Like the salt shaker, stress is not supposed to be good for us.
One might question that as myth, exaggeration, or falsehood.
I’ve been warded off the use of salt in my diet for decades by the literature and doctors’ warning us excess salt is harmful. Stress and hypertension are companions of salt-impact, so we need to reduce our stress and reduce our sodium to have healthier hearts.
Every packaged food product has details on sodium content (and every other thing you might imagine caring about) on the back. I used to ignore those labels, but during the last few years of my dad’s life, I became a label-reader when I was shopping for him. That changed how I shopped. If you’ve not been a label-reader, it’s time to start.
While it is true that many canned, packaged, and frozen foods require salt as a preservative, we all intuitively know, ‘they don’t need that much salt’ – and the proof is how many manufacturers are now offering low-salt and reduced-salt versions of their foods, no doubt in response to more people wanting to improve their lives, and lengthen their life, by eating a healthier diet.
There is a short-cut to this. Don’t buy things in cans, or packages, or in the frozen food sections.
Instead, buy fruit, vegetables, meat. Buy food, not processed food. Be suspect of everything in a package until you’ve confirmed the ingredients. And, since you’re reading the salt content, it’s a good idea to read the levels of fat, carbs or anything else your medical advisors warn you about …
Now, back to stress. Eliminating salt reduces stress but doesn’t eliminate it from our lives.
So do we need stress?
I would argue that tension in our lives, often self-induced stress can yield good health as well as harm; we can harness our stress to strive for more achievement or strive for less stress – but clearly, less salt is a good start …
I’ve not been schooled in this science, but I’ve been inside this body of mine all my life, so I believe I’m qualified to assess the value of stress in my life. It motivates me to work, to innovate, to create, to get out of bed, and apply my shoulder to the wheel, my voice to causes, and my brain to problems.
And I do it without salt.
Let’s take the salt off the table – and sprinkle it instead on slippery sidewalks!
Your column again resonated with truth and reality who we know are not always companions. What we feed our minds, as you so aptly described, is manifested in our lives. Is there any wonder that folks are suspicious, depressed and overwhelmed? We are meant to swallow the political trippy pill and chill out, JR, Calgary, AB