10. Regular Salt Will Make Your Head Explode!
I’m not going to talk about how the link between sodium intake and hypertension is tenuous at best. Instead, I’m going to discuss something far more insidious and it has to do with what the “salt is bad” myth has done to most of us nutritionally.
You’re aware that the body needs iodine, right? The body uses it to synthesize the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. If there’s not enough iodine in the diet, you might develop thyroid nodules or even a monstrous, freak-show goiter on your neck.
However, a milder deficiency might make it hard for you to stay lean, or saddle you with mysterious fatigue, depression, some unexplained autoimmune disease(s), a psychiatric disorder, fibrocystic breast disease, or even cancer. Other less serious problems might include dry skin or constipation.
If you live by an ocean, you probably get plenty of iodine (provided you eat locally grown foods). However, the farther away from the ocean you live, the harder it is to obtain enough iodine.
Luckily, in 1924, the smart people at the Morton Salt Company started adding iodine to their salt. That pretty much took care of all iodine deficiency in the U.S. as people in Kansas got as much iodine in their diet as people in Massachusetts.
But then came the doctors. They started telling people to restrict their salt intake, lest they develop high blood pressure and invite heart failure. People listened. As a result, they started to develop iodine deficiencies.
But there are other factors, too, that make it statistically probable that you have an iodine deficiency. For one, chemicals in drinking water like chlorine and fluoride compete with iodine for the same receptors in the body. Then there are the people who exercise a lot, as they excrete a lot of precious iodine through their sweat.
What you’re left with is a society where, by some estimates, up to 74% of its adults are deficient in iodine.
What many of you need to do is to start using iodized salt again. Don’t think that you’re off the hook because you get plenty of salt when you eat out or you eat lots of canned food or Doritos. Restaurants or processed-food manufacturers don’t use iodized salt.
Likewise, the sea salt and pink gourmet salt from the Gobi Desert that your cosmetic and deodorant-avoiding naturalist girlfriend use contain only meager amounts of iodine.
Get thee some old fashioned Morton’s Iodized salt and keep a shaker on the table and use it liberally (provided you don’t have sodium-related hypertension, of course).