Category: Busting Some Myths

Pink salt

Salt is yet another substance we have been conditioned to fear, a little like cholesterol and sunlight. We need salt, however not all salts are equal.

The role of salt is to bind water and maintain intracellular and extracellular fluids in the right balance.

Salt is critical for nerve transmission, muscular contraction, and is a strong natural antihistamine. Among other things salt clears up catarrh and congestion in the sinuses, makes bones firm, regulates sleep, can prevent varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs and supplies the body with over 80 essential mineral elements.

The vast majority of salt consumed is highly refined, pearly white, table salt. So let’s look at the difference between refined and unrefined salt.

Unrefined salt

  • Obtained by simply letting the sun evaporate the water, this naturally preserves all the ingredients.
  • Contains more than 80 substances that we need to maintain electrolyte balance in our bodies

Refined salt

  • Treated with chemicals such as chlorine, sulphuric acid and caustic soda, which is used to remove potassium.
  • Water is evaporated using very high temperatures. This process changes the molecular structure of the salt. Following this process only the sodium and chloride is left.
  • Manufactures add an anticaking agent such as aluminium salicylate, so that the salt doesn’t clump and will pour easily. Also added is bleach so the salt looks pearly white, making it more attractive to consumers.
  • This process produces a product that increases the acidity in the body which leads to decreased immunity.
  • Increased blood pressure is another well-known side effect; this is due to the lack of potassium and higher saturation of sodium (around 40%).

So which salts should you choose?

Unrefined salts are sea salts, which should be grey in colour, and rock salts. There is now however, some concerns around sea salt due to the pollutants in our beautiful oceans. For this reason I tend to buy Himalayan pink rock salt which is readily available.

General guidelines for quantity seem to be around 1 tsp per day. Current consumption, for the majority, is much higher due to the addition of refined salt in processed foods.

I start my day with an 8th of a teaspoon of pink salt followed by about 600mls of water. The salt assures that I absorb the water, rather than it just passing straight through. The addition of a pinch of salt, followed by drinking water, generates alkaline properties and provides you with important minerals and trace elements.

AvocadosDespite a long campaign to rid fat from our diets, we are fatter and sicker than ever before. Why?

Natural fats are incredibly important; following are some of the ways in which our bodies utilize healthy fats:

  • For brain development
  • For the development of the nervous system
  • It plays an important role in cushioning vital internal organs
  • It is a vital source of energy
  • It plays a role in insulating our bodies
  • Healthy fats in a meal increase the feeling of satiety, reducing to quantity of food you need to feel full.
  • In a meal it also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, as foods that contain fat, will slow down the rate in which glucose is released into the blood
  • It is vital for the transportation of fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E, and, K.
  • They are components of cell membranes
  • Fats also play a role in the regulation of genes and hormones

To keep it simple let’s look at fats as  natural or man-made and saturated or unsaturated.

Natural Saturated Fat is solid at room temperature and can be found in foods such as Butter, Coconut, Ghee and Meat. This type of fat is good for you, provided it is organically sourced; it is also the best to cook with as it is more stable. I say organically sourced because many toxins can be stored in the fat of animals that have been treated with chemicals.

Natural Unsaturated fat tends to be liquid at room temperature. These are either Mono-unsaturated or Poly-unsaturated.

Mono-unsaturated fats are found in foods like Olives, Avocados, Nuts, and Seeds. Also oils such as macadamia and olive oil. These are wonderfully nutrient dense foods.

Poly-unsaturated fats are most well known as  Omega 3 and Omega 6. These unsaturated fats can be found in flaxseed, walnuts, fatty fish and sunflower seeds and are essential to our diet as they can not be made by the body.

Man Made Fats are found in items (I refuse to call it food) such as Margarine, and most processed foods such as breads, cakes and biscuits. Trans-fat, although it can be found naturally occurring in some milk and meats; the primary dietary source is from the partially hydrogenated oils found in most processed foods. Trans-fats have been implicated in cognitive dysfunction, mental health disorders, coronary heart disease, diabetes, abnormal foetal growth rates, and cancer, to name but a few. In June of this year the FDA took a step to remove artificial trans-fat from the food supply in America. This step is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year. Now we just need Australia to come to the party! It is also important for you to be aware of Vegetable Oils. I am not sure why they are called vegetable oils as they are actually seed oils. The most common are rapeseed (canola oil), soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, and peanut. Unlike coconut oil or olive oil that can be extracted by pressing, these ‘vegetable’ oils have to be extracted in very unnatural ways, and have been shown to be very destructive to your health.

There is so much discussion to be had on this subject as for years we have been subjected to a fear campaign around the consumption of fat. There are many myths and much dogma that needs to be reversed. Please note: Fat does not make you fat. Natural Fat is not only good for you, it is essential to health. Low fat products are a marketing scam, avoid them. (When you take the fat out of a food, it tastes yuck, so they add in a load of cheap nasty processed sugar.)

Load up on nourishing fat from natural foods such as avocadoes, nuts, cold pressed oils, whole eggs, chia seeds, fatty fish (wild caught, not farmed), coconut, natural full fat yoghurt, and don’t forget dark chocolate!