This is a guest article by Mannie Barling and Ashley Brooks – Simon 

Have you got up the next morning after eating out the previous night only to find that you have gained a few pounds? Has your face ever looked “puffy” in the morning afterward? Chances are that the weight gain or puffiness is due to fluid retention caused by the salt in your meal the night before. Your body simply can’t handle the “hidden salt” in your food.

Many people say “That’s not my problem.  I don’t eat salt.” That’s not true if you eat in restaurants or eat caned, packaged or frozen foods. Salt is used in the preparation of food in restaurants including salting meats before cooking them. Sauces and salad dressings use salt for flavor and as a preservative. Non-organic turkeys and chickens contain as much as 15% of a salt brine injected by the chicken and turkey industry. If you are not cooking organically, then you are eating more salt than you could possibly imagine.

Most of the time some quantity of salt is listed right on the label under the “ingredients” section where everyone can see it. But, there is always more salt than indicated on the bottle, can or package because food manufacturers hide salt in other food ingredient names to keep the total of sodium low. No one knows exactly how much salt they consume because so much salt is also hidden in the food’s other ingredients.

For example, table salt and MSG are combined as flavorings and preservatives, essentially doubling the portion of salt without your knowing it. There may be other salts adding to the total such as sodium nitrate found in processed meats and Maltodextrin which contains up to 14% MSG.

Sodium nitrate is primarily used to make gray-looking meat look fleshy red. It is added to non-organic bacon, sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni, deli meats and almost all other non-organic processed meats. Sausages, hot dogs, those packaged meats used for children’s lunches and meats used at fast food sandwich stores often contain the highest amounts of sodium nitrate. Table salt and sodium nitrate form a dangerous chemical cocktail that should not be fed to children.

A new study published in the journal Circulation in 2010 reveals that eating meats processed with sodium nitrate significantly raises the risk of heart disease and diabetes. For every1.8-ounce serving, the risk for heart disease jumped 42% and the risk for diabetes increased 19%. That equates to one bite of a hot dog at a sporting event or two bites out of a processed meat sandwich in a deli, roach coach or convenience store.

Evidence has shown that sodium nitrate has caused a 67% increase in pancreatic cancer, a 74% higher risk of leukemia and a 40% higher risk of diabetes. If you add table salt to your meal of processed foods containing sodium nitrate, the amount of salt can triple or even worse. If you eat out two or sometimes three times a day when you are busy, the amount of table salt in your meals goes up exponentially. Multiply this by the number of foods (burger and fries) on the plate and the salt total increases again.

No one notices because there are no disclosures or warnings on the labels of the accurate total of salt or sodium nitrate in processed foods. Restaurants and fast food stores offer no information whatsoever.

Even though most people eat a large amount of table salt and salt contained in packaged foods, salt is still the number-one mineral deficiency. Table salt is toxic and cannot be assimilated because of the body’s struggle to break down the added anti-caking agent (sodium aluminosilicate, a man-made synthetic chemical). Refining table salt strips it of all of its trace minerals.

Organic sea salt is the unrefined salt containing important minerals like iron, sulfur, magnesium and other trace elements that are obtained by simply evaporating the salt from waters taken from the seas or oceans. Sea salt is considered to be more beneficial for your health due to the more than 80 nutritive substances present.

Table salt raises blood pressure but organic sodium does not. Table salt causes the body to lose calcium while organic sodium decreases calcium loss. One of the first steps toward losing weight is to stop the use of table salt and change to either organic sea salt or another organic form of salt. Of course, the safest choice is to stop using any form of salt above the minimum amount needed daily for your body.

This is one explanation for the puffiness and dry swollen lips that many experience on some mornings and not others. Other problems include a ailing kidney, liver or the continuing assault on your body from the excess of chemicals in your food. Unless you are on a table salt-free organic diet, there is no way of knowing your salt intake daily.

Emanuel Barling, Jr., Esq. and Ashley F. Brooks, R.N. authors of Arthritis, Inflammation, Gout, Crohn’s, IBD and IBS – How to Eliminate Pain and Extend your Life and Mannie’s Diet and Enzyme Formula – A Change of Lifestyle Diet Designed for Everyone available at HowToEliminatePain.com, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other booksellers around the world. The authors’ latest book, It’s Not Your Fault! Weight Gain, Obesity and Food Addiction will be available for the 2010 holidays.

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