Q. Are iodized salt, sea salt and celtic salt friend or foe? Do we need salt in our diets?
Yes we need some salt. How much? What kind of salt? For the most part salt is salt and the real danger is in getting too much, or in more rare cases too little. As far as iodized salt goes, that has prevented what was a very common problem in early America: iodine deficiency causing thyroid goiter. If a person wants to get their iodine from sea plant sources that is OK too. I have no problem myself in using iodized table salt in moderation. As far as using celtic, sea, or conventional table salt there are minute differences that label reading and Internet study could help you decide. There are so many kinds of salts, which differ mainly in their mineral content, and the way they are processed. I think the best place to get our minerals from is the natural plants nuts and greens are full of minerals and not from inorganic minerals of the earth and sea. I realize that is debatable and I am open for discussion on that point. There are some very strange almost religious convictions about which salt is the best. If a person wants, for perceived health reasons, to avoid additives, anti caking agents, and bleaches, by using natural sea salt, I won't argue that point. And yes the minerals have been stripped out of most kinds of table salt.
The real culprit in my mind is not sea salt verses conventional table salt, but avoiding fast foods, packaged processed foods, and canned foods that are extremely high in salt. Another fallacy is some people mistakenly think that using sea salt in abundance has no ill effects, when in reality salt is still salt and can be over-utilized no matter what the origin. Not all claims by sea salt companies have been proven.
When a person is working out in the hot sun, hour after hour, losing salt through sweating, that is when they might become salt deficient, which will lead to dizziness, light headedness and possibly loss of consciousness. So that person needs salt or salt tablets. I like what one of my favorite health authors wrote: "I use some salt, and always have, because salt, instead of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood." White, Counsels on Health, p. 135.
Most Americans are getting too much salt. It isn't so much the salt one shakes or cooks with, but the salt in the processed foods that is killing us. It leaches our bones of calcium. It causes high blood pressure, which leads to heart disease and strokes. If a person is battling high blood pressure be sure to stay away from canned soups, tomato juice, soy sauce, potato chips, corn chips and other very salty articles.