml per hour when at rest. That’s an average of 6.3 gallons of urine output per day. Given current sea water consumption studies and the rule of thumb that the ocean is approximately 3,500 ppm of dissolved salts per gallon, safe consumption of sea water would allow for a 2:1 ratio of fresh water to sea water. That’s 2 gallons per day of sea water without creating renal stress. There is approximately one cup (8 ounces net weight) of sea salt per gallon of sea water. That means that your kidneys can process up to ONE pound of unrefined sea salt a day with no problem!! Do we recommend that? NO!! Emphatically NO!!!
The primary issue is not how much we consume, but the type of salt we consume and the above reference article makes that quite clear! We need to quit eating refined sea salt and use ONLY unrefined, unprocessed sea salt if the myriad of maladies associated with the consumption of sea salt are to be marginalized. Most of the medical experts are correct…salt IS bad for you if the salt you are eating is stripped of it’s naturally occurring elements and minerals! Rather than arguing about whether or not it’s healthy to eat salt, perhaps someone could give some attention to the type of salt consumed…oh wait…someone did!
Dr. John H. M. Laragh published the second edition of his medical research, study and findings with numerous updates into a hardbound volume now sold by Amazon. The theme of his original research study? Hypertension: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Management. This study with updates is now over 3300 pages in length including annotations and references. That is a solid piece of research highlighting the true nature of hypertension and it’s underlying causes.
Dr. Laragh specifically addresses the importance of sodium intake as well as the bodies inability to metabolize refined sodium chloride. This physiological inability is only manifested when consuming refined salt (kosher & table), but when consuming unrefined salt with the other minerals and elements intact (though in agreeably small quantities) the body reacts quite differently and with what is commonly acknowledged by informed medical professionals as a “healthy” response. Hypertension according to Dr. Laragh is for 99%+ of the population not a hereditary condition, but primarily dietary and occurs as a direct result of the consumption of refined salts.
So, before you begin to worry about how much salt you should be eating, look more closely at the TYPE of salt you are eating! We’ll offer additional chemistry lessons along the way! (feel free to review last weeks MythInformation – Myth #1)