- Diet & Weight Loss
Salt Makes Fat Around the Heart - How Sodium Clogs Your Arteries
When I had open heart surgery in 1976 at Mayo Clinic, my world renown physician told me to throw out the salt shaker. I was allowed to have french fries and a few high salty foods but I was not allow to use the salt shaker from that day forward.
My physician's reasoning was that salt makes "fat around the heart". This was a brilliant way to describe to a 14-year-old the dangers of salt, how salt interrupts the blood flow in your arteries that service your heart.
A Friend's Recent Story
Recently, a close friend of mine confided that he went to the dentist and he could not have his teeth cleaned because of his high blood pressure. He confided to my best friend that here I had a bad heart and took care of myself and for him, he was blessed with a great heart and actively chose to clog his arteries.
Salt Makes Fat Around the Heart
Salt In Small Doses
Dr. Oz's Review of Salt
Dr. Oz is one of my top three fitness heroes. Finally a physician - and a heart surgeon (another item near and dear to the heart patient) who promotes exercise, diet and nutrition. He provides us with the knowledge we need to take care of our bodies.
Ironically just as I was formulating my thoughts about an article for salt and relaying my friend's journey with high blood pressure, Dr. Oz addressed salt and how it affects your arteries.
In his television show, Dr. Oz shows visually what salt does to our arteries. You see it is our arteries which feed blood to the heart. If we don't keep our arteries clear and open, we have a traffic jam which potentially and in all likelihood will cause either a stroke or a heart attack. Those car wrecks in your body can be avoided by actively managing: 1.) your exercise and 2.) your diet including your salt intake.
Dr. Oz's review of salt is similar to the simple example given by my physician back in 1976. Excessive salt makes the passage of blood difficult for the body causing potential blockages resulting in major traumas to the body such as heart attacks and strokes.
Unfortunately, we don't always have allot of control over our salt intake. With processed foods - watch the volume of salt carefully. Frozen and canned foods are a special concern.
Excessive Salt - Can Lead to High Blood Pressure - Other Traumas to the Body
Excessive salt can clogs the arteries that service our body. Essentially, salt works like a sponge - a little helps, too much, too many sponges block these critical blood terminals. The pressure release is most often seen in a trauma to the body - a heart attack or a stroke. See the videos for a visual representation.
High Blood Pressure
The Proper Pinch Video - The Correct Chef's Way
Here is a link to a great video about the proper cooking technique for using salt - use a pinch not the salt shaker.
In this video they recommend the proper pinch is the correct way to cook - in other words, just like my world renown physician from Mayo Clinic - throw out that salt shaker!
Take a look at this short video: The Perfect Pinch Video
The Salt Institute
"The Salt Institute is the world's foremost source of authoritative information about salt (sodium chloride) and its more than 14,000 known uses.
The Institute is a North American-based non-profit salt industry trade association dedicated to advocating responsible uses of salt (NaCl), particularly to ensure winter roadway safety, quality water and healthy nutrition.
The Institute was founded in 1914 and consists of the leading salt companies in the world united in the common purpose of bringing the myriad benefits of salt to the benefit of mankind."
The Salt Institute's Position
It is important
to note that my heart physician and Dr. Oz know the value of salt, it
is the excessive salt that they campaign against. For a balance
viewpoint, here is a quote from The Salt Institute:
"Medical evidence proves salt is related to blood pressure and several other important risk factors for cardiovascular health. Overall, however, the evidence suggests that low-salt diets may be more problematic than current consumption levels. No evidence demonstrates that current salt intake levels lead to worse health outcomes such as more heart attacks or higher cardiovascular mortality. A careful evidence-based study is needed to determine whether a population salt-reduction advisory would improve health or actually raise the risk of heart attacks. Adoption of true “evidence-based” decision-making should replace the current system for developing dietary guidance by polling expert committees."
My Take Away - Salt is Good and Necessary to the Body in Small Doses
The take away - salt is essential not only to life but to good health in small doses. Without salt, the hydration of our body will suffer. The problem is we have stated using salt as our main spice. We need to diversify our taste buds and kick the salt habit, maintaining salt only in small doses.
For more information on where salt may be hiding in your diet - check out another Hub entitled: Getting Fit - Pinpointing the Hidden trap of Salt
Salt Containers of All Shapes and SizesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sea Salt Sources
Morton Salt -This company is best known for its tag line "When it Rains It Pours" and it iconic little girl with the umbrella. Visit their website for a wide array of products and a complete history of the salt production.
Celtic Sea Salt - This website is an absolute gem - complete with a section on remedies and wellness, educational material, great products with a full line of kitchen and health tools and salt accessories. This is an outstanding website! 5 Stars!!!!!
Natural Sea Salt
Sea Salt - What is Different?
Sea salt is different, it has a different taste and is derived from the evaporation of seawater. It is also known by the name of "bay salt" or "solar salt". It is the mineral content that gives sea salt a distinctively different taste. Table salt is pure sodium chloride, refined from mined rock slat (halite) or ...
Sea salt is more expensive and can be found in gourmet cooking and also I am told in kettle potato chips.
Gathered and harvested near the coast of Northwestern France where the ocean water is rich in a variety of minerals makes Celtic Sea Salt® superior to other salts.
The salt is channeled into clay ponds where the sun and wind evaporate the water leaving a rich mineral brine. A salt farmer uses wooden tools to speed its drying and helps the salt crystals form before packaging takes place.
By contrast the everyday table salt we usually see and use is washed and boiled. It is then mixed with iodine, bleaching agents, and anti-caking agents to create a purely white, free-flowing product. Even many sea salts you see in health food stores have been boiled and washed, which ends up removing minerals and trace elements.
Salt Works - Salt Works is a company that brings to us bath salts from a small island called "Anguilla", located between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean.
Water Therapy with Bath Salts
The therapeutic value of warm water combined with luxurious bath salt is where you can be excessive!
If you are seeking unusual gifts for the person who has everything, take a gander at considering giving bath salts - with the caveat, of course, for the gift recipient to cut down on their salt intake for the sake of their health in addition to the water therapy with the bath salt!
Himalayan Salt and Fluoride
- Natural Health News: That Pink Salt from Pakistan
I would like to have anyone interested in "Himalayan" salt to understand one thing about the fluoride content in this product, and consider the implications very seriously. The other day an anonymous visitor to Natural Health News sent the following
FDA Unprecedented Effort to Reduce Salt Consumption
- FDA plans to limit amount of salt allowed in processed foods for health reasons
The Food and Drug Administration is planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart di
NEW - Reduced Sodium Sea Salt
- Nu-Tek Products
In the US alone, over 60 million people suffer from hypertension/high blood pressure. * The average American consumer eats over 4000 mg of Sodium per day. * This is 67% more than the Government recommended maximum of 2,400 mg of Sodium (6g
Salt May Be Linked to Happiness
"Physiologist Alan Johnson of the University of Iowa has discovered that salt intake may be linked to happiness. By depriving rats of salt, Johnson observed rats had less pleasure and desire to perform daily activities, such as pushing a bar to release sugar water. Once the rats were given salt, they became "happy" again. Read the full story as the National Geographic explains."
In Summary - A Balance View of Salt
I love salt and consider it a special treat. I think it is important to share with you the medical problems associated with excess salt.
For fun, I have also include bath salts for a complete review - from table salt to sea salt to bath salt too! All great ideas for gift giving to your loved ones.
Salt makes a wonderful and thoughtful gift especially if you educated your friends and family on the proper use of salt. Explaining the potential health hazards of excess salt may avoid a traumatic event such a stroke or heart attack. Leave the table salt for very special occasions - throw out that salt shaker at the table and in the kitchen too! Use the proper pinch in the preparation of your food and both you and your family will be healthier for it!
Healthy Heart - Team Effort
Have you watched your sodium intake more closely?
Low Salt Cookbook
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© 2009 Kelly A Burnett