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My Favorite Cheeses and Why Salt is Good for You


My long-time favorite cheese: Chiriboga, a soft, spicy blue. Better than the best cheddar: Pleasant Ridge Reserve. My new favorite cheese, Kunik, especially when it’s warm, warmer than room temperature.

By the way, do you see the salt grinder? It’s always on the table. Salt is good for you. It contains not only essential sodium chloride, but also other trace minerals from the sea, if it’s unrefined. I salt our food when cooking, salt when seasoning, and salt my food at the table. I like, approve of, and use salt. And yet, when we eat at a restaurant, I spend the night suffering from the masses of (presumably pure) sodium chloride in the dishes. So buy whole foods, prepare them with the right amount of salt and other seasonings, teach your family (and children) to salt to taste, and yes, be wary of processed foods and restaurant meals.

Any unrefined sea salt is better than pure sodium chloride (plus added iodine) which is typical of most supermarket salt. Celtic Sea Salt is what I usually buy. It’s about 84% sodium chloride (an essential nutrient) and the rest, various trace minerals we all need.

The USDA wrote guidelines urging people to eat less sodium. Many experts think the advice will send people to consume dangerously low amounts of sodium. Read widely before you change your diet. The low-salt diet is bad for the heart. Americans are advised to eat no more than 2,300 mg of sodium daily. That’s about a teaspoon of salt. But a large study of healthy people found that eating less than 3,000 mg of sodium daily resulted in MORE cardiovascular events like heart disease and stroke. Sometimes it’s better when the public ignores USG health advice. The lucky ones kept eating butter instead of switching to margarine. Could it be the same for salt? Time to revise the sodium guidelines. Read all about it in the updated version of Real Food: What to Eat and Why. Or read Gary Taubes.


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