Who stole the restaurant salt shakers?
Salt (sodium) reduction has lately become a culinary cause, according to the New York Times. Subway, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Burger King and Taco Bell as well as Campbell Soup and PepsiCo have all publicly vowed to produce lower-sodium products (to a degree last year, Campbell decided to add sodium back into some of its soups after sales began to slide). Critics say that too little of the essential nutrient could be dangerous.
Is salt (sodium) an evil chemical to be avoided like the plague or is it an essential nutrient that we need to consume in order to survive? With experts on both sides of the issue, who are you to believe?
In the Bible we are told that Moses, Aaron and Levi were all priests before God. Moses lived to be 120, Aaron lived to be 123 and Levi lived to be 137. According to Deuteronomy 34:7, “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.” What did all three of these men have in common? They were all priests, consequently, they all ate lots of salt. God had commanded that all the meat and grain they consumed be thoroughly salted.
Leviticus 2:13 “Add salt to all your offerings”
God required the people to bring offerings to the temple as a sacrifice for their sins. God’s primary purpose for the offerings was to emphasize the seriousness of sin and prepare us for Christ’s ultimate, better and final offering for sin. Though this was God’s primary purpose, he had a secondary purpose for the offerings. He used them to meet the dietary needs of the priests which were of the tribe of Levi. When the people brought grains, bulls and lambs to the priests to sacrifice, the priests got to keep some of the sacrifice as their pay. It was where their food came from. All the sacrifices were to be sprinkled with salt. Consequently, everything that the priests and their families ate was salted. Often in the Bible, salt is used as a metaphor for something that is intrinsically good.
In Mark 9:50 Jesus made this statement… “Salt is good.”
God did not give the Levites land like he gave to the other tribes; instead he gave them a portion of the offerings. God entrusted them with temple duties, which made it difficult for them to provide food for their families the way the rest of the tribes did.
Numbers 18:18-19 “Their meat is to be yours, just as the breast of the wave offering and the right thigh are yours. Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your regular share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.”
Evidently, God saw no problem with his chosen people eating salt. In fact, he made sure that they had an abundance of it.
More and more we are being told to restrict salt intake in our diets. This mantra is so widespread that restaurants are removing salt from their food and removing salt from the tables. Just last week Shary and I had dinner at the Pelican restaurant in Cannon Beach Oregon, it is one of the finest eateries in the area. We met with our daughter Erin and her husband Jake, our son Matthew brought his new girlfriend, Jessie, to meet us, it was a great time with great food, but there was no salt to be found on any table. We had to request a salt shaker, that was hidden away to protect us from the nasty element.
This restaurant, like so many others, has given in to the idea that sodium is bad for your health. So they feel they are doing their clients a service to restrict salt. Salt has been more or less placed in the category of junk food. Health care providers are telling people to reduce or eliminate salt from their diets. This is a crime, and I’ll tell you why. Every summer people suffer from heat exhaustion and die from heat stroke. Virtually all of them are on low sodium (salt) diets. Heat stroke from exercise is one of the 3 leading causes of sudden death in sports activities. There is a 100% survival rate for heat exhaustion when rapid, proper treatment is given to someone suffering from this affliction.1 According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine heat exhaustion can be treated by drinking a mixture of 1 teaspoon of salt to a quart of water.2 If you end up in the hospital with heat exhaustion or heat stroke, they will give you a saltwater IV.
There were only 5 player deaths in America 1931-1959 from heat. There were 103 player deaths in America 1960-2000.1 Why has the rate of heat related deaths gone up so drastically? Because we are restricting salt intake.
Twenty-seven year old, Korey Stringer, Offensive tackle for the Minnisota Vikings collapses and dies of heat stroke during practice. Korey had a wife and three year old son. Experts say that his death was completely preventable by drinking more water and getting an adequate amount of salt.
The primary reason given for restricting salt intake is that it causes hypertension and high blood pressure. Since 1996 we have known better! In the May 22nd 1996 edition of the New York Times, there was an article abstracted from the Journal of American Medical Association. This is the journal that virtually every medical doctor in America subscribes to. The article was written by Dr. Alexander Gordon Logan, an epidemiologist and cardiologist at the University Medical School of Toronto Canada. Dr. Logan examined 56 existing studies on hypertension and high blood pressure as it relates to heart disease and the restriction of salt. These studies included 3,505 patients. In what was probably the most extensive and conclusive research ever done on salt and its effect on heart disease, Dr Logan concluded that restricting salt would not keep you from getting hypertension or high blood pressure. He also concluded that restricting salt from people who have hypertension or high blood pressure would not improve their condition. Dr. Logan said…
“You might as well salt your food to taste. It is a meaningless exercise (a low sodium diet). Don’t get paranoid about salt. It has nothing to do with blood pressure problems. There has never been a single iota of proof that restriction of salt has any benefit.” 9
In a more recent study, published in the August 2011 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension, 6,250 Patients were sampled. They concluded that there was no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes or death. Actually they did find that the risk of heart disease was 56% higher for people who restricted salt intake as compared to the people with the highest salt consumption.3 The less salt you consume the more likely you are to die from heart disease.
Salt is an essential nutrient. Asking people to eliminate salt from their diets is dangerous. Dr. Tom Brewer demonstrates this fact in an article he wrote entitled “No Risk Pregnancy Diet”. Here are sickening facts.
Salt in Pregnancy
|High Salt Diet||Low-Salt Diet|
–Adapted from Margaret Robinson. “Salt in Pregnancy,” Lancet 1:178, 1958. 9b
Toxemia (a buildup of poisons in the blood stream) is almost three times as high in women who restrict salt. Infant deaths are almost double. When people get heat stroke, what do doctors give them? Saline solution (salt water). Why? Because they have a salt deficiency. Jesus said that salt was good. God told the Israelites to salt all their sacrifices and then eat them.
Yes, if you eat lots of salty chips or other salty foods, you may retain water, but this can be avoided by avoiding foods that taste too salty. The danger caused by too little salt (heat exhaustion, stroke, death) is obviously of more concern than the discomfort of retained water. Also retained water can often be treated with a higher protein diet.
One way we can avoid problems of overeating certain foods is to tune into our God-given regulating mechanism. Your body comes with a mechanism that helps you regulate how much and what types of food you eat. That mechanism is in your taste buds. If you salt food to taste and avoid foods with embedded salt (Salt that is cooked in as opposed to salting after cooking), you can avoid some of the effects of eating too much salt. Your taste buds will send a message to your brain telling you to stop. So when you get the message, stop eating.
A study was conducted at an orphanage where children were given only good food choices at each meal. The children were not told what to eat or how much to eat, however, it was recorded what these kids ate and how much they ate. Some ate nothing but fruit for a period of time, while others ate only meat, etc.… but over the long haul the researchers found that the children balanced their own diets.4 Now it must be repeated that they were only given good choices. God has designed our brains in such a marvelous way that our brains have the ability to determine a nutritional need and then send messages to the taste buds, “this would taste good, eat more of this, stop eating that.” We have observed that our kids will crave citrus (oranges, tangerines, etc.), during flu and cold season. These foods contain a lot of digestible vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential to a strong immune system. So God made our taste buds crave vitamin C when we need it, what an amazing God.
The system God created would work perfectly if we only had good food to choose from. The problem we have is that refined foods (the king’s dainties, Psalm 23:1-2), such as sugar, white flour or monosodium glutamate, these will unnaturally create cravings that cause unbalanced diets. The addition of monosodium glutamate to chips was the reason for the slogan “Bet you can’t eat just one.” Now, monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer, is in all kinds of food. It overrides your God given mechanism and causes you to eat an unbalanced diet.
Read your labels, there is a reason you can’t stop eating. The best salt to use is unrefined sea salt or salt mined from ancient sea beds like Himalayan salt.
In conclusion, stop restricting salt, if your doctor has told you to restrict salt he is not only going against God’s word but he is also going against the latest science. Salt is a nutrient you cannot live without. The latest science tells us that restricting salt will shorten your life. Listen to Jesus, “salt is good”, and enjoy your salted food again. It not only tastes better but it is the smart thing to do!
Here are two concepts that will lengthen and improve your life.
Concept #1 The word of God is not in contradiction to the world of God.
Concept #2 All scripture is God breathed and useful.
If you believe God knows best, join us and the Wellness Gospel Team and spread the word, share this with your friends on social media and may God bless you richly.
If you want to keep improving your health and like this kind of biblical, scientific information, then I would like to recommend three must-read books.
- “None of These Diseases” by S. I. McMillen, M.D. and David E. Stern, M.D.
- “Let’s Play Doctor” by Dr. Joel Wallach
- “God’s Guide To Biblical Health and Healing” by Rev. Chris & Shary Schauermann
You can get all these books at Amazon.com 🙂
- August 2011 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension,
- “Lets have healthy children” by Addelle Davis