When Jesus addressed His disciples as the “Salt of the earth”, He compared their function on the earth to that of salt. Today, all those who believe in Him are also the salt of the earth. His comparison to salt shows how valuable and indispensable is the salt we use on daily basis.
Table salt comes from natural underground deposits while sea salt comes from ocean waters. Table salt contains iodine, a trace element the body requires for production of hormones in thyroid gland. Generally, sea salt and table salt contain the same amount of sodium.
Salt has two common uses. It gives flavour. It makes food tasty and acceptable. Have you ever eaten soup that has every ingredient including fish and meat but has no salt in it? The person serving you such a meal cannot claim to be your true friend. People of God, who are the salt, make the earth acceptable to Him. Another function of salt in relation to food is to restrain the process of corruption. It is a preservative to hold decay or deterioration in check.
Salt is a wonderful and important element in keeping the proper mineral balance in practically all of the earth’s living creatures. Every cell in our body needs salt. Our bodies rely on salt to keep good bone density, proper circulation and stabilised blood sugar levels. Sodium in salt is actually necessary to regulate your blood pressure and blood volume as well as normal function of your nerves and muscles. Without salt, you won’t have blood pressure at all.
“But what good is salt if it has lost its flavour? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Has salt any substitute? The Word of God says there is virtually no substitute to salt. If it is not salt, it is not salt. However, low-sodium table salt has been produced as alternatives to circumvent the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease associated with high intake of sodium chloride. They usually contain potassium chloride whose toxicity is approximately equal to that of table salt in a healthy person. Potassium chloride tastes a lot like sodium chloride and is the main ingredient in reduced or no-salt substitutes. Various diseases and medicaments may decrease the body’s excretion of potassium thereby increasing the risk of potentially fatal hyperkalemia.
Salt substitutes are not a healthful option of sodium chloride. Potassium consumed in excess may be harmful to some people. People with kidney problems are not able to rid their bodies of excessive potassium which could result in a deadly condition. If you have kidney problems or are on medication for your heart or liver, it is best to seek your doctor’s advice before taking a salt substitute.
Most salt substitutes contain sodium just less than the amounts in actual table salt. These products often contain a mix of sodium chloride and potassium chloride. If the product is labelled “sodium-free” then the main ingredient is potassium chloride with no sodium. The best option is to go completely “salt-free” instead of mimicking the taste of sodium with salt substitutes,
As a result of the flavour salt adds to food, people tend to consume too much of it. Therefore, salt becomes a deadly substance we cannot do without. It can kill you if love it. That is why you are advised to do away with table salt on your dining table. I used to visit a couple some years ago. That man loved salt even though he was obese, with high blood pressure and diabetes. His wife, a nurse, knew the implications of his consumption of salt and was always quarrelling with him over adding salt to his food. He was a stubborn person and would order their housemaid to bring him salt from the kitchen. When the man died a few years ago, I did not need to see the autopsy to know what might have killed him. Excessive consumption of salt was likely at the root of the problem. Salt intake is directly correlated to blood pressure. High blood pressure is linked to strokes and heart disease.
Sodium occurs naturally in many foods, including vegetables and dairy products. Processed food contains a lot of sodium. As much as 75% of the salt in your diet comes from foods processed with salt. Plantain, meat, fish, akara and so on fried with salt are not good for you. Eating so-called foods with too much salt or adding additional salt to your food can aggravate kidney problems, and greatly increase water retention and cause oedema.
You may now ask, “What shall I do to be saved?” Salvation is your own personal decision. The first step is to control your appetite for those foods made tasty with salt. You can train and discipline your taste buds. I enjoy drinking fresh water extract of bitter leaf now. At first, it was really bitter and truly “medicine” but after a while it became a pleasant refreshing drink to me.
You can start experimenting with herbs and spices with wonderful flavours to add taste to your meals. Fresh garlic, or garlic powder, lemon juice, flavoured vinegar, nutmeg, cinnamon, fresh ground pepper and other salt-free herbs and spices are good health-promoting substitutes. By reducing your craving for salt, you can learn to appreciate new flavours. The good thing about these flavours is that there is growing evidence that they fight cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.