Salt: Probably not the enemy

Salt: Probably not the enemy

People on raw food diets (like the Caveman Diet) may want to look into adding salt.

Dietary salt has been considered a no-no for a long time. And while it's true that most Americans consume a lot more salt than we think, due to the (sometimes surprising) amount of salt in processed and pre-packaged foods, the case against salt has always been weak at best. More and more, researchers are willing to come out and say that salt is probably not the enemy that we have always been led to believe it was.
In the short term, salt's effects are obvious. When you eat salt, your body has to maintain its fluid balance, so it retains more water. The question is whether the long-term effects of salt are as dire as some theorists have been warning us for years, or if salt's effects - like so many other substances - are simply short-term. 

It may not only be the case that cutting salt doesn't help your health - worse, it may actually be harmful. People who hew to a strict low-sodium diet may be doing their bodies more harm than good. Salt is a complicated chemical with regards to our bodies; we need some of it. It's not like other obvious harms, like cigarettes. 

Nevertheless, the Department of Agriculture considers salt to be the Number One Bad Guy, above fats and sugars. And the CDC believes that giving up salt is as vital to your health as giving up cigarettes. Despite the fact that - unlike cigarettes - the science just isn't there. Worse, there are some indications that if we ate as little salt as they say we should, we could be doing harm to our bodies and increasing our risk of premature death.
 
The most sensible course of action is probably the natural one: eat some salt. Not too much. Try not to worry about it.
 
If you eat any processed food at all - in other words, unless you are on a raw food diet - you probably get plenty of salt in your diet. No need to add any more, but if you want to sprinkle a bit of salt on your dinner as a light seasoning, go right ahead.
 
However, those who are on raw food diets (like the Caveman Diet) may want to look into adding salt. True sea salt is a bare mineral, it's about as raw as food gets! You can sprinkle a bit of salt on nuts, add it to eggs, put a dash on some tomato slices, and personally I love to grind a bit of salt over my apple slices.