the Salt Habit
by multiple authors
This article is about Salt.
Yes, this includes normal "iodized salt" , and "Sea Salt"
either refined or unrefined. Most people into raw foods that are serious about their
health do not consume salt in their diet. If you want a saltly flavor to foods, you
can add a salty vegetable such as salcornia, celery or try using some sea vegetables.
Sodium chloride (salt) consumption. One is that Stone-Age men and
women did not consume supplemental dietary sodium chloride (salt), which like protein can
also cause increased calciuresis (calcium excretion) [Nordin et al. 1993] and loss of bone
mass [Devine et al. 1995]. Because the kidney must obligatorily excrete calcium with
sodium [Nordin et al. 1993], high levels of dietary sodium are now generally recognized to
be the single greatest dietary risk factor for osteoporosis [Matkovic et al. 1995; Devine
et al. 1995; Cappuccio 1996]. It should go without saying that in this context,
"high" levels of dietary sodium are simply normal levels in Western societies.
Paul Bragg N.D. Ph.D.
"How to keep your heart healthy and fit"
THE TRUTH ABOUT SALT
Would you use sodium, a caustic alkali, to season your food? Or chlorine, a
poisonous gas? "Ridiculous questions," you say. "Nobody would be foolhardy
enough to do that."
Of course not. But the shocking truth is that most people do so... because they
don't know that these powerful chemicals constitute the inorganic crystaline
For centuries, the expression "salt of the earth" has been used as a catch-all
phrase to designate something good and essential. Nothing could be more
erroneous. For that harmless product that you shake into your food every day may
actually bury you. Consider these startling facts:
1. SALT IS NOT A FOOD! There is no
more justification for its culinary use
than there is for potassium chloride, calcium chloride, barium chloride, or any
other harmful chemical to season food.
2. Salt cannot be digested, assimilated, or utilized by the body. Salt has no
nutritional value! SALT HAS NO VITAMINS! NO ORGANIC MINERALS! NO NUTRIENTS OF ANY KIND!
Instead, it is positively harmful and may bring on troubles in the kidneys, bladder,
heart, arteries, veins, and blood vessels. Salt may waterlog the tissues, causing a
3. Salt may act as a heart poison. It also increases the irritability of the
4. Salt acts to rob calcium from the body and attacks the mucous lining
throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract.
SALT IS NOT ESSENTIAL TO LIFE
It is frequently claimed that salt is essential for the support of life.
However, there is no information available to substantiate this viewpoint. The truth is
that entire races (primitive peoples) use absolutely no salt today and have not used it
throughout their entire history. If salt were essential to life, these races would have
become extinct long ago. The fact that they are not only alive but have far better health
than other races, would seem to indicate that the supposed "necessity" of salt
is a commercially-inspired invention or merely the product of the imagination.
WHAT SALT DOES TO YOUR STOMACH
An important objection to salt is the fact that it interferes with the normal digestion of
food. Pepsin, an enzyme found in the hydrochloric acid of the stomach, is essential for
the digestion of proteins. When salt is used, only 50% as much pepsin is secreted as would
otherwise be the case. Obviously, under such conditions, digestion of protein foods is
incomplete or too slow. The result is excessive putrefaction of protein and, in some
instances, gas and digestive distress.
THE SALT HABIT IS A DEADLY HABITBREAK IT!
People undoubtedly would not add inorganic salt to their food if they were never
taught to do so in the first place. The taste for salt is an acquired one. When salt is
eliminated from the diet for a short time, the craving for it ceases. It is only during
the first few weeks after table salt is discontinued that it is really missed... after
that, abstinence is of little difficulty. In fact, many of my health students... who have
broken the deadly salt habit... write me that NOW they cannot stand salted foods! When
someone serves them salted food, it gives them an abnormal thirst for liquids.
"Fit For Life"
Q. Just how harmful is table salt?
A. The Egyptians used salt for embalming. Let's take the hint! This year Americans will
consume five hundred million pounds of salt. That's a lot of embalming. Salt is everywhere
and in everything from pet food to baby food. Salt is a major contributing factor to the
increasing incidence of hypertension, or high blood pressure, in this country. It is so
caustic to the sensitive inner tissues of the body that water is retained to neutralize
its acidic effect. This adds weight to the body. Overuse of salt can contribute to a
severe affliction of the kidneys called nephritis.
"Health Magic Through
Dr. Bernard Jensen:
SALTTable salt should be dropped from the diet. We do not need it when we have
plenty of greens everyday. To change from it, use vegetized salt purchased in your health
food store. Vegetable concentrates in powdered form and herbs are also excellent
Dr. Dicky in South Africa found that he could trade for anything he wanted from the
Pygmies with salt. However, when he began giving them plenty of green vegetables, their
desire for salt lessened and he could no longer bargain with salt alone because it had
lost its value to them. Still further, we find that deer are not attracted to salt licks
when they have the greens of the field. It is during the dry grass season, when the
chlorophyll is lacking, that they desire this salt. Liquid chlorophyll contains the most
potent, vital cell salts a person can take into the body. When we crave salt, I feel it is
because the body doesn't have all the elements it should have from these greens.
"The Practice of Nature Cure"
Vinegar and Condiments Injurious. Green vegetables are most beneficial when eaten raw with
a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. Avoid the use of vinegar. It is a product of
fermentation, and a powerful preservative which regards digestion as well as fermentation,
both processes being very much the same in character. Lemon juice being a live vegetable
product, rich in vitamins, promotes digestion.
Do not use pepper, salt or sugar on fruits and vegetables at the table. They may
be used sparingly in cooking, . Strong spices and condiments are more or less
irritating to . the mucous linings of the intestinal tract. They gradually benumb the
nerves of taste. At first they stimulate the digestive organs, but like all other
stimulants, produce in time weakness and atrophy. Fruits and vegetables are rich in all
the mineral salts in the live, organic form, and therefore the addition of inorganic
mineral table salt is not only superfluous but positively harmful.
John T. Richter
"Nature The Healer"
Q. Would it not be all right to put a little salt on one's food if it seemed to taste
A. Table salt, and all other salts except those found in their organic stages in fruits
and vegetables, are inorganic substances which cannot be assimilated by the body and must
be discarded by the bloodstream at the earliest opportunity.
Usually the salt is deposited in the joints, particularly the knees, elbows, ankles,
wrists, and the like, resulting later in arthritis and rheumatism. It makes no difference
whether you have gotten your salt in the form of the table variety, or as saleratus
(bichloride of soda) in hot biscuits, or Epsom salts prescribed for internal use in cases
of constipation; all are productive of the same injurious results. What is the first
symptom of salt deposits in the joints? Do they crack when you do a knee bend? If so, your
joints are commencing to become dry due to the salt deposits having absorbed all the
synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant in those regions. Salt has a tremendous
attraction for water and all other liquids. No wonder doctors prescribe innumerable
glasses of water daily so that their patients may to some extent satisfy the incessant
craving for liquid caused by the salt they are eating. Remember that salt may dissolve in
water and in the saliva of the mouth, but it will recrystallize within a very short time
and under no circumstances will it be absorbed into the bodily structure. It will collect
wherever there is room for it to be deposited,
but it will no more be absorbed than sand is absorbed by the gears into which you may have
thrown it. Salt, in its effect, is like that of sand in gears; it irritates and slowly but
surely destroys. Our bodies are wonderful machines, self-oiling, provided we furnish the
food out of which the oil may be manufactured and stop abusing them.
You ask, "Do we need salt? Is not salt present in the healthy bloodstream?"
True, but you must get your salt from the vegetable or fruit, which in turns gets it from
the earth. Your bloodstream will not require checking provided you eat natural, uncooked
foods. Nature will take from these exactly the right amount of salt which is needed, and
no more. In the first place, it is organic, and therefore usable in the building up of the
body; in the second place, as mentioned, there will never be an excess of salts no matter
how much live food you may eat.
Vol. XXXIV October, 1973 No. 7
SALT EATING PERNICIOUS
Herbert M. Shelton
In their effort to supply a basis for the salt eating habit men who call themselves
scientists uncritically repeat the popular folklore that wild animals seek out "salt
licks" to obtain salt. Salt eating is an acquired habit and serves no useful purpose.
The practice of eating salt has never been universal.
Thoreau says he gave up salt eating when he found that the Indians did not use it. It is
highly probable that he was influenced in this as much by Graham as by the Indians.
In his Eskimo Life, Stefansson, the famous arctic explorer, says: "After you have
been a month or so without salt you cease to long for it, and after six months I have
found the taste of meat boiled in salt water distinctly disagreeable. No Eskimo will touch
salt if he can help doing so. Many other people have existed for ages without taking salt.
One who has been accustomed to adding salt to his food finds unsalted food dull, flat,
insipid and tasteless until his sense of taste has regained its normal tone. Robinson
Crusoe had no salt and, at first, he found food unappetizing. The giant crawfish which he
caught were unpalatable.
Naturalists inform us that in some parts of the earth, certain animals, such as the
elephant, African antelopes, etc., do frequent and lick certain places.
Analyses of these "licks" show that sodium chloride (common table salt) is
frequently lacking in them. The different "licks" contain different minerals,
such as phosphorus, manganese, copper, sulphate, magnesium, nickel and iron. As the
"licking" process is not universal, but is confined to a few restricted places
in the earth, and as the animals can make no constructive use of the elements existing in
the "licks", the licking habit, where observed, is probably in the nature of a
perversion. I have been assured that deer sometimes lick the salt flats of Utah, but here,
also, the salt in these flats is not all sodium chloride. As the flats are certainly not
within reach of all the animal population of America and, as "licks" are not
found elsewhere, we need not take seriously the myth that animals supply their alleged
need for salt by visiting "salt licks". We cannot determine the normal needs of
animal life by recourse to the rare practices of a few animals in those extremely
infrequent places where mineral outcroppings exist. We know that animals do not mine Salt
and do not ship it great distances to supply their alleged needs, as we do. Science is the
ever-subservient handmaiden of commercialism and we should not be surprised by the fact
that the scientists can find and have found jurisdiction, even if only fictional, for all
the practices that are fostered by the commercial world for profit.
Before the coming of the white man to this continent most Indians knew not the taste of
salt, and the few that had and employed salt, did not add it to their foods. Even today in
parts of Alaska, Canada, Mexico and South America, the Indians still manifest a distaste
for this substance. It is also well known among students of the subject that the Bedouin
people regard the use of salt as ridiculous. Great numbers of instances of this kind, some
of them reaching back into prehistory and involving great numbers of generations, prove
beyond the shadow of a doubt that man does not require the addition of salt (sodium
chloride) to his food or to be taken in drink or as pills. Great numbers of tribes in
tropical and desert regions have existed for ages without taking salt, proving that we do
not require it to resist heat. Indeed, the supposed need for salt in hot weather and in
hot climates is a very recent modern notion.
Among the Indians there were a few tribes along our western coast that had and
employed salt. They administered it as a magic potion, not as a part of their daily diet.
Their medicine men employed it in their sorcery to drive out devils from the bodies of the
sick. It was not administered internally. Could its "use" by other parts of the
world and at other periods of man's existence have originated in the same way? This is
most likely. I cannot offer any strong support of this view. In view of the most probable
origin of the "use" of all other condiments, there is reason to believe that the
Indian medicine man was not the first to introduce salt in his sorcery. Its
"use" antedates recorded history, but, it is a fact that whole tribes and even
whole nations of men during this vast period of time, have not known the taste of salt.
This is due more to the fact that the medicine men of these tribes had not discovered it
than to any credit that belongs to them for not introducing it to man. I once thought that
it may have come into general "use" among those people who do take it, as a
result of eating foods that had been salted to preserve them, man having, by some
accident, discovered that the addition of quantities of salt to flesh and certain other
foods would preserve these. At present it seems more likely that salt was added to these
foods, originally, not as a preservative, but to impart its magical virtues to these
foods. Its antibiotic (preservative) qualities were thus made known.
The mountains of facts of contemporary animal life and of the history of man, which prove
beyond the shadow of a doubt that salt eating is not essential to life, even that the
eating of this inorganic mineral is definitely injurious, are ignored by our so-called
scientists who continue to urge us to take this substance with our foods. Only in a few
states of disease are "salt-free" diets advised by physicians and not all
physicians are agreed that such diets are beneficial. Once a mistake becomes a part of
established science, it is next to impossible to weed it out. Science does not like to
admit its mistakes; it does not like to surrender its pet illusions. It is as cock-sure
that we need sodium chloride in the form of ordinary table salt as it is that we must have
flesh foods. People who desire to live rationally will simply have to ignore the
decrepit old hag and go on ahead of her.
Trall gave it as his opinion of salt as a "dietetic" article that "it is
worse than useless-common opinion, and the frequent assertions of medical books to the
contrary notwithstanding. " He pointed out that the "free use of salt irritates
the mouth, throat, and stomach, causing thirst and fever, and provoking unnatural
appetite, while it loads the circulating fluids with a foreign ingredient, which the
excretory organs must labor inordinately to get rid of. "
In his day the antiseptic quality of salt was much to the fore and this quality was often
adduced as evidence in favor of its use. Trall declared that "this is precisely the
quality that renders it most unfit for nutritive purposes."
There is no doubt of the need for various salts by the animal organism, but these must be
taken as organic salts, as synthesized by fruits and vegetables; not as inorganic, as
taken from the sea or salt mines. Sodium chloride, formerly called muriate of soda (this
term was particularly applied to sea salt, the word muria meaning brine) is but one salt;
we need several. Why do we make so much ado about our supposed need for one salt and
ignore all the others? The salts of calcium, phosphorus, silica, iodine, magnesium, etc.
are removed from our foods by the milling and processing of foods and by various cooking
Were the organic salts left in our foods, and these are the only salts that are usable by
the animal body, we would not feel the "need" to add sodium chloride to our
foods to make them palatable. Certainly the addition of this salt to our foodstuffs does
not compensate for the deficiency of the other salts that our regular diets present.
The use of salt imposes considerable exertion upon the body in eliminating it, for it is
not readily excreted. It tends to accumulate in the body so that the organism finds it
necessary to retain within itself a superfluous quantity of water to dilute the retained
salt and thus defend itself against this substance.
A hidden edema (one that is often not so hidden) is the result of salt intake, giving one
a body-weight that is composed of a considerable amount of water rather than healthy
The increased flow of saliva, gastric juice and mucus that follows the; taking of salt, as
well as of other condiments, is due to the effort to dilute and wash away the irritant
substance, the juices containing no digestive enzymes. Instead of accelerating the
digestive processes, as is commonly believed, the use of such substances retards
digestion. Their use, under any and all circumstances and conditions, is always an evil.
All fruits and vegetables in their natural state abound in organic salts of various kinds,
and a diet composed of these substances will amply supply the body with all needed salt.
No deficiency of mineral salts can arise if one eats freely of uncooked fruits and
vegetables, nor will one 'feel" the "need" for the addition of table salt
to his food. These salts of fruits and vegetables are in forms that may be utilized by the
animal organism in the building of tissue.
They are foods, not irritants.