Is salt really bad for me?

It’s been decades since we started hearing about salt’s damaging effects on our bodies, and it seems salt is only getting less popular as time goes by. Recently, state senators in New York flirted with legislation that would even make it illegal for restaurants to salt their food, treating salt as if it were on par with second-hand cigarette smoke.

Is salt so bad that we need laws to protect us from its effects? Well, you’re reading this on the website of a salt company, so you can probably guess what we think. But being predictable doesn’t mean we’re on the wrong track, so if you have a few minutes, let’s examine the salt myth in context and see what all the fuss is about.

Salt is essential for life

Let’s take a big step away from the salt debate and look at things from a distance. If you are admitted to any modern hospital in the world, chances are very good that one of the first people you meet will be very interested in finding the biggest vein in your arm so they can stick you with a needle and introduce saline solution (salt water) directly into your body. Since hospital workers are generally in the life-preserving and health-improving business, it’s probably safe to assume that salt, itself, is not something we need to keep out of our bodies.

I know, there’s a difference between eating salt and getting an IV, and you’re still wondering whether you can trust a salt company when we tell you salt is good for you. I guess it’s a good time to break out the sources. A 2006 study published in The American Journal of Medicine tells us that “sodium intake of less than 2300 mg (the daily recommended allowance) was associated with a 37%  increase in cardiovascular disease mortality and a 28% increase of all-cause mortality.” Mortality is a rather polite word for dying, so in other words, people who consume too little salt are more likely to die than other people. Other peer-reviewed journals have released similar results in 2000, 2004, 2006, and even 1960, and several authors and health experts complain loudly when they hear people dismissing salt. (Scroll down to the bottom for links directly to the reports.)

So why does salt have such a bad reputation? Well, to go back to our hypothetical hospital visit, you can be sure your nurse isn’t simply dumping bleached table salt into the drinking fountain water to prepare those IV bags — hospitals and health care professionals understand that all salt isn’t the same.

All salt is not created equal

Did you know that all salt could technically be considered “sea salt”? Some salt is harvested from current oceans, some from dead seas, and some is mined from ancient sea beds, but the sea is (or was) ultimately the source of all salt. Sea water usually contains more than 60 essential trace minerals, but most salt producers today remove these high-profit minerals and sell them to vitamin manufacturers before selling the remaining salt to you and me to dump on our hash browns.

That would be okay, but when you remove the trace minerals that used to accompany sodium chloride, you typically get a bitter flavor that many producers try to mask with chemicals or even sugar. (Go ahead — grab your salt shaker and read the ingredients. See any dextrose? Yep, that’s sugar!)  Even worse, when you consume chemically treated or de-mineralized salt, your body’s mineral balance doesn’t always respond gracefully. When people started consuming chemically altered salts 100 years ago, we started seeing high blood pressure and water retention that had never been associated with salt before. Interestingly enough, our customers tell us these are the same problems that go away when natural salt replaces “table salt” in their diet.

In other words, salt can be bad for your health, but real salt is actually a crucial part of good health! That’s why, more than 50 years ago, we named our brand Real Salt: Your body knows the difference between what is real and what has been chemically altered. Real Salt is salt exactly the way nature made it.  You can taste the difference on your tongue, and you can feel a difference in your health.


Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • Sandra Ploetz says:

    Does RealSalt have the necessary amount of iodine for good health?

  • Real Salt Real Salt says:


    Thanks for the question. You can learn about iodine and Real Salt here. Hope it helps!

  • Stan V says:

    Thanks, I just tried the salt today, and was amazed.

    I like to work out quite a bit, and just recently I found out that salt (along with potassium and magnesium) helps prevent adrenal fatigue. Read up on Google



  • Christina says:

    My mother-in-law was recently hospitalized with strange symptoms including fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and diarhea. The diagnosis was lack of electolytes. The cure? A glass of salt water. Just like iron too much sodium isn’t good but a lack of it can be just as bad.

  • barry goldman says:

    I just bought a bottle of your real salt…all natural sea salt….I have been using celtic sea salt but it is hard to get where I live…they say the celtic sea salt does not effect your blood pressure…after taking it for over a year now my blood pressure has returned to normal levels no matter how much salt I use….the refined salt does mess with your blood pressure….this is my question does real salt effect ones blood pressure or not..the people who make the celtic sea salt state their salt has no effect on blood pressure, can your company make the same statement…If you can It would be a lot easier to buy yours and switch over….

  • Real Salt Real Salt says:

    Hi Barry,

    Here are just a few customer comments we’ve received that should help you out!

    “RealSalt is the only salt I have used that doesn’t bother my blood pressure and also has a great taste.”
    Esther Wilson, Kansas City, Kansas

    “I have high blood pressure and I am very sensitive to salt. However, RealSalt does not seem to affect my blood pressure at all! Thanks to RealSalt, I have not had to give up salt completely. It has a very pleasant taste as well, even in comparison to Hain’s and other gourmet salts. ”
    J. A. White, Baltimore, MD

    “I love your salt. It’s really helped with my high blood pressure. Thank You.”
    James Lumzy, Southfield, MI

  • Ginny says:

    I need to know if Real Salt will cause water retention. Someone in the family was just diagnosed with a liver problem & regular salt is one of the biggest culprits of water retention, which causes fluid to accumulate behind the liver. Yet, getting enough salt is a problem as well.

  • Real Salt Real Salt says:

    Hi, Ginny. We’ve heard from hundreds of Real Salt customers over the years who tell us that Real Salt is the only salt they can eat without water retention issues. In its natural state, salt doesn’t have any of the adverse effects people experience from using processed salt, so you can recommend it to your family member with confidence!

  • Norma says:

    My husband was recently diagnosed as type II diabetic. Is Real Salt okay for diabetics? We have changed our eating habits and cut down on salts & sugars. His blood pressure is normal. The dietician said to throw away our sea salts and accent!

  • Real Salt Real Salt says:

    (So many tardy replies — forgive us for a configuration error that kept us from seeing your comments!)

    Well, Norma, we won’t pick an argument with your dietician, and we won’t offer any medical advice. We do hear from a lot of customers who tell us their doctors recommend Real Salt even when they discourage other brands. Here are some quotes from health professionals that might spark an interesting discussion between you and your doctor, and here’s a book called Salt Your Way to Health that you might find interesting. Good luck to you and your husband!

  • Valerie says:

    Over the winter I finally got my mother-in-law set up with her own stash of Real Salt. But she still keeps a salt shaker full of processed salt on her table. Why? Because her male friend read on his heart medication: Consult physician before using sea salt. Oh, Brother! But I choked down the sarcasm (barely). I really couldn’t say much, but attempted to encourage him to consider the benefits of using natural sea salt over the processed stuff, which has been indicted in causing heart and blood pressure problems. It didn’t help when he made a comment like, “Humans have survived for a long time on this stuff.” UH, NO! Not on the processed salt!

    Anyway, I cannot think of any reason that would require a “Sea Salt Warning” on heart medication, except that use of it might cause the user to find less need to use said heart medication. 😛 But maybe I’m just being naive.

    So, in my hope of helping her eat and cook a bit healthier, I instead assume that the meals she prepares, even for us (once every other Sunday), in which he also participates (generally every time), are still prepared with what I consider the Nasty Stuff. Sigh.

  • Nell Deason says:

    I have been using Real Salt for over a year and love it. My husband’s blood pressure is still high and the Dr. recently said to go on a restricted sodium diet-no salt from a shaker- and use No Salt which makes me nervous because of the additives. Have you any statistics on how much sodium Real Salt actually has. I would assume it is less than “table salt” because of the minerals. I’m having to count milligrams of sodium and am concerned that my husband won’t get enough sodium. Thanks for your help and your excellent product!

  • Real Salt Real Salt says:

    Nell, here’s a link to our mineral analysis. We’re not qualified to advise you or your husband on medical issues, but if you’re concerned by the chemicals being suggested you might consult a naturopathic doctor in your area. A recent guest post on our blog discusses some of your concerns, as well. Good luck!

  • joyce cook says:

    we love real salt and have used it for about 8 years. i feel good using a mineral balanced salt. we introduced real salt to my brother in law at lunch one day explaining that it comes from an ancient sea bed never exposed to modern pollution etc. He put the shaker down and exclaimed ” so it’s Whale Sh*t salt! ” typical ignorance from a guy who is morbidly obese with numerous health problems. at first i was angry and frustrated with him for refusing to even try it. so now we joke about the name and eat it proudly.

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