Salt or not to salt

By Dan Wilson - Contributing columnist

Remember when Grandma used too say that using too much salt would turn you into a “moron?” It was a great fallback excuse when you got in trouble — but nobody ever believed it, including Grandma!

When we were younger it seemed like we used to put salt on everything. Salt on an apple, salt on a tomato, salt on salted food, and so on. Salt made everything taste better, regardless of what Grandma said.

The fact is, we consume way to much salt.

We consume salt or sodium in various forms other then the “salt shaker.” The sodium is found in table salt as sodium chloride, in baking soda as sodium bicarbonate.

Sodium is an essential mineral for the human body. As an added ingredient to most foods — used for curing meat, masking off-flavors, retaining moisture, and enhancing flavors — sodium is typically over-consumed in very high amounts in modern society (which confirms grandma’s theory when you consider the rise to power of Hillary Clinton and the ownership of the Cleveland Browns). Most of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed food rather than salt added while cooking.

What about sea salt, you ask? Sea salt, which is obtained by evaporating seawater, contains essential minerals and nutrients that are removed from table salt during the refining process. The sodium and chloride content in sea salt and table salt are similar, but sea salt has larger crystals with more flavor than powdered table salt. Minerals contained in sea salt are in their natural ratios, and this helps keep the body’s electrolytes in balance.

I started buying sea salt on a regular basis after I used it to brine a Thanksgiving Day turkey the night before cooking and noticed a huge difference. After that I used it consistently in any smoking of meats, as well.

After a little research I found other benefits. Apart from sodium, which is the primary mineral of any salt, pure sea salt retains all essential natural elements from the sea.

Sea salt can contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and iodine. Each of these elements is essential for good human health. For instance, calcium is required for bone formation, magnesium is necessary for proper cell and brain function, and iodine is essential to the cell metabolism necessary for normal growth.

If you are forced to take medication that includes a diuretic, you will immediately notice a depletion of potassium in your muscles (or muscle weakness) when working out. Getting anything in your diet that helps retain or add potassium is an added benefit.

So let’s keep the salt to minimum and replace with more sea salt — it may not keep you from being a moron, but it’s one less excuse … and for my married friends, carrying a salt shaker around with you isn’t going to help … it looks much worse then it tastes … LOL

Here’s seeing you, in Ohio Country!

By Dan Wilson

Contributing columnist

The writer is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years.

The writer is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years.