Is your salt real? Such a funny question to ask, right?! But now that I have learned more about what is in actual table salt (and also what is done TO the salt before it hits the grocer’s shelves), this is a valid question to ask yourself!
Prior to a few years ago I would have NEVER questioned the real-ness of the salt I used for baking and seasoning my food. Why would salt NOT be real???
Salt has historically been a valuable and treasured part of the diet. People fought over it, traded it, taxed it and priced it high.
And think about it – our ancestors didn’t have refrigerators or freezers and so to preserve their meat they rubbed it with salt. It flavors otherwise bland foods. Think of all the ways we use salt. It is used in things such as:
– canning vegetables
– making rubber
– curing leather
– making glass
– making cheese
– salting pasta water
…just to name a few.
It is also CRUCIAL to our well-being:
In the body, salt is as important to humans as water or air, in fact each of us contain from four to eight ounces of salt. Salt helps maintain the normal volume of blood in the body and also helps keep the correct balance of water in and around the cells and tissues. It is also necessary for the formation and proper function of nerve fibers, which carry impulses to and from the brain, and plays an important part in the digestion of food and is essential in making the heart beat correctly.
The sodium found in salt is an essential nutrient. Sodium, together with calcium, magnesium and potassium, helps regulate the body’s metabolism. In combination with potassium, it regulates the acid-alkaline balance in our blood and is also necessary for proper muscle functioning. When we don’t get enough sodium chloride, we experience muscle cramps, dizziness, exhaustion and, in extreme cases, convulsions and death. Salt is essential to our well being. – Source
Table salt (which is different than real salt/sea salt, although they both start out the same) is heavily processed. Before you buy it and put it on your food, it goes through a process of stripping minerals from it – everything except for sodium and chloride. This stripping of minerals is usually done by heating to VERY high temps ( up to 1200°F – which, on a different note, actually changes its chemical/molecular structure rendering it into an unrecognizable substance to our bodies), or it is done using bleaching agents. YUCK! Then, iodine is added back in (necessary mineral to prevent goiter) along with various other chemicals that help prevent it from caking or from absorbing water. Those additives often make the salt taste bitter, hence the need for them to often add sugar/dextrose.
Real salt is found in the salt water of the oceans – but not necessarily from the oceans as we know them. There are salt beds (from where oceans USED to be) all over the earth. This real salt (often called Sea Salt) is chock-full of naturally occurring trace minerals – over 60 of them. It tastes better, too! I can hardly stand to use regular table salt now that we’ve been using Real Salt for the last couple of years. You’ll notice that there are pink/brown flecks in it – those are the naturally occurring trace minerals (they haven’t been bleached or leached out of it!) A great source of info about Real Salt is found at their website as well: www.realsalt.com
Personally, I use this real salt – incidentally, it’s name is “Redmond’s Real Salt“! HA!
The link above (just click on the name “Redmond’s Real Salt“) is available in a lot of grocery stores, but you can also get it through the Amazon link I provided. (and yes, I do get compensated a very small amount when you purchase things through links I add – just a bit to help me cover the cost of running this website!)
Tropical Traditions, another of my favorite companies, also carries a real sea salt called Himalyan Salt, Fine Grind – 1 kilo that actually prefer!
EITHER way, REAL SALT is a great necessary, tasty and healthful addition to a Real Food Lifestyle!