One of the most controversial seasonings is salt. When I was a kid, we weren't allowed to use salt on our food. My father had high blood pressure and the fear was that if we used salt it could cause a heart attack. So I went through my childhood eating bland food – and stealing salt on the side. After all, I wasn't the one suffering from high blood pressure, so why should I have to suffer with bland food?
Because I find salt so controversial, I spoke to my doctor, Dr. Timothy Brantley, about salt. I told him it made me bloat: it made my ankles and hands swell if I had too much salt in my food at a restaurant the night before. He told me that was because I was eating the wrong kind of salt.
He accredited my bloat - and the possibility of high blood pressure, etc. - to Iodized Table Salt. This is that finely ground salt that we find on tables in most restaurants and most old-fashioned homes. Why do I say "old-fashioned" homes? Because younger generations have searched for fashionable salt and have already discovered Evaporated Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt.
Thirty years ago, Dr. Brantley said that I was very devoid of minerals. It's very hard to get really good minerals into the body since minerals are pretty much "rock" and very difficult to absorb. I mean we could eat them as pills, but as always the best way is the most natural way. For me the best was the way he told me! That was through Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt. He wanted me to take evaporated salt because he considered it more "raw."
He didn't want me to have processed salt because processed salt, like processed food, was heated, colored, and had chemicals added. I guess table salt has iodine, chemicals to prevent it from caking, is bleached white, and it is cooked in order to extract the salt. What this does is it causes salt to be the source of edema (swelling).
Many people think this causes high blood pressure, and the reason that I agree and I believe that it does is because after eating salt, the ensuing swelling of the tissue squeezes the veins, arteries, and capillaries traveling through this tissue all around your body. This squeezing forces the heart to work harder to push the blood through. The fortunate thing is that this is a temporary state - temporary until you eat iodized table salt again.
But as most of us know, there's salt in almost all processed packaged food. Most food companies use salt as a preservative because it can kill bacteria. It is also in most restaurant food, because as every restaurant owner knows, any mistake in the kitchen can be corrected with the right amount of salt. That's the magic of salt, and why it is so controversial.
(On a side note, it will be interesting to see how many restaurants close down after they pass the salt laws in New York…)
The Bible has so much to say on salt. Jesus says that an apostle who isn't doing his job is basically like bland salt: useless. I mean if you can't season the food, why salt it? He told that to the apostles as they were going out into the world: basically creating a new flavor, a new taste, a new life, a new religion.
"Salt is a necessity of life and was a mineral that was used since ancient times in many cultures as a seasoning, a preservative, a disinfectant, a component of ceremonial offerings, and as a unit of exchange." - Wikipedia
In fact, I always laugh at my Russian boyfriend because he won't pass the salt hand to hand: it's a superstition to pass the salt by placing it on the table and allowing the other person to pick it up. He has no idea why he does this, and has no idea where the superstition first came from. Even so, he totally freaks out if I accidentally take the salt from his hand before he places it on the table. Finally, one day I got frustrated with him and asked him if he knew where this came from. And when he didn't I told him the following story:
When people were dealing and using salt in their exchanges (because salt was a unit of exchange), if you passed the salt from hand-to-hand, you could hide the salt in the cracks of your palm, thereby cheating the other person. So the salt was not passed from hand-to-hand, where it could also melt from body heat, it was passed by putting it on the table and the other person picking it up free and clear. This just goes to show how important salt is.
I have made salt, once again, a staple in my life. I get my main source of minerals from salt. But the right salt, the proper salt, is what is so important here. And if you decide you want to salt, I suggest doing some kinesiology - also called muscle testing. Hopefully any health store person can help you do that. And perhaps I should do my next blog on kinesiology...?
Please let me know what you think on Twitter or Instagram, both @modelcarolalt.