At some point in your life, you would have heard someone say “salt is bad for you” or “don’t eat too much salt, it’ll give you high blood pressure and heart disease”.
But what if we told you this isn’t true at all?
In this article, we’ll share a few facts on salt use in food manufacturing, different types of salt and the impact salt has on health.
The difference between sea salt vs sodium
First of all, we thought it was super important to clarify that salt (no matter what type) and sodium are two different things.
According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), salt is a chemical compound made up of sodium and chlorine (actually more chlorine than sodium).
Sodium, on the other hand, is a compound used frequently as a preservative and is normally added to foods.
Sodium compounds in food
There are more than 15 different types of sodium compounds used in food manufacturing in Australia and NZ; most of them man-made. The issue around sodium only really started when people increased their average sodium consumption to around 75% added sodium.
It’s also worth mentioning that even though FSANZ has to assess and approve all additives used in foods sold in Australia and NZ, some of these sodium compounds could be contributing to health conditions such as Adenocarcinoma (a type of cancer), amnesia, liver injury, chromosome breakage and others.
And while FSANZ labelling regulation does require all ingredients to be added, the main nutritional panel where you see “Sodium” is used for all types of sodium: naturally occurring sodium, sodium from additives and added salt.
Therefore, in order to know where your sodium is coming from, you need to read the ingredient list.
Expert tip: did you know ALL items regulated by FSANZ must have their ingredient listed in order from highest concentration to lowest?
Bone broth expert tip: based on this regulation, when you are purchasing Bone Broth, make sure bone is one of the first (if not the first) ingredient of your broth - good quality collagen comes from bones!
Okay, but what about salt?
To keep this article simple, we’ll be discussing the most commonly used types of salt and their health benefits.
Table salt is the least naturally nutrient-dense salt and probably one of the most dangerous when it comes to potential additives in its composition.
Table salt is mined from salt deposits and then heavily processed so it mixes well when used for cooking. The issue with this process is that all minerals are stripped and additives such as sodium Silicoaluminate or magnesium carbonate are added to prevent clumping.
In most countries, iodine is also added to table salt to prevent goiter, a condition that causes the abnormal enlargement of the thyroid. Hence, when compared to more natural salts, table salt tends to have more iodine.
Himalayan salt is mined from sea beds in the Himalayan mountains.
The mining process is done with a mix of hand and machine mining, leaving trace minerals in the salt.
It is believed Himalayan salt is richer in iron than other salts, which explains its pink colour. This salt is often tested for contamination of heavy metals and other toxic compounds prior to packaging and sale.
Evaporated sea salt
Evaporated sea salt is acquired through the evaporation of seawater (just like the name indicates).
This salt could be one of the most natural salts, hence its optimal levels of minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium when compared to other salts.
There are many reasons why we decided to manufacture our products with this type of salt.
Health benefits of evaporated sea salt
- Helps control balance of fluid inside and outside cells, which affects cell metabolism, hydration and most physiological functions.
- Supports cardiovascular and motor function. Changes in concentration of sodium (and other ions) alter muscle contraction. A recent study confirmed appropriate consumption of sea salt can actually help control blood pressure.
- Nervous system and signalling of nerve cells as changes in sodium concentration affect nerve transmission (which affects pretty much everything).
Why use salt at all?
Now that you understand better the difference in between sodium and salt, and also know why we use the type of salt we do in our products, we would like to share with your the three main reasons we add salt to our Body Glue range:
Natural food preservative
Salt has been used with animal-based foods for hundreds of years. Sodium in salt reduces water activity from food, creating a less ideal environment for microbial reproduction and their chemical reactions.
Although our Body Glue products do not contain ANY % of animal meat, the majority of Body Glue is still made from bones. Therefore, the addition of a functional food preservative such as evaporated sea salt made total sense.
Salt is one of the most simple ways to improve the taste of foods - especially animal protein (such as collagen).
Did you know that most people are currently deficient in essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and iron?
Although the amount of evaporated sea salt you consume with each serve of Body Glue is small, every little bit counts.
We hope you learned heaps about this amazing food, and also a little more about our Body Glue range.
Written by Gevity Guru, health expert Elza Bevilacqua
www.heart.org. 2020. Sea Salt Vs. Table Salt. [online] Available at: <https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/sea-salt-vs-table-salt> [Accessed 15 October 2020].
Pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2020. Sodium Nitrite. [online] Available at: <https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Sodium-nitrite#section=NIOSH-Toxicity-Data> [Accessed 15 October 2020].