Digging into the salty misconceptions of sodium chloride

To shake or not to shake? That is the question — about salt, that is. For years, we have been berated by media, diet plans and even our mothers about eating foods with high-sodium content. But is the question really about whether or not we should eat x-amount of salt?

Many experts say it’s not about the quantity, but the quality of the salt we consume. The type of sodium chloride giving all salt types an overpowering bad rep is what we find lurking on most restaurant tables and in grocery store aisles: refined salt (a.k.a. sodium chloride at its worst). On the contrary, unrefined salt provides a bounty of nutrients and electrolytes that are essential to the human body. As a mineral that stays the way nature intended it to be, I’d like to show you the reasons why unrefined is healthier than refined salt.

Breaking the myth
First, let’s break the myth that any type of sodium chloride is bad for you. The truth? “Salt is the second most prevalent substance in the body next to water,” says Dr. David David Brownstein, author of Salt: Your Way to Health. It’s made up of about 0.4 percent of weight in most human bodies. According to Jon Barron, a world-leading nutraceutical researcher, developed human bodies have three distinct fluid systems – blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, and extracellular fluids – all salty fluids. On a more striking note, he includes that “a human embryo develops in salty amniotic fluid.” So if we’re born in salt and our bodies are a fairly significant percentage of salt — shouldn’t it be an important part of our diet instead of something we shy away from?

Refined salt vs. unrefined salt
All things good have their exceptions. With sodium chloride it’s refined salt. Refined salt can be recognized as stark-white, unformed (bead) shapes – but don’t be fooled by its bright and pretty looks. As a result of high temperature processes that alter its molecular structure, refined salt has been stripped away of trace minerals and replaced with chemical additives and anti-caking agents. Basically, refined salt has been tossed through machines until it’s something almost unrecognizable from its original form.

“As far as the body is concerned, there is no connection between the chemically-cleansed sodium chloride table salt you buy in the supermarket (which is also added to virtually every processed food you buy) and the mineral rich organic unrefined sea salt available in health food stores,” says Barron.

Unrefined salt contains more than 60 trace minerals and includes no additives or anti-caking chemicals. Contrary to the processed, stark-white refined salt, unrefined salt varies in shape and color (subtle pinks and/or reds). Chances are, no two unrefined salt granules look alike. This is because unrefined salt isn’t put through those machines to make the “perfect” shape. In fact, it’s not exposed to any harsh chemicals

So, what does it have to do with Hilary’s?
In all of Hilary’s Eat Well burgers and bites, we only use Redmond’s Real Salt, which comes from an ancient sea bed in Central Utah. For more than 30 years, they’ve delivered completely natural sea salt — nothing added, nothing taken away. I know some of you have come forward, asking about the sodium content in our products. But trust me — this isn’t your average salt. The salt you find in our products provides you with essential nutrients and electrolytes that can help foster a healthy immune system, take care of your organs and allow your cells to stay hydrated. So when comparing sodium on nutrition labels, make sure you check the type of salt used in the product. It can make all the difference to your health.

For more information on unrefined salt: