Saturday, June 30, 2012

What Cattle Know about Salt

My Uncle Gene on salt in response to his dietician:

Now wait just a minute. I'm a cattle man. I buy undernourished calves at the stock yard and put a big block of salt out for them. For three days, they stand and lick the salt. Cattle know what they need. If the calves need it, so do people.

I don't agree that calves and people need the same nutrients, but he's absolutely right that people need salt, too. If you're starting a low-carb diet, you especially need salt--your body dumps a lot of fluids at the beginning--along with salt and potassium. Nowadays, we "know" too much salt is bad for us. But time was,

Humans did not need to know chemistry to understand the value of salt. Salt deprivation leads to lightheadedness, fatigue, headache, and malaise....Inland hunters followed their prey to salt licks and salt springs. These waters were prized for cooking, and some cultures learned to dry these waters to make dry salt.(1)

For further reading:

1. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff Volek and Stephen D. Phinney, Beyond Obesity, LLC, 2011. Page 20.

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