In this day and age of intense focus on health and fitness, I don’t know if I am the exception or the rule in terms of my daily salt intake. Throughout my life, I have never been one to indulge in excess salt. In fact, it is highly unusual to see me reach for the salt shaker at a meal, unless I am with someone else and am getting it for them. About the only thing I will toss salt on is my popcorn at the movies. Other than that, if my food ever needs a bit of kick, I’ll opt for a sprinkling of pepper instead.
There are those among us, however, who cannot resist the taste of salt on our foods. I have witnessed many people in restaurants or during other occasions where food is the pivotal focus literally dancing with the salt shaker above their plates. My nearly 106-year-old grandmother is no exception. She does not salt her food. She foods her salt. She will also take the shaker and pour salt directly onto the palm of her hand and then lick it all up. This is not a new habit. She has done this for decades…well, practically centuries now! In her “younger” days, we all used to joke that for Christmas we would just buy her a salt lick and set it up in the backyard so she could enjoy it at her leisure. For Grandma, her salt intake over the decades is what I presume has kept her well-preserved. For those of us not quite made of the stuff of which my grandmother is, salt can play a decidedly different role in our health.
If you are one of the hundreds of thousands who suffer from diseases such as osteoporosis or arthritis, a healthy diet can relieve some of those aggravating symptoms associated with those diseases. Salt is a well-known risk factor for osteoporosis. The old adage, “you are what you eat,” really has some validity. Just losing a few extra pounds will do wonders not only for your physique, but for your overall feeling of well-being.
If you desire to establish a healthy diet to eliminate those inflammatory foods that contribute to the pain of arthritis, for example, you can begin by removing foods that you believe aggravate your condition. For example, remove dairy products, wheat, tomatoes, and caffeine.