It is in everything. Chicken soup, pickles, pork and beans, peanut butter, bread, macaroni and cheese, ketchup, mustard and relish, canned vegetables, pizza, hot dogs, salad dressings, not to mention the endless list of junk foods, jam packed and stuffed to capacity with salt.
Organic salt or sodium is an essential mineral and is naturally present in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. We need only a small amount of sodium, easily supplied by these natural sources. The sodium in fruits and vegetables is complexed with other organic molecules, causing them to be absorbed slowly. In contrast, table salt is unbuffered and enters quickly through the stomach lining.
When a surplus of salt enters the bloodstream, the body is forced to store the salt between the cells until the kidneys can filter it. Salt then causes a caustic, burning effect on the surrounding tissue. For protection, the cells release water into the intercellular fluid to dilute the excess salt. As the cells give up their water, they lose elasticity and shrink. This, in turn, causes an imbalance of the cell's chemistry through a loss of potassium.
Low potassium levels cause more sodium to penetrate the cell walls. When the sodium level of the cell rises, water then enters to dilute it, causing the cell to become swollen. The continuous disruption of the cell's fluid balance can, in time, calcify, scar and destroy the muscles, valves and arteries of the entire coronary route. It may culminate in congestive heart failure. In this way, salt becomes an accomplice to North America's most voracious killer, cardiovascular disease!
In China, a traditional method of suicide was drinking water saturated with table salt. One ounce of salt causes the body to hold six pounds of excess fluid. Salt in large quantities can be lethal.
When you eat salty foods the body has to compensate to maintain homeostasis. If you eat salty foods for a long period of time, as with caffeine, heroin and nicotine, the body becomes dependent on salt to maintain balance. Therefore reducing salt intake can create physical withdrawal.
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