Where’s the salt?

I have talked before about the government’s war on salt. It completely lacks scientific evidence. Plus, few people who even try to follow the ridiculous government guidelines can actually achieve them. In fact, only about .01 percent of Americans consume the government recommended amount of salt.

There is probably something wrong with the guidelines, rather than 99.99 percent of Americans who can’t get there.

Plus–the evidence shows that stress is the real killer, not salt.

You see, the kidneys can normally remove excess salt. That is, unless you are stressed. When you’re under stress, the neuroendocrine system sends “danger” signals to your kidneys to retain extra fluid and salt. The extra salt starts to build up. It then reabsorbs water from the kidneys, instead of being excreted. This contributes to expansion of blood volume. As a result, your blood pressure rises. It does not take much, because a little extra salt goes a long way at retaining body fluids.

But, ultimately, this can lead to dehydration. Your body must work hard to get rid of all the extra salt it does not need. And all that excess salt takes a lot of water with it on its way back out through the kidneys. This dehydrates you. And as you learned in the Insiders’ Cures newsletter, dehydration wreaks havoc on your body.

Considering all of this, you may want to watch your salt intake from artificial and packaged foods. And this kind of food can be full of other unhealthy ingredients that nobody needs, anyway. Remember, moderation is the key to everything! Not too little. And not too much.

You’ll never get down to the government-recommended levels–and you don’t need to–but you can certainly cut out unnecessary, artificial sources of salt.

As you know, salt dries things out. In fact, salt was the “secret” they used in ancient Egypt to dry out and prepare mummies.

Salt also dries out food. It prevents bacteria from taking root and keeps the food from spoiling. So, it’s no surprise that salt has a strong history to this day in preserving foods, especially prepared and canned foods.

There are foods in the grocery store that you expect to have a lot of salt or sodium, such as cheese and crackers. You will also notice that manufactures now make low-salt versions of traditionally salty foods. They label these foods as “low sodium.” These are easy to spot.

But sodium can also lurk in many seemingly healthy foods. Here are some of the worst offenders…

You probably don’t think of bread as a salty food, but some types can contain fairly high amounts of sodium. A pita pocket, for example, contains more than 300 milligrams of salt. Low-sodium rye bread–which has its own health benefits–contains only 93 mg per slice. That’s significantly less than the 170 mg found in the average slice of white bread. Whole-grain bread has about 127 mg per slice.

You probably think salads are healthy. But pay attention to the condiments you add to your greens. For example, just one tablespoon of commercially prepared French dressing has 214 mg of sodium. Try using oil and red wine vinegar instead. It won’t add to your salt intake, despite the “salty” taste of the acetic acid in vinegar.

Canned foods also pose problems. Take canned beans, for example. One cup of plain baked beans has more than 1,000 mg of sodium. An organic roasted chicken breast, on the other hand, has less than 100 mg of sodium. But before you leave the beans altogether, try soaking and cooking dried beans. One cup of boiled navy beans, for example, has only 2 mg of sodium.

Also, be careful the next time you prepare pasta. On average, one cup of ready-to-serve marinara or tomato sauce contains more than 1,000 mg sodium! Raw, fresh tomatoes already contain sodium. So imagine what happens when you concentrate eight tomatoes into that little bitty can of tomato paste–from which tomato sauces are made by adding water, spices, and more salt.

Instead, make your own sauce with fresh tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers. The fresh vegetables have relatively low amounts of sodium. Plus, you can easily freeze your finished sauce for convenience.

Likewise, canned minestrone or other soup may make for an easy, comforting meal. But you might as well drink salt water. One cup of canned chicken noodle soup contains more than 1,100 mg of sodium.

If you don’t have time to make soup from scratch, try the daily “homemade” hot soup selections in your grocery store’s deli counter. These tend to have less sodium than canned products that can sit on the shelves until doomsday (literally, for your bomb shelter).

To counteract salt intake, keep your body well hydrated. Go for decaf herbal tea or fruit juice. And red bush (Rooibos) teas, cold or hot, are naturally free in caffeine. They also boost healthy hydration.

Overall, it’s always a good thing to eat like you’re on top of the food chain. Skip the highly processed, high-sodium foods. To learn more about my “top of the food chain” diet, see my 7-page special report.