Is salt bad for you?

We hear from customers everyday. People reach out with input, criticism, and oftentimes compliments about our products — and we simply love it.  
One thing we hear from time to time are questions regarding the sodium levels of our veggie burgers.  Robert from Portland, Oregon recently wrote to let us know that he loves our products, but because hypertension runs in his family, he had decided to cut back his sodium content and didn’t think he could enjoy our products anymore.  Robert, like many folks out there, was following the advice of the DASH diet.  The dialogue between Hilary and Robert below shows why we care so deeply about the quality of salt we use in our products, and why the “salt is bad for you” statement needs to be reexamined. 
 
Here’s a small portion of Hilary and Roberts conversation:
 
Hi Robert,
Thank you so much for writing to us with your feedback! Thankfully, I did have a complete health transformation — it borders on miraculous.  I too have a family with high blood pressure.  Back in 2002 when I first learned of my multiple food intolerance I began I massive research journey, that included significant research on salt, and I discovered that not all are created equal. 
 
I’d like to note first that the sodium in the veggie burgers is exclusively from Redmond’s Real Salt. Redmond’s Real Salt is whole salt with 60 trace minerals that are actually quite beneficial for the body.
 
Standard table salt is one trace mineral called sodium chloride that can be quite harsh on the body and has been shown time and time again to lead to many of the problems you provided links to. 
 
Redmond’s has invested a great deal of money into researching how table salt and real salt differ inside of the body.  If you are interested please check out www.realsalt.com to investigate. 
 
The Redmond’s research cost them quite a bit of money, but they wanted to do it because they saw when they fed their cows this salt they were healthier so they wanted to see if it would do the same in humans.  My runner friends actually eat Redmond’s straight from the bottle!
 
Back in 2007 I fed a guy named Daniel only food from my Lawrence, KS restaurant, Local Burger, for 30 days.  As he went on this journey, his stats were as follows:
                            Before               After
Weight                 295                   276
BP                        152/110           118/88
Pulse                    76                    64
Cholesterol          287                  166
Testosterone       366                  513
Insulin                 12.3                 5.8
 
Rules of the study were as follows:
He ate only Local Burger food.  What is that?  Sustainably raised proteins (grassfed elk, beef, buffalo, pasture raised pork, turkey and chicken), my veggie burgers (of course), low amounts of organic gluten, low amounts of local organic cheese, gluten free grains, organic veggies, organic french fries (fried in coconut oil), organic chocolate (almost daily) and at least 2 Tablespoons of Virgin coconut oil a day (to level blood sugar and prevent cravings of artificial foods).  Not a low calorie diet or a low carb diet…but a REAL FOOD and REAL SALT diet.  What did it not have?  NO ADDITIVES, Preservatives, or Artificial foods.
 
This study was documented and followed with pre, mid and post follow up lab tests by an MD now invested in my company. Daniel was not allowed to exercise.  The test was to see if the quality of our food would create as stunning results in the opposite direction as Super Size me…..and THEY DID!!!!
 
I have now become an ingredient panel research wonk, and rarely trust or follow standard western medical guidance on the best way to decrease blood pressure or on the standard diabetic diet protocol.
 
I have a very open mind and I am open to being wrong…but my own health tells me that clean, real quality food that has been raised, produced, sourced with care and knowledge leads to better health.  The vast majority of the food today does not take quality into account – the focus is on calories, fat and salt and that does not even begin to tell the whole story.
 
I am not trying to change your mind but just share how my experience is different from the standard protocols of today. 
 
The mission behind Hilary’s Eat Well is that we want people to feel good – I put so much thought into each ingredient with a goal that this will nourish the health of anyone eating it and sometimes it does not align up with the current status quo.
 
So that’s where I land on the subject.  Please let me know if you have any more questions, thoughts or concerns.
 
Love,
Hilary
 
—–
 
Hi Hilary,
 
Thank you so much for your very interesting and informative response to my email.  That was very kind of you to put so much time and thought into it, and certainly surpassed anything I might have expected.  
 
First of all, we seem to have a situation here where I set out to “school” you and you have now turned the tables and “schooled” me.  🙂   Ex-partners and ex-teachers from here to New York are loudly cheering you on as we speak. This is all probably to the good for both my physical health and my ego, so well done.
 
More seriously though, in a moment of synchronicity, I was online and my searching somehow led me to some links, which seem to fully support what you say about salt, even specifically Redmond’s Real Salt.  I do understand that it’s more complex than “cut down on the sodium”, and I’ve read that one of the real issues has to do with the balance of sodium and potassium and other minerals. I will most certainly take the time to read the links you sent.  
 
You definitely “got” me on the salt. I think I am pretty open-minded and open to changing my opinion based on new information. It seems that you have really done your homework here, and it seems that it has really worked for you. That’s great!  It’s what we all want really — just to understand a bit more and to find a way that works for us and which supports our health and well-being.  So I will keep Hilary’s Eat Well products in the rotation as I read and learn more.  
 
Thank you again, Hilary, for taking the time to respond with such care. I am wishing you and all of your staff continued success and great health.
 
Sincerely,
 
Robert 
 

 
This is just a small portion of the whole conversation that Hilary and Robert had (and continue to have). Robert even helped remind Hilary that her recent addiction to a jolt of likely a quarter cup of sugar in the morning (cold pressed coffee, chocolate and coconut milk) probably wasn’t the best idea. At Hilary’s Eat Well, we’re constantly learning how food works with our bodies.  We love this kind of open dialogue, and really thrive on sharing information, so we thank you, Robert, for reaching out and keeping us on our toes. 😉  Next time we’re in Portland, we really do hope to buy you a cup of coffee.