When it comes to salt, it’s all the same stuff right? Salt is just salt. Wrong. Very wrong.
Much of the Western world believes salt as sodium chloride, that processed, highly refined white stuff which just happens to be completely devoid of nutrients. Salt is not just salt, and as it’s a substance which the human body cannot live without (it serves and provides for many of our organs and other bodily functions) it’s pretty important that you’re aware of the differences.
White salt, or table salt (NaCl), as it’s sometimes known, is about 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% toxic chemicals such as moisture absorbents and anti-caking agents which are added to increase the ease of pouring. It is highly refined, has been dried at way over 1000 degrees and is bleached white and cleaned chemically. This process removes any trace minerals and nutrients that we think we’re getting when we eat salt and it turns the substance into something which the human body doesn’t recognise as food and cannot break down.
These anti-caking agents used in refined salt are commonly sodium alumino-silicate and alumino-calcium silicate, which are both sources of the toxic metal aluminium which is linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. These agents perform the same function in our bodies as they do in salt, which is to make the salt very hard to dissolve and combine with fluids in our system. This leaves unwanted built-up deposits of the product in our tissues and organs.
So what should we be using instead?
Clearly, chemically refined white table salt is not something you should be putting into your own human body (if you care about it, that is), so the alternative (which seems like the wrong word as it really shouldn’t be seen as an alternative, but rather the default choice) is Natural full-spectrum Sea Salts. Himalayan Sea and Celtic Sea Salts to be specific. At Atsumi Raw Cafe, we use Himalayan Sea Salt in our products so that’s what I’ll focus on here.
Himalayan Sea Salt (which comes in the form of beautiful pink crystals) contains a full spectrum of 84 minerals and trace elements just like Mother Nature intended. It hasn’t been cooked at incredibly high degrees, hasn’t been processed and hasn’t been refined, bleached or chemically altered. It’s generally considered to be the purest form of whole salt on the planet (although Celtic Sea Salt is a close second), and is found naturally and hand-mined from the Himalayan Mountain range salt caves. The salt found in these caves are around 250 million years old, a time before the Earth was polluted with pesticides, heavy metals and PCBs. Eating Himalayan Salts is a bit like going back in time and eating the minerals from a pre-industrial Earth.
Don’t be fooled by the “Sea Salt” scam
After reading this blog, it’s possible you’ll check your local supermarket and see items labeled simply as “Sea Salt” which is just white table salt packaged and sexed-up as something more. All salt theoretically can be labeled as sea salt because at some point it came from the sea during the Earth’s 4.54 billion year history.
However, this “Sea Salt” is just the white refined salt as it still goes through the same chemical cleaning and heating process, stripping the salt’s minerals and nutrients. These generic “Sea Salts” will also be white in colour, and this is how you know it’s not something you should consider eating. Any full-spectrum, natural, healthy salt will never have a white colour, they’ll either be pink, brown or sandy. White is not the colour that salt is found in it’s natural state!
White salt dominates the food market though, so it must be ok?
Refined salt is so popular and dominates the supermarket shelves not because it’s a good, healthy option, but because it’s cheap to produce and creates a much larger profit margin for corporations, which let’s face it, is all they care about. When you think about it though, it’s really quite simple…
…Would you rather consume a product which has been chemically cleaned, altered, bleached, heated at incredibly high temperatures (which changes the molecular structure) and which doesn’t contain any minerals or vitamins which nature intended? Or, a product which hasn’t been chemically altered, is natural, contains 84 trace minerals and won’t poison your body? We know which one we prefer.