Loren Cordain outlines succinctly the two key considerations concerning salt. First, ‘Salt is absolutely essential to your health – but you don’t need much of it. The trace amounts of salt found in fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats were just right for our ancient ancestors ...’(page 33).
The second consideration concerns the acid-alkaline balance in our bodies. ‘... salty foods yield a net acid load to the kidney, while fruits and vegetables generate an alkaline load. An overload of acid foods – at the expense of alkaline foods – can cause numerous health problems, particularly as you age and your kidneys become less adept at handling dietary acid’ (page 86). Cordain’s list of diseases attributable to acid-alkaline imbalance includes asthma, high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis and stroke. Cordain explains: ‘Not so long ago, scientists connected many of these illnesses to too much sodium ... but the chemical recipe for salt has two ingredients – sodium and chloride ... it’s the chloride part of salt that makes it acidic, not the sodium (page 87; Cordain goes on to discuss each of the illnesses in his list).
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