Salt is one of the greatest spices ever known to man. Time and time again, we have seen just how important salt is to the lifestyle of mankind. It is a necessary tool for survival, a form of currency, a source of armed conflict, and almost everything in between. Truly, one cannot live without the help of such a wonderful flavoring.
So what is all this talk about it?
Well, I’ve mentioned this in several of my articles, but it seems like the main point raised against using salt is the amount of sodium that gets into our bodies. High sodium intake has been found to be the source of many health complications like high blood pressure, heart attack, kidney stones, among others. If left unattended, or if we continue indulging ourselves in salty goodness, then we would undoubtedly end up in some sort of problem.
Avoiding the salt shaker may be a good idea, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many sources of sodium that can affect our health. Again, I say this: salt is not the source of evil here. The real problem is how we use it.
It’s interesting to note that salt has a long history with us. In the past, with the absence of refrigeration, man used generous amounts of salt to preserve their food. That’s where our salted fish came from (like the salted cod that is so popular in some Spanish countries), and the bacon that we all love today (although the ones we have are lighter versions of the salty original). Because it is so difficult to obtain salt before, it has become a form of currency in some cultures. Even soldiers in Roman times get their salaries in the form of salt. Salt has also been used to lower the temperature of ice, making it possible to prepare foods like ice cream. Salt is also the first flavoring to use when you need to add some life to an otherwise bland dish.
Indeed, there are so many things that we need salt for. Unfortunately, the fact that it is so common makes it easy for manufacturing firms to sprinkle a little too much of it in the packaged meals that they prepare. That is why even if we avoid putting salt in our food, we would still be getting too much sodium at the end of the day.
As for those who say that sea salt, fleur de sel, or kosher salt are much better than the common table salt, they are badly mistaken. Based on an interview hosted by Leonard Lopate, Dr. Sonia Angell says that salt in any form would still contain the same amount of sodium. The only difference would be the amount of minerals that they contain. The main concern would be the amount of sodium that gets into the body.
The bottom line here is moderation. As long as we use a minimal amount of salt on our food, or avoid it entirely when the packaged meal we buy has it already, then we can pretty much enjoy the great taste of food that only salt can bring, and at the same time not putting too much strain on our bodies.