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Too Much of the Wrong Kind

Too much salt isn't good for us, which is why researchers are working so hard to figure out how to remove it from water so we can drink the water from our oceans. Salt has gotten a bad reputation, since doctors warn us it can lead to high blood pressure. But other scientists say that, just like corn-fed beef, the problem isn't the salt itself, it's our modern version of it. Salt isn't necessarily bad?if you know the difference between good and bad salt.

In the January 22 edition of the Independent, Anastasia Stephens quotes nutrition expert Amanda Nelson as saying, "A lot of people say salt is bad, but bad salt is bad. If you put a fish in table salt solution, it will die. Good salt, on the other hand, can be wondrous." And what?s good salt??salt that still contains its natural minerals.

Nelson quotes researcher Barbara Hendel as saying, "These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life originated. We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid."

Unlike modern sodium chloride, which is salt created by chemicals (the kind most of us use), natural salt can contain more than 84 different minerals. Hendel says, "In water, salt dissolves into mineral ions. These conduct electrical nerve impulses that drive muscle movement and thought processes."

Health problems like high blood pressure may be caused by too few minerals, rather than too much salt. Modern farming has lowered the mineral content of many fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to water, it's not as easy to get dehydrated as many runners fear?in fact, drinking TOO MUCH water during the course of a marathon can actually kill you!

Researcher James Muntz says, "This condition, hyponatremia, occurs when you have low sodium in your body. When sodium levels drop in the fluids outside the cells, water will get in there and attempt to balance the concentration of salt outside the cells."

The abundance of water will cause the cells to swell. Most cells can adapt to change, however, the brain cannot. When this occurs in less than 48 hours, it can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Symptoms of hyponatremia include vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, restlessness and fatigue, confusion, muscle weakness and convulsions.

A few days before running a big race, you can take steps to try and prevent this condition by using sports drinks during training and increasing your salt intake, as long as you don't have high blood pressure (but use the RIGHT KIND of salt!)

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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