Not All Salt is Created Equal
by Mark A. Carroll
During the last visit to my cardiologist, I was surprised to hear him say, “You must stop eating salt. No chips or anything with a lot of salt.” This is a request heard all over the world; advice given by thousands of cardiologists to their patients. My test results and his comment took me by surprise. I thought I was doing a good job dealing with salt. I have been cognizant of salty foods and overly salted products for years and had done my best to avoid them. And yet, I am now told I need to stop eating salt.
What to Do?
So, my next logical step was to have a conversation with my daughter. She is an Invasive Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT), and has been working with cardiologists in a cardiac catheterization lab for over a year. To my surprise, her response was, “I have been using Himalayan salt for a while now and my blood pressure has actually gone down.” I thought to myself; “wait a minute, why did my cardiologist tell me to stop eating salt if it can actually help me with hypertension…am I missing something?”
As it turns out, I was missing something. After much research I came to the conclusion that not all salt is created equal. Some salt is “created” for ease of use, or should I say self-abuse, while others are available as healthy alternatives to the salt Mom put on our table for years, readily available for my brothers, sister and I to sprinkle liberally on everything she cooked. And we took advantage of every tiny grain. As it turns out, my cardiologist is correct (well, sort of). It all depends on what type of salt you are consuming.
Since I don’t have a lot of space to expound on my findings, I thought I would point out some of the positive things I discovered. The most positive was the fact that our bodies actually need salt to survive and there are some types of salt that are more beneficial than others. My daughter’s comments prompted me to research one particular type of salt, Himalayan.
Himalayan salt is a holistic salt complete with all-natural elements. The benefits of natural Himalayan salt include:
- Helps to regulate hydration
- Promotes healthy pH balance in our cells, particularly our brain cells
- Is a natural anti-histamine
- Supports respiratory health and promotes sinus health
- Helps to prevent muscle cramps
- Promotes bone strength
- Promotes vascular health
What…does the last point actually say “promotes vascular health?” Shouldn’t that read “destroys vascular health?” I thought so at first, but then I did a little more research. As it turns out, there is a concoction you can mix that is reported to actually help lower your blood pressure. It’s a combination of natural salt and purified water.
I learned a new definition of an old word while doing my research as well — sole. Not filet of sole, though many will tell you this is beneficial. Not a sole survivor, the benefit of which is obvious. No, I’m talking about sole (pronounced Solay), water that has been fully saturated with a natural salt, and in this case, Himalayan Salt.
How it’s Made
Here is the simple formula: Fill a glass jar about ¼ full of Himalayan salt. Add filtered water to 1″ from the top. Put on a non-metallic lid and shake gently (not you, the jar). Leave overnight to let salt dissolve. After 24 hours, if there is salt at the bottom of the jar, your Sole is ready to use. If all the salt has dissolved, add more, shake (the jar), and wait another 24 hours. Once some salt remains after waiting 24 hours, your sole is ready (that’s a 26% solution, thank you chemistry class). This mixture will last indefinitely, as salt is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Add more salt and water as needed to keep the jar full. To drink (yes, I said drink), add one teaspoon full to a glass of purified water each morning before eating or drinking anything else. Do not add more, especially starting off. Work up slowly if this causes a detox reaction or a headache.
I was so impressed by the discovery of this concoction that I have decided to test it out for myself, since I currently live with what I like to call elevated blood pressure. I personally don’t like the sound of the word hypertension; it makes me hyper, which leads to a lot of tension. I like the thought of being able to lower my blood pressure naturally. I look forward to including the results of my personal experience with this concoction in the October edition of this newsletter. If things don’t work out as planned, I’m asking my daughter in advance to write the follow up article…as well as my obituary. Please be kind, I’ve been a good dad!
Mark A. Carroll is the Executive Editor of Developing Healthy Habits™. For the past 18 years, Mark has focused on a well written and clearly presented newsletter that is devoted to empowering individuals to make educated decisions related to their health and wellness.
Mark decided from the beginning that he did not want “infomercials” in his publication. He knew that, if a reader was to trust the information printed, it must be from a third party and not someone specifically trying to “sell” something. He has stuck to that plan since the first edition.
References available upon request.