Why We Don't Drink Salt Water

In reality, humans don't need "salt" in their diets at all. If we did, we would drink salt water. But, humans do need sodium - the natural sodium element found in the soil and in foods grown naturally from the soil. It's the specific sodium + chloride isolated combination that humans and other animals don't need in their diet.

Centuries ago man began using "sodium chloride" from evaporated salt water to preserve meat on sailing ships. Eventually this became popular as a cure for meat, comparable to the philosophy of "mummification." But this started a bad dietary habit because the "salt shaker" isn't a natural component in any animal's healthy diet. Animals don't need to eat a sodium + chloride combination; it dries out the body much like curing meats, and mummifies the arteries and the muscles. But other forms of sodium, such as sodium potassium, are healthy and helpful to human health. In the 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services recommends that we choose and prepare our foods with less salt - sodium + chloride, that is.

Natural sodium occurs in the soil, spring water, and in foods, but salt in the form of sodium + chloride is found commonly in evaporated salt water and dried seabeds. People consume sodium every day in foods like melon, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, lettuce, and mushrooms. But the sodium present in these natural foods is not "sodium + chloride", or what we know as common table salt. And we are currently learning through our scrutiny of the newest sweetener, Splenda ® made with sucralose, that chlorine isn't healthy to consume in any form.

Sodium is a mineral needed by the human body for regulation of fluids, contraction of muscles, and conduction of nerve impulses. To maintain your sodium/water balance, excess sodium is removed naturally by the body via the
kidneys. It is the "sodium + chloride" in table salt that can be harmful for you by hardening (drying) your body, especially if eaten in large quantities.

You can eat all the table salt you want, and your cells can still be sodium deficient. Getting your sodium from plants rather than from table salt is the better choice to make because it has been proven that sodium combined with other
elements from plants will not cause high blood pressure. Not only does table salt contribute to high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, but it also stimulates unnecessary swelling in the cells of the body and overworks the heart. When your doctor warns you to "watch your salt", that means to stop eating sodium chloride, but your body still needs sodium. The importance of common sodium to animal nutrition has been recognized since prehistoric times. An alloy of sodium with potassium, NaK, for example, is an important heat transfer agent, and when balanced inside of your body tissues, NaK helps regulate blood pressure and the body temperature of most mammals. NaK is found in natural foods.

So, eat your kale, spinach and dark greens. It will keep your arteries young and elastic, help your blood flow more efficiently to rejuvenate your organs, and even your sense of smell will improve significantly with natural forms of

Reducing the amount of processed foods in your diet, along with seeking unpolluted and natural food sources, will decrease your exposure to salt - isolated sodium chloride, that is. By avoiding, or at least decreasing your consumption of manufactured foods, you can significantly reduce your chances of eating the wrong kind of salt. Combine this awareness with fresh, organic foods, if possible, vegetables and naturally raised meats and eggs, and you will be on the right health track. The taste for salt (much like sugar) is acquired and can be relearned. By gradually cutting down on your salt "shaker", your taste buds will have time to adjust to the change.

A bit of history: Sodium compounds are important in the paper, glass, soap, textile, petroleum, chemical, and metal industries. Soap is generally a sodium salt of certain fatty acids. In Medieval times, sodium was a headache remedy. Long recognized in compounds, sodium was first isolated in 1807 by electrolysis of caustic soda. Sodium, like most every reactive element, is never found free in nature, but is combined with other natural elements. Sodium is a soft, bright, silvery metal that actually floats on water. Simply be selective with which sodium compound you choose to eat!

It is difficult in modern times for most people to avoid eating some amount of sodium chloride, so if using "table salt", select a form of salt (sodium + chloride + other minerals) that is pure and natural, so the body will assimilate it more naturally. Plus, pure and natural forms of sea salt (those not altered by human manufacturing) also have other minerals within the sodium compounds, so the body receives more than just the isolated chloride.

For more information on lowering salt in your diet, visit

Posted February 2005 | Permanent Link

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