Originally posted January 3, 2014
Salt has been an important seasoning since early days. It was commanded to be used on any meat offerings to God.
Leviticus 2:13 – And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.
Christians are compared to salt by Jesus.
Matthew 5:13 – Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
So what happened to us that now it is almost a bad four-letter word. Well, I have no proof of the matter but in having much personal experience in other areas, I suspect it started when it was manufactured from other ingredients rather than using the natural salt found in nature. There is a huge return to using natural ingredients, however it is too late for many of us.
People with high blood pressure and heart disease are strongly advised to watch the salt intake amount. The American Heart Association is one of the first, if not the first, to begin rebuilding recipes for those patients.
Many other diseases have a connection to consuming too much sodium, such as Meniere’s, kidney functions, and ascites associated with some cancers and liver disease. It is this last item that sent me on a search to reduce the amount of sodium in my diet.
Even healthy people shouldn’t have more than 2000mg of sodium per day. This is a daunting task considering the foods that contain sodium naturally and the fact that most of the foods we have eaten our entire lives are going to be high in one or more of three categories – salt, sugar, or fat. These are the things that provide quick taste and are cheaper than the alternatives.
We were both diagnosed with diabetes years ago. I have never taken medicine for it and my A1C shows no diabetic levels for many years since. Why? Because we began cutting out the white, processed sugar and only using natural sweetener. We tried substitutes without finding one we could tolerate for more than a few days. We began changing to olive oil and less processed foods.
A few years later, after many trips to ERs around the country, my husband ended up in the hospital having a stent inserted into “the widow maker” because it was 98% blocked. The dietitian that spoke to us said that we had already changed many of the things she recommends giving us a few more ideas of things we could change. Out the window went more white ingredients, fats, and over-processed foods. Over time he returned to good health and strength. We had also been walking at least two miles a day. They believed that had help save him.
Changes continued as we made our way to doing more and more of our own food at home. Then our world turned upside down. Two companies merged and he was caught in the downsizing. We were at the wrong age to find jobs. When we did, they required long hours which took its toll on us. My mom’s health was diminishing and we moved her close-by until she broke a hip and needed more care. She was moved back to our hometown and shortly thereafter we moved back for a job in a neighboring town.
The summer of 2010, our 18 year old grandson was diagnosed with leukemia and died just weeks later. One month later, Mom died. In January 2011 I received my diagnosis, sending me back to the computer for research. This topped off the changes we had been making by sending me to mostly fresh foods for several weeks. Once all the chemicals and foods completely lacking any nutrients were out of my system, I began trying to add some things back. It finished the white foods when Irish potatoes, plain pasta, and white rice made me hurt. There were other foods that I was dearly fond of such a shell fish that I could no longer eat unless I wanted to feel horrible.
I was able to maintain a pretty good level for two years with these changes. Then the third year things began progressing quickly. This gets us back to the sodium. Since late August, I have been fighting fluid buildup. My sodium is limited to the 2000mg but I do best at about 1250-1500mg per day. Sometimes I really miss the salt and crave it. My fluid intake is also restricted which is even more difficult as I was accustomed to drinking much water a day. The fluid buildup is miserable so I continue pressing toward the goal.
This journey through the food maze has been good in many ways. I have learned so much that I wish I had know before. I am thankful that many people have been making similar journeys as this who have created many lines of more natural foods that are readily available. It still takes much time reading the labels to be certain what we are eating. Sodium is a big focus at the moment.
During this process, I have also learned much about what I can substitute for salt in cooking that gives flavor without still feeling like something is missing.
I urge you to begin walking this path before your health requires it of you. The changes I made before there was all this stuff were much easier to make. Stay as healthy as you can, someone needs you to be their salt of the earth.