SALT: Helpful tips for how to best use salt

SALT: Helpful tips for how to best use salt
Dr. Sam Shay, DC, IFMCP

When figuring out the ins and outs of salt, it best to listen to your own genetic disposition towards salt, in tandem with using high-quality salts. Below are some game-changing tips on how to interact with salt that will boost your health, not diminish it.

TIP #1: AVOID PROCESSED FOODS
It is best to avoid all the extremely high salt content found in processed foods. The reason is that the processed foods themselves are problematic because they contain the chemicals, flavorings, and toxic load, and they load in salt (and usually some artificial sweeteners too) to cover up the flavor.

TIP #2: GENETIC DISPOSITION TO SALT
If you’ve gotten genetic testing results from testing with me that point to genetic sensitivity to salt affecting blood pressure, this does not guarantee you will have high blood pressure, as there are multiple causes of high blood pressure. Salt is just a consideration, not the consideration for blood pressure.

TIP #3: UP THE QUALITY OF YOUR SALT
My preferred salt is “Celtic Sea Salt” found online and in most health food stores. It has lots of trace minerals which are good for your body. Typical table salt is about 98% sodium chloride, while Celtic Sea Salt is about 70% sodium chloride and the other approximate 30% contains important trace minerals.

**WARNING about Himalayan Salt**
Himalayan salt can contain high amounts of aluminum and also stores are deceptively labeling salt as “Pink salt” which is just regular salt dyed with pink color, not true Himalayan salt.

A NOTE ON BLOOD PRESSURE:
There are many reasons people’s blood pressure may go up aside from salt, like stress, height, excess weight, smoking status, alcohol consumption, sleep apnea, thyroid issues, adrenal issues, kidney issues, and lack of exercise.

If high blood pressure is or an emerging concern, the important thing is to monitor and address all the different factors that affect blood pressure, like the factors mentioned above.

If blood pressure is or is suspected to be an issue currently, here is how to properly monitor blood pressure:

GET A BLOOD PRESSURE MACHINE: Get a blood pressure machine and only use it after you wake up and go to the restroom to empty your bladder. Have the machine in the same place at the same chair and take it at the same time in the morning. This way you have an accurate read on how your blood pressure does without external variables influencing your blood pressure that happen during the day (e.g. stressful phone call, running late, etc.). Measure your blood pressure at least 3 times a week in this manner for a month or so to collect a lot of data to assess. This is a much better method to collect blood pressure than a once-a-year trip to a physical exam where ‘white coat syndrome’ can artificially spike your blood pressure. It’s much more accurate to bring a chart of your blood pressure taken in the way described above to a physical exam.

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