Why so Salty?...
Salt isn't the bad guy. Yes, there are some people who need to avoid it due to medical reasons. Then there are others, my mother included, who are told to eat more salt by their doctors. So depending what your doctor says, use salt accordingly. However, I'm here to say that for the majority of us we just need to learn to respect salt and pay more attention to where it's hidden. And it's not even like it's hidden very well -- it's in plain sight!
Salt is an excellent flavour enhancer. It's no wonder that when you pick up any prepackaged food or go to any fast food joint or chain restaurant salt or sodium is near number one, if not number one on every ingredient deck. It creates flavour and it creates... cravings.
I guarantee that if you cut eating out and prepackaged food from your diet for even just a couple of weeks, you will notice a huge difference in your health -- and also in your taste. Same goes with sugar. Cut both and you'll be seeing health benefits left right and centre.
Now, as a cook, I use salt. A lot. But, I'm also making much of what I eat from scratch. I'm controlling the amount of salt that goes in my food. Next time you watch a cooking show, keep that in mind. When you blame that chef for using too much salt, remember that it's still way less than what would be found in many packaged foods or at a fast food restaurant. Plus, the quality of salt that chef is using is going to, more than likely, be a good quality salt.
We do need salt and the iodine that goes with it. Salt is one of the number one sources for iodine, a mineral that is necessary for healthy thyroid function. While iodine is found naturally in some foods like seafood, eggs and prunes, we still tend not to get enough... hence the addition of iodine to salt to help us get what we need. So salt is not an evil, like processed refined sugar, that must be banished from our lives. We need it and here are a few reasons why...
Benefits of salt across all types are (except kosher which is iodine free):
Source of iodine (naturally accuring in sea salt)
Aids proper thyroid function by production of hormones T4 and T3
Sodium and chlorine help balance the fluids in the brain
Sodium and chlorine also work with responsive nerves in the brain to control electrical impulses
***A note about kosher or non-iodized salts: they do have their purpose. If you have ever experienced certain thyroid testing or treatment for thyroid cancer, you will understand. Also necessary in home canning preparations.
The number one take away here is to be mindful of your over all salt consumption. Try to limit processed foods, which is just good all around, and pay attention to the kind of salt you're using in your at home cooking.