Common table salt is a highly refined version of naturally occurring whole sea salt. It has been refined down to sodium chloride and conditioned with anti-caking chemicals, potassium iodide, and dextrose (sugar) to stabilize the iodine.

Americans eat over 5 times the recommended guideline for salt consumption. This high sodium intake leads to high blood pressure, fluid retention and can damage the kidneys and other organs.

When a food is not in balance, people tend to overeat it. Your body will crave more as it attempts to capture the wholeness that is missing. With refined salt, it will never satiate the body’s need for the complex minerals of whole healthy salt.

All salt originates from the sea. It is harvested from ancient dry sea beds or the living ocean. The dry sea beds have usually lost some mineral components to leaching through rain water, but they’ve also gained some other minerals based on the geology of the area. Whole salt from the living sea has a mineral profile (of nearly 60 trace minerals) that is the most similar to that of our blood.

A craving for salt may be the craving for the natural minerals in unrefined salt. Minerals are the basis for the formation of vitamins, enzymes and proteins and are essential for healthy bodily function. As our soils have become more and more depleted of these necessary minerals, and we’ve developed mineral deficiencies through a poor diet, whole salt is one way to re-mineralize.

Tips for Using Whole Salt
Thus using a whole sea salt, as long as you don’t have high blood pressure, is a healthy way to use salt. Follow these tips to optimize your use of healthy salt:

  • Moderation is essential. Appropriate salt intake is highly individual – but in most people it should be moderated. It should enhance the taste of your food and not dominate it. If food tastes salty, it is probably too much.
  • Curb salt cravings with sea salt. If you crave a lot of salt and have been using refined salt, adding whole unrefined salt to your diet should lessen cravings after several weeks.
  • Discover the natural flavor of whole foods. When you shift to using more whole foods, you will rely less on salt and experience a greater variety of natural flavors and tastes.
  • Eat a wide range of mineral rich foods. Use a variety of foods as a salt substitute. Seaweeds, miso, tamari, beets, celery, chard, parsley, spinach and kale all contribute to sodium and other mineral intake and provide varying amounts of salt-enhanced taste.
  • Take an annual break from salt. Cooler climates and cooler seasons tend to increase the need for salt in the diet. If you use more salt during the winter months, try eliminating salt from your diet for one week in the Spring. This will cleanse stored salt reserves and reset your taste buds for the summer season.
  • Seek a sweet/salt balance. Consuming refined salt and refined sweets/alcohol causes a yo-yo of cravings as the body seeks balance between these extremes (thus the popularity of salty pretzels and chips consumed with alcoholic drinks). Use natural and subtle sweet foods and drinks – like fruits, grains, tubers, sweet herbs, honey – and whole food salt substitutes for a more gentle and healthy balance. This will reduce cravings for either extreme.
  • Cut out refined salt. Avoid all common table salt and other refined, salty or sweet foods (most sugary carbohydrates also contain high amounts of refined salt).

Read on to find out many other benefits of salt use and foods that make a great salt substitute.

Author's Bio: 

Jo delAmor, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, and Cindy Cleary, Masters in Social Work, are natural health advocates and educators. Visit Whole Body Detox Diet for tools and guidelines for creating a safe, effective and gentle detox diet that’s just right for you. Sign up for your Free Detox Diet Startup to receive step by step guidance for creating your customized detox diet plan using whole foods, herbs, and therapies.