Too Much of a Good Thing

We know that too much sodium isn’t good for us, but I would venture to make a totally unscientific guess that virtually every American over the age of one has too much sodium in their diet. In fact, many people consume ten times the recommended amount of sodium per day. The most obvious culprit may be the salt you use to season your meals, but I for one, have no intention of ever giving that up.

So this is good news for me: 75% of the average American’s sodium intake comes from processed foods and fast foods, so limiting these products in your diet will be more effective at reducing your sodium intake than giving up salt.

Not all salts are created equal. While iodized salt may be in the pantry of nearly every American kitchen, I would steer clear. Potassium iodide was first added to salt in 1924 because many people were not getting enough iodine in their diets. These days, it’s better to get your iodine by eating fish or sea vegetables or taking a dietary supplement. Highly refined salts, like iodized and most table salts, are stripped of other natural beneficial minerals like potassium and magnesium, which can actually help your body absorb sodium.

So what kind of salt should you use? Unrefined gray sea salt is perfect for all types of cooking. As a finishing salt, go for French fleur de sel or Portuguese flor de sal (both literally translate to “the flower of salt”). Not only are these salts better for your body, they are much more flavorful.

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Vicki said...

Who knew? Thanks for the great info! I have all sorts of fancy schmancy Hawaiian sea salts that people have given me so I've been using those, mainly because I feel pretty cool with my pink and black and gray salts, but I didn't know I was actually being healthier while doing it!

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