Thursday, 17 September 2009

SALT Pt 2 - Salt in the raw food diet (and what are those '84 minerals'?)

In this the second part of the article, we'll be hearing from raw food experts who believe unrefined sea salt is the opposite of healthful, and I'll be looking at what's in the salt, specifically those '84 minerals' we hear so much about. I'll then be looking at the amount of salt in raw food recipes and comparing this with the salt in cooked vegan recipes, and showing how raw fooders may be at risk of developing a salt addiction where there was none before! I'll then give some suggestions for those who would like to reduce (or cut out altogether) their consumption of sodium chloride, however 'unrefined'.


Many people who buy unrefined sea salt do so because they are convinced that the '84 minerals' in the salt are good for them. I will be showing you what these minerals are, to help you decide how 'essential' they are, and will also suggest that those minerals that are essential can all be found easily in raw foods.

Table salt is 99% sodium chloride, as other minerals present in the natural salt are removed through processing.

Unrefined sea salt is 84% sodium chloride, and at least 95% sodium chloride by dry weight (see Pt 1), but, yes, those additional minerals are still there. Therefore it's fair to say, as some do, that the sodium chloride is (a little) less concentrated. It's also fair for sellers to say that unrefined sea salt is 'not just sodium chloride'. But it's still mostly sodium chloride.

Many people buy unrefined sea salt for these additional minerals, as, it's kind of comforting to know there are 84 minerals present in our salt, and, for some, helps justify the high price. So, after two years of using the salt, I thought it was about time I found out what these 84 minerals were.

The 84 minerals are those present in sea water. They include:


This, as discussed in Pt 1, can easily be obtained from plant foods.


The body uses chloride to make hydrochloric acid (HCl), which is the stomach acid used to break up fats and proteins. This is why you will hear people say (often salt sellers) that 'salt is essential for digestion'. Well, yes that's true, insofar as chloride, like sodium, is a salt, and, yes, chloride is essential for digestion. But the compound 'sodium chloride', as in unrefined sea salt, is not essential for digestion. Before human beings started collecting for or mining for the residue from evaporated sea water and adding it to their food, their digestions worked fine. Chloride is naturally present in many foods, particularly tomatoes, lettuce, kale, celery, beets, olives and sea vegetables.

Some people are indeed 'low' on HCl. However, in cooked-food eaters, this can be due to the stresses of a standard cooked diet (eg meat digestion puts great demands on HCl). And, if they are low on HCl and do not change their diets, there will of course be digestion problems. In the raw vegan however, 'low' HCl is likely due to the fact that the more easy-to-digest plant foods we eat, the less HCl the body makes, as a healthy body on a healthy diet will (Dr Doug Graham, '80/10/10 Diet') 'make just the amount of HCl we actually need'.

Chloride deficiency is rare, including amongst those who add little or no salt to their food. Nutritionist Adam Greer: 'Chloride requirements are in direct proportion to sodium intake. So, if you're consuming low sodium, then you're pretty certain to require lower chloride. If you're eating enough calories, you are likely to be consuming enough chloride.'

The only other minerals that unrefined sea salt contains in any significant amount are magnesium and potassium. Let's look at these:


One serving (0.9g) of unprocessed sea salt contains 3 mg of magnesium. However, a cup of spinach contains 24 mg, and a banana 32 mg.


One serving of salt contains 1 mg of potassium. But a tomato contains 292 mg and a banana 422 mg.

So what are the other 80 minerals? Here they are:

hydrogen, oxygen, sulphur, calcium, bromine, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, fluorine, neon, aluminium, silicon, phosphorus, argon, scandium, titanium, vanadium, molybdenum, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, argentum (silver), cadmium, indium, stannum, antimony, tellurium, iodine, xenon, cesium, barium, anthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dyprosium, holmium, chromium, manganese, ferrum, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, gallium, germanium, arsenic, selenium, krypton, rubidium, strontium, yttrium, zirconium, niobium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, hafnium, tantalum, tungsten, rhenium, osmium, iridium, platinum, aurum (gold), mercury, thallium, lead, bismuth, thorium, uranium, plutonium.

Have a look through. The list includes some that we might not normally associate with health.

Although, the manufacturer of one brand of unrefined sea salt tells us that 'Everyone is exposed to low levels of these and other elements every day, far more than is present in sea salt.' I understand that in sea salt some of these elements are at such low levels that some chemists' equipment can't detect them, or that they are within 'safe limits'. As set by Codex Alimentarius. So that's OK then.

Interestingly, some people working in the field of health (and particularly those selling unrefined sea salt) claim that all of the 80 named above are (according to one salt seller) 'essential for health'. A perusal of health sites tells me that unrefined sea salt contains '84 known human cell-replenishing minerals', that the 84 are 'all essential for your health and well-being' and that all 84 are 'nutritional elements'.

As I had not been aware that minerals such as arsenic, lead and mercury were 'cell-replenishing' or 'essential for health and well-being' I checked several sources for corroboration, from nutrition sites to biochemistry textbooks, and found that scientists are pretty united in saying that around 20 of the 84 only are 'essential' for health. Isn't it funny how people can disagree? And that list of 20 includes, for example, zinc, copper, selenium...names we're familiar with - and all 20 can be found in plant foods - I checked that as well.

But...sure, scientists don't know all there is to know, and some in the health world obviously believe there are certain minerals outside the 20 that can benefit us. However, if many of the 84 elements in salt, although known to be 'present', are there in such minute quantities (parts per million) that some chemists' equipment can't even detect them, then surely there's a likelihood they've made their way, in these low concentrations, into our food anyway.

In short, my delving has uncovered no mineral present in unrefined sea salt that a) is essential and b) cannot be found just as easily, if not more easily in our food.


Here are two of the world's leading experts on raw food nutrition, who are in complete agreement. On this issue.

Brian Clements (Hippocrates Health Institute) says that salt (as in unrefined sea salt) should not be part of the raw food diet. 'Organic sodium is essential to the body's lymphatic fluids to be effective in cleaning the overall system. This sodium can be easily found in foods such as celery, celeriac, sea vegetables that have the sodium chloride washed off the surface, etc. Table salt, sea salt, crystal salt, celtic salt etc are all the same sodium chloride with the variation of other elements attached to it. Sodium chloride dehydrates the body and precipitates high blood pressure due to the arterial and organ contraction that occurs after consumption internally.' (Note I commented on the definition of 'organic' as used in this context in Pt 1.)

Dr Doug Graham says that sodium chloride is: 'an irritant and toxic to the body'.'ve heard them all before, but here they come - the dangers of salt (from around a million sources):

High blood pressure - Excess sodium means the body retains fluid, which increases the amount of fluid pumped by the heart and circulating in the bloodstream. The heart has to work harder, which puts the muscles under strain. Sodium chloride dehydrates, shrinking the arteries. Result - high blood pressure and, again, a heart under strain.

Stomach cancer - The National Cancer Research Institute at Kashiwa confirmed in 2004 that salt elevates - even doubles - the incidence of stomach cancer. (Japan has a relatively high rate of stomach cancer and it is suggested this is due to the large amounts of salted foods consumed there.)

Calcium-related problems, eg osteoporosis - The World Health Organisation in 'Vitamin and Mineral Requirements in Human Nutrition' tells us that the more sodium, the less calcium is absorbed. Also, salt has an acidic effect. The body, in order to maintain an optimal acid-alkaline balance, will counter acidity by leaching calcium (alkaline) from the bones.

Weight gain - Fluid retention from excess sodium is due to dehydration from the sodium pulling water out of the cells, and also because water is retained to neutralise salt's causticity. Fluid retention looks like a layer of fat, increases weight and makes us feel 'heavy'.

Yum yum. Pass the salt. Or rather...I'll 'pass' on the salt.

Isn't it crazy that we know that if we drink salt water instead of fresh, the consequences will be dire, and we know how to 'treat' salt water to remove the salt, that, at the same time, some craziness has resulted in our removing the salt from the water then ingesting it? So we're still ingesting a poison, albeit a slower-acting one!

So why, knowing all this, do many raw fooders add salt to their meals? Could be those '84 minerals' (discussed). Could be simply because they prefer the taste of food salted than unsalted.


Because, through a lifetime of unnatural living, we've developed a taste for salt.

Babies don't naturally desire salty foods (they go for sweet). A taste for salt is something we acquire through the practice of continually consuming salted food. This perverts our tastebuds until, sadly, we cannot appreciate the flavour of pure, natural food.

We've been told that salt 'brings out the flavour of the food.' In fact, it does the opposite. It masks the real flavour - the only flavour that is 'brought out' is that of salt. Those on high-raw diets who habitually add salt to their raw food will find it harder to resist the lure of highly-seasoned and/or spiced cooked food, as raw food without salt will seem lacking in flavour in comparison.

And salt is addictive. Raw nutrition expert Prof Rozi Graham explains: 'When salt is consumed, it hits the tastebuds with a tremendous sensory impact resulting in disturbance to the nervous system. This leads to a craving for repeated jolts of intense sensory satisfaction...condiments excite the tastebuds and trigger false appetite, leading to overeating beyond the body's physical needs.'


To those of you who enjoy making 'rawgourmet' food (as I do sometimes), have a look at some of the recipes in your favourite raw food recipe book. In particular, look at the recipes where there are various components to each dish (eg pizzas, lasagnes). You'll likely find in the ingredients lists half a teaspoon of salt here, half a teaspoon of salt there, plus perhaps some 'nama shoyu', or 'miso' for good measure. Then open one of your old cooked vegan (or even non-vegan) recipe books. You'll likely see, for an entire dish, a pinch of salt.

If you'd like to tot up the total sodium in your favourite raw food recipe, here are some figures:

(Sodium, mg)
Unrefined sea salt, 1/2 tsp, 660
Nama shoyu, 1 tbsp, 720
Miso, 1 tbsp, 680

Then compare it with the sodium intake figures in Part 1 of this article. Then do similar with a cooked recipe.

I compared one serving of a raw-vegan two-course meal of leaf wraps with dipping sauce, followed by lasagne, with as close as I could find for a cooked vegan equivalent - leaf wraps with non-dairy yoghurt, followed by a Mediterranean pie.

Cooked vegan meal: 178 mg sodium.
Raw vegan meal: 1265 mg sodium.

As you can see, the raw vegan meal contained over seven times the amount of sodium than the cooked vegan meal.

In the US, FDA food labelling regulations require a disclosure statement if food exceeds 480 mg of sodium per serving...

(Note - having said that not all the sodium in sodium chloride is assimilated, sodium intake via sodium chloride will be an over-estimate in both cases. However, I've compensated for that by measuring sodium for the salt and shoyu elements only, ie not including the sodium in the plant food ingredients. I also assumed only half the dipping sauce was consumed. So I feel the sodium figures are fair estimates.)

Sure, a complex two-course meal isn't daily fare for the average raw fooder, but if we do eat this sort of meal in the evening, perhaps at a raw food restaurant, we will find ourselves not only over the 'ideal' maximum (1200 mg) on that meal alone, but, if we've had additional sodium chloride earlier in the day, perhaps in the form of flax crackers, nut pate, etc, we will be over the 'acceptable' maximum. Too much of this type of 'raw food lifestyle' and a salt addiction could be created where there had been none before, and we could be on a diet that is, overall, less healthful than our former!


A good first step for anyone who likes making raw food dishes, but finds the thought of cutting out all salt too much, is to at least halve the amount of salt in the recipe. And, if you are using nama shoyu or miso (neither are raw anyway), now could be a good time to stop. Doing those two things alone will make a big difference to your sodium chloride intake.

If you are missing the salty taste, refer to the high-sodium plant foods list. Include at least some of these foods in your raw food diet on a regular basis.

Sodium/potassium issues

If you do significantly reduce your salt intake (whether that's to 'a little' or 'nil') you will likely be amongst the majority of raw fooders who experience no problems at all. However, some do experience a strong craving for salt and/or physical symptoms.

I did. When last year I moved from what I now realise was a high-salt raw food diet to no salt at all 'overnight', I experienced occasional muscle cramps and saliva reduction. This didn't happen straight away, but after a couple of weeks or so. The saliva reduction was quite a problem, as it resulted in a very dry mouth, in spite of my being adequately hydrated, and it was disturbing my sleep. I've since learned that this was most likely due to my body's potassium/sodium electrolyte balance being temporarily thrown askew by the sudden, dramatic decrease in sodium (together with large quantities of potassium via fruit, eg bananas) before my body had made adjustments to the healthier intake. (This imbalance has been known to happen on long-term water fasts which is why any fasting practitioner worth his salt (ouch) will monitor fasters' blood pressure.)

What I did was reintroduce just a little salt into my diet (but nowhere near as much as before) and increase my consumption of sodium-rich plant foods. Interestingly, sea vegetables tasted wonderful to me - at that time. After a week or two, the dry mouth went, and sea vegetables My body had obviously made the adjustment to lower salt intake successfully, following a little 'softening' of the regime. Please don't misunderstand me - the re-introduction of a little salt was simply because 'cold turkey' had proved to be a bit more than I could take - the bottom line is that I am convinced that any salt is still too much. But, for me, and others I've spoken to, gradual weaning off rather than an abrupt stop seems to be the safest option. (Alternatively, or additionally, seek out plant foods high in sodium, as listed in Part 1 - cantaloupe melon, grated sweet potato...these sorts of foods should taste particularly good during weaning!)

Since I started working on this article, I've reduced my intake still further, and my target is to reduce it to nil eventually (or perhaps almost nil, as I do like to visit raw food restaurants occasionally!). I've reduced it in the 'transition food' recipes on, and it's absent in others.

Hopefully I've provided useful information, or at least review, for all readers (except of course for those who know the names of the '84 minerals' by heart) and assisted those who are currently adding salt to their raw food dishes in deciding whether to cut it out completely, reduce it, or make no changes in level of salt consumption.

And I do hope that it will encourage those who make, or invent those delicious rawgourmet meals (tell them - send them this article) to at least reduce the amount of sodium chloride in their recipes. Even more.)

Salt with your sodium? As with everything, we are given a choice.

(with thanks to David Zane Mason for pic)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

SALT Pt 1 - Sodium - a pinch (or ten) of salt with that?

A Raw Food UK Forum survey reported that 60% of raw fooders add salt to their food, with 40% choosing not to. Should we ingest our sodium from plant foods alone, or add sodium chloride (however Celtic, Himalayan etc...) to our raw food? What are the 84 elements in unrefined sea salt? How healthy is your raw food diet?

When I went raw, I soon found that the sea salt I'd been buying from the supermarket was just not the ticket. 'De rigeur' at raw food workshops was unrefined sea salt - first grey, then fashionable pink, then back to grey. I was told it had health benefits - 'all those trace minerals'!

Then I began to notice that some people didn't add any salt to their raw food, and, confused by the claims made for the various (expensive) brands, decided to research salt, the results of which I now share with you.

In this two-part article, I'll be discussing whether sodium in plant foods is sufficient to meet our bodies' needs, whether it is healthful to supplement this with sodium from sodium chloride via unrefined sea salt, and, in Part 2, whether raw fooders are in danger of ingesting too much sodium chloride, however 'unrefined' or 'raw' it is. And, for those who would like to reduce their intake of sodium chloride, some suggestions as to how to do so.

You'll hear it said that 'salt is essential for health'. Those trying to sell sea salt to us will often say this. Well, yes it is, but only in the sense that 'mineral salts' (of various kinds) are essential for health. Sodium is just one of these salts. Sodium is essential for health. But sodium chloride isn't essential for health (more later).

In a physiological context, sodium is an electrolyte, along with potassium and other minerals. Electrolytes become ions in solution and acquire the capacity to conduct electricity. Sodium, working with potassium, maintains fluid balance in our bodies and is involved in nervous system function.

Sodium is contained in all plant foods to some degree. It is also 40% of the mineral compound sodium chloride (NaCl), which is salt from sea or lakes. Even 'rock salt' is still sea salt - from seas millions of years ago.

If raw fooders can obtain sodium from plant foods, why do some then add sodium chloride to their food? Generally, for one or all of the following reasons:

They doubt their sodium needs can be met by plant foods alone.
They believe unrefined sea salt to be healthful.
They like the taste and feel food can taste bland without it.

I'll be examining each of the above in the two parts of this article, but first let's discuss to what extent it's 'natural' to ingest sodium chloride.

Salt has indeed been added to food for thousands of years. But of course we've been killing each other, eating meat our food for thousands of years. As raw fooders we should know the 'thousands of years' argument doesn't wash as a good reason for doing anything. And it looks as if we might have managed fine without sodium chloride before then, or at least ingested very little. As naturopathic doctor Tim Trader says: 'Anthropology has found no sodium-chloride deposits in early bones of human remains, though you can find it in most anyone of western civilization today.'

Is the adding of salt universal? There are many 'undeveloped' cultures who add either no, or virtually no, sodium chloride to their food, such as the Yanomamo Indians of South America. Not to mention thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, in the (mainly) Western 'raw food' culture.

Do animals add salt to their food? Some animals (mainly herbivores, it is claimed) have been observed going out of their way to lick salty mineral deposits exposed by harsh weather. As we know salt on roads melts ice, some could in fact be going for the water rather than the salt, due to their usual sources being frozen over, but it seems that this is not the case in all occurrences of this behaviour. But I've found no evidence to suggest 'salt-licking' is universal, even amongst herbivores. Also, we don't know whether they're going for sodium chloride rather than any other mineral salts in the deposit, and animals that do do this certainly don't do it every day.

Can our sodium needs be met by plant foods alone?

(Sources (official and unofficial) vary by country, so I've averaged out.)

'Acceptable maximum': 1600 mg (UK/US average consumption 4000 mg+ daily!)
'Ideal maximum': 1200 mg or less

As to what is a safe minimum, sources again vary. Several say 500 mg, some say lower. Raw food nutritionist Adam Greer recommends 350 mg as a safe minimum. DHSS 'Dietary Reference Values' (1991) reports some adults healthy on intakes as low as 69 mg, and when I asked on raw food forums for average daily sodium intakes, figures came in as low as 30 mg - and some of those individuals had high levels of physical activity. It appears many can be apparently healthy at relatively low levels of sodium, that is, without exhibiting signs of sodium deficiency. (Deficiency symptoms would include confusion, tiredness, nausea, muscle cramps, and a drop in blood pressure. However, note 'low' blood pressure is generally considered healthy - it's just a sudden drop that might cause concern.)

I do occasionally have sodium chloride (although I've cut down my consumption drastically since researching for this article). I totted up my own intake of sodium on a no-sodium-chloride day; my diet consisted of spinach/celery/apple juice, cantaloupe melon, papayas, pumpkin seeds, banana-date smoothie and lettuce/tomato/avocado wraps. Calories totalled 2100. At 360 mg of sodium I'd only just scraped past Adam's figure, although way higher than the intake of other healthy raw fooders I know. And at just 105 lbs, and feeling healthy, I'm happy with that intake. Heavier people eating eg 3000-calories' worth of food similar to mine would find themselves just above the more official 'safe minimum'. My hunch is that those 'safe minimum' figures are overestimates of what we actually need; it could be that even the minimums are influenced by the fact that so many people (including the scientists who set the figures) think it's fine (and even healthy) to ingest a little sodium chloride and that there are so few individuals for them to study who do not.

The fact that the many raw fooders who add no sodium chloride at all to their food are healthy, and exhibiting no signs of sodium deficiency suggests that there is no problem obtaining sufficient sodium from plant foods alone.

Some raw fooders, especially those on high-fruit diets, have wondered if on a relatively low sodium diet they can have 'too much potassium' (as potassium and sodium work together in the body and need to be present in certain proportions). Dr Doug Graham ('80/10/10 Diet') tells us that, although potassium excess is 'not impossible', cases of potassium overload amongst healthy raw fooders are unknown. The only group that does need to be careful is those who have kidney malfunction.

'Instinctive eating' theory (Schaeffer) suggests that we should be fine as long as we don't eat more of high-potassium foods than our bodies genuinely desire. IE theory says that if we are a little low on any nutrient our bodies will set up a search for foods rich in that nutrient, and those foods will consequently taste particularly good to us at those times. For example, I find spinach (a relatively high-sodium vegetable) tastes delicious some days, and ordinary on others. It could just be that some days my sodium needs a little topping up but other days my body has no need for it.

What if we really feel we need more sodium?

These plant foods are particularly good sources:

Sea vegetables (generally), 40g dry, 450 mg sodium
Coconut water, 1 cup, 252 mg
Honeydew melon, 1 medium, 205 mg
Celeriac, 1 cup, 156 mg
Swiss chard, 2 cups, 154 mg
Cantaloupe melon, 1 medium, 88 mg
Carrots, 2 medium, 84 mg
Sweet potato, 1 medium, 72 mg
Beet, 1 medium (2 in), 64 mg
Celery, 2 stalks, 64 mg
Beets, 1 medium, 64 mg
Kale, 2 cups, 58 mg
Spinach, 2 cups, 48 mg
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)

(note that although tomatoes can taste 'salty', they are relatively low in sodium. The salty taste is likely to be due to high levels of glutamate and/or chloride.)

Is unrefined sea salt healthful?

Some Natural Hygienists writing in the 80s and earlier maintained that our bodies cannot utilise the sodium from sodium chloride. Well, researching this, it would seem that this is probably not the case; we can obtain sodium from sodium chloride. However, virtually all health experts agree that our bodies assimilate sodium much more easily from plant food than via sodium chloride, and I'll explain why they say that.

First let's be clear what 'unrefined' sea salt is. It's been drummed into the heads of many health seekers that table salt is the devil, but unrefined sea salt is OK and even good, and some of us (eg me in the past) have understood that that's because table salt is sodium chloride, as if unrefined sea salt isn't! My son educated me: 'Mum, it's still sodium chloride. It may be 'natural', but even if it's collected in little organic baskets by little organic people, it's still sodium chloride.'

Table salt is 99% sodium chloride, unprocessed sea salt is 84% sodium chloride - so, still mostly sodium chloride. And in fact, by dry weight, unprocessed sea salt is actually 95-99% sodium chloride; 'the only reason 'unprocessed' sea salts have a lower sodium content is because they still contain a lot of moisture.' (Frederic Patenaude)
Table salt is kiln-dried, whereas unrefined sea salt is sun and wind-dried.
Table salt is treated with chemicals such as bleach and anti-caking agents, and, sure, unrefined sea salt isn't - it's pretty much as it comes out of the sea.
Table salt has been stripped of virtually all the minerals additional to sodium and chloride. Sea salt still contains them. I'll tell you what they are in Part 2.

If you add a little salt (table or unrefined sea salt) to a glass of body-heat water you will find most of it dissolves. It's separating into sodium ions and chloride ions. But a little remains undissolved.

I've been discussing with people knowledgeable in chemistry what happens when sodium chloride enters our bodies. And, guess what - they don't all agree, and...they don't know for sure. One suggested that as our body fluids aren't pure water, it's possible that more of the sodium chloride could stay undissolved than when mixed with water. On the other hand, another suggested that, as electrolysis separates ions, electrical forces in our body might allow them to break down the sodium chloride more easily than when simply mixed with water. Consensus was that at least some of the sodium chloride will remain in the body as sodium chloride and we do know that bodies fail to break down at least some sodium chloride because it's found in bodily excretions. And bones. Our bodies can't do anything useful with sodium chloride that remains as sodium chloride - on the contrary, it gives them a problem.

Do our bodies find it easier to get sodium from unrefined sea salt than table salt? Yes. That's because table salt (and other processed sea salts sold simply as 'sea salt') has been heated to such a high temperature, with various chemicals added, that the resulting substance is unnatural, and therefore difficult for our bodies to cope with. Nutritionist Dr Ann Gittleman: 'refined salt is...treated with anti-caking agents which prevent salt absorbing water in salt cellars. Unfortunately, anti-caking agents perform the same process in the body, stopping the salt dissolving and combining with fluids in stomach and digestive system.'

But do our bodies find it easier to get sodium from unrefined sea salt than plant foods? Unequivocally no. Sodium from plant foods wins. It's more bioavailable, due to chelation (binding) to organic molecules. (Note that some raw fooders describe sodium from plant food as 'organic' sodium, as it is found within living plants. But, in chemical terms, sodium is inorganic, regardless of where it's found.)

If we obtain our sodium from plant food only, there is no risk of sodium chloride depositing in our bodies. Build-up of sodium chloride can lead to all sorts of problems. For example, those creaky joints that people put down to 'age'. Sodium chloride deposits will accumulate as we get older. Also, when salt can't be excreted, the deposits in the body cause the cells to contract and discharge fluid, resulting in dehydration and contraction of the arteries, causing high blood pressure.

So, taking these things into account, can unrefined sea salt be described as healthful? I can't see how. Although it's a source of sodium, the body finds it so much easier to get sodium from plant food. And, although the risk of build-up in the body of sodium chloride deposits from unrefined sea salt may be less than with table salt, there's still a risk.

PLEASE NOW TURN TO PART 2 of the article, in which we'll hear from raw food experts who believe unrefined sea salt is the opposite of healthful. I'll also be looking at what's in the salt, specifically those '84 minerals' we hear so much about. I'll then be looking at the amount of salt in raw food recipes and comparing this with cooked vegan recipes, and showing how raw fooders may be at risk of developing a salt addiction where there was none before! I'll then give some suggestions for those who would like to reduce (or cut out altogether) their consumption of salt, however 'unrefined'.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Staying at The Raw House, Thailand, with Darrick, Freelea, Harley et al

I've just got back from staying in Thailand at the generous invitation of Darrick from 30Bananas forum. Had a totally brilliant time, getting to meet not only Darrick, but also Harley (aka 'durianrider'), Freelea, Georgia, Bhala, Malakai, Nick, Chris, Rich and Choi, not to mention sampling (well, gorging!) the most delicious fruit!

The easiest way of telling those of you who would like to know more about my stay is to point you in the direction of a diary thread I started on 30Bananas forum. Scattered throughout the thread are posts describing my stay, and towards the end of the thread I've uploaded nineteen wonderful pictures!

Here's the link. I think even if you're not a member of 30Bananas you'll be able to read the post and see the pics. NOTE - if that link doesn't work, try this:

So, back to reality now - dear old England cool, wet and windy as per normal, but I see we had some sun whilst we were away, as the sunflowers are ten feet tall!

Next RawforLife article about to roll off the press!