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When it comes to salt, the term to know is ‘unrefined’.
To the horror of salty snack lovers everywhere, salt has fallen out of fashion with the medical community. Since the late ‘70s, the salt shaker has been put to blame for its fair share of diet-related cardiovascular disease. Though the quantity of salt in our diets has always been in the spotlight, maybe we should begin paying more attention to the quality.
Did you know that the salt we most often consume today is not the same salt people have enjoyed throughout the ages? In its natural state, salt exists with a mix of other minerals and trace minerals, which can compose up to roughly 20% of naturally harvested salt’s content. It is in this balance that humans have traditionally consumed salt and reaped its health benefits for millennia.
The natural mixture of minerals such as magnesium and calcium work with sodium to support the body’s vital balance in electrolytes and to keep the body’s fluids in balance. When salt is refined, these minerals are removed through industrial processes that allow the isolated minerals to be resold on their own. When sodium is isolated this way, it has proved to have almost the opposite effect on those same bodily systems, which, in its natural state, is intended to support. It is this form of processed salt that has gained such a bad rap in the medical community over the years.
Unrefined sea salt is often called ‘grey’ sea salt. Its grey hue comes from the naturally occurring mix of minerals. That’s how you can tell you are getting great quality, natural salt, free from the anti-caking agents and other additives found in most table salts.
Just as we’ve learned of other foods like unrefined or ‘virgin’ olive oil, the quality of some of our most basic ingredients can have a big impact on our health. Salt is vital to our health and an irreplaceable seasoning in a well-rounded diet. For all of the salty snack lovers out there, I hope that the truth about unrefined salt comes as a welcome surprise. Salt in moderation is not a guilty pleasure, but a vital component to a balanced diet.
Light Grey Celtic Sea Salt