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Entries in salt (4)


I was interested in what you said about salt. What about pepper; is too much pepper bad?

We often use salt and black pepper together, so it is understandable to think that too much pepper could be bad.  Salt is a good spice but contains sodium so may need to be used in limited quantities.  Black pepper is very beneficial because it contains piperine which is a substance that helps our bodies absorb nutrients from foods we eat.  Black pepper contains much more piperine than white pepper, while bell peppers and chilies don’t contain any piperine. So limit your use of salt but feel free to use plenty of pepper!


Is a potato chip with these ingredients: Potatoes, Sunflower Oil and/or Corn Oil and Salt bad for you? Are natural corn chips with these ingredients: Whole Organic Blue Corn, Expeller-Pressed Sunflower Oil, and Sea Salt bad for you? 

The ingredients you refer to are not particularly bad for you. There are a few things to be careful about. One is hydrogenated oils which often are in the product in small amounts. In small enough amounts (0.5g or less per serving) the label is allowed to say 0 g. Combined with the fact that most of us don’t eat just one (remember that old ad “bet you can’t eat just one”)  leads to most of the problems.  If you are watching sodium intake, you have to be careful since chips like these are often fairly high in sodium. It doen't matter if sodium is from sea salt or conventional salt. [See my post about salt - ]  Also this food product is almost entirely a carbohydrate and thus looks like sugar to our body. It’s important to balance carbohydrate intake with protein and good fats. Sugar (carbohydrate) and sodium intake are a problem for some people so that might be a concern for you. Finally if you eat a LOT of chips you may find you are taking on a lot of calories and that can lead to weight gain.

These ingredients by themselves really aren’t bad – it’s more how much we consume and how we balance out the nutrients that we consume.


Iodized Sea salt cost is $2.85 vs. $0.63 for Morton's Iodized salt. The container is the same size.My boyfriend is upset because I refuse to pay $2.85 for the Sea Salt. I say sodium is sodium & the cost is a deal breaker. Is the processing of Morton's that horrible that it would warrant spending that much more for Sea Salt?

Please see my post on sea salt vs table salt from just a few days ago. The short answer is no and you are correct; salt is sodium chloride (NaCL), sodium is sodium and NaCL is NaCL, whether we box it up after pulverizing it from a rock or after distilling it from seawater.  Letting salt evaporate naturally from sea water produces a salt with slightly different trace minerals, texture and color, from the salt that is mined from a rock. Iodized salt is laced with iodine which is an important element we all need and is not found naturally in NaCL (including sea salt). In this case, chemistry and financial responsibility trumps the “natural” choice.


Is sea salt better for you than table salt?

Sea salt and table salt contain the same amount of the elements, sodium chloride. Sea salt is marketed as a more natural and healthy alternative, but the real differences between sea salt and table salt are in their taste, texture and processing, not their chemical makeup. Sea salt is produced through evaporation of seawater with very little processing, which leaves behind some trace minerals and elements depending on the source of the seawater. These minerals add flavor and color to sea salt, which also comes in a variety of coarseness levels.

Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits and is processed to eliminate trace minerals and usually contains an additive to prevent clumping. Most table salt has added iodine, an essential nutrient that occurs naturally in minute amounts in sea salt.

The concern with salt consumption is how sodium intake affects your health. Your body needs only a couple hundred milligrams (mg) of salt (sodium) a day to stay healthy. Most of us get far too much sodium from processed foods. So regardless of which type of salt you prefer, try to keep total consumption of sodium between 1,500 and 2,300 mg a day if you're a healthy adult. People with high blood pressure, African-Americans and anyone middle-aged or older should aim for the lower end of that range.