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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why You Should Cross Salt Consumption Off of Your Guilt-List

As we're all frantically preparing for Thanksgiving today... and excitedly planning on stuffing our faces tomorrow, I just thought I'd throw out one thing you really shouldn't worry about:

Don't feel guilty about salting your food as you cook, or after you plate it either! 

Salt is good for you. Table salt (bonus points if it's high quality table salt) is not the evil sodium that you've heard you should stay away from.

Here are some really good posts that give you in-depth reasons why salt is great and why you should a) find a good source and b) eat more of it!

Yes, more salt!

But if you don't have time to read them today, don't worry! I'll recap.

So the first post is from Scientific American and to sum it up, I'll quote this sentence, "For every study that suggests that salt is unhealthy, another does not." This New York Times article agrees with that. So. That's confusing. Or maybe not! Maybe we should just use common sense and let "them" (whoever they are) argue about it.

We should cook with salt. And eat less fast food and less bags of chips. The salt in our home-cooked deliciousness will help us crave the chips, less. I hope ;-)

The next one I want you to read is 12 Reasons Why Salt is Good for You. Cause even if you only skim it, you'll feel less guilty about sprinkling salt as you cook the gravy! I mean, if nothing else, my favorite reason that salt is good for you is that it makes your food taste good! And if your food tastes good, you're tummy is happy. And if your tummy is happy, you are happy. Everyone wins! Bonus points if you want to read this article which compares different unrefined salts.

Katie Kimball is always my go-to resource on food questions. She has a really well-researched post on salt at Kitchen Stewardship. I really like how she breaks down all the chemical processes and additives in normal white table salt. It kind of freaks me out (ew) but it's still good to know!

And finally, Sally Fallon reminds us in the book Nourishing Traditions {affiliate link here} that with only a few exceptions, all traditional cultures use some salt. People have always sought out natural forms of salt. And discovered that salt helps preserve and even enhances the nutrients in vegetables (when lacto-fermented.)

A really important (and pretty easy) thing to remember is that if your salt is white, it's been tampered with. Natural salt is going to have some sort of color (pink, grey, brown, even red) which shows that it still has all of it's trace minerals. Katie Kimball says natural salt has 84 (!!!) trace minerals! Whew. All the buzz about "sea salt" doesn't really matter if the salt is white. That means they bleached it, among many other things. Ew!!!

So, colorful salt is the healthiest salt. 

We use pink Himalayan salt because it's the easiest for me to get from the German grocery store.

So while we are all probably justified feeling a tiny bit guilty about those three slices of pie, we don't really have to worry about salting our buttery mashed potatoes.

Wait, am I the only one planning on at least three slices of pie? ;-)

Today's takeaway: be thankful for (and eat plenty of) salt tomorrow, and every day! 

A very very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


  1. Yes you're the only one having 3 slices of pie :D.
    An interesting read, I wonder if we've lost the art of seasoning food and use ketchup etc as a substitute for salt and pepper? I've just banned bottled sauces from the house and as a result we're using more salt, pepper and vinegar.

    With regards to giving up chips... you mean the American chips don't you *crosses fingers*, I don't think I could give up English chips

    1. Sarah if you mean french fries, then no. Never give up french fries. (That's my guilty pleasure - with plenty of ketchup and mayo haha) but bagged chips are "American chips" right?

      I agree with you totally about the lost art of seasoning. If our home cooked food doesn't taste good, we won't be as happy about going through all the hard work to prepare it! And it's so much better for us than take out or frozen dinners!

  2. our amish store calls it "real salt" and it's tasty. lots of brown and tan bits. I only buy the normal stuff for salt dough and play dough and total emergencies.