Why is it ok to have salt while on a Paleo diet? I even see questions like "which salt should I have? Himalayan, Black or Sea?" Did stone age people really collect and use salt? Which cultures? I'd love to know that a hunter gatherer culture did that, but I haven't yet found an example.
I'm not an archaeologist, but I suspect that stone age people didn't use salt on food and the fad of using it is a palliative to make the diet more acceptable to people. Wasn't salting food in Europe a middle ages thing due to the silk road? I thought I recalled something about that in history class, but I could've been goofing off. Would you be Paleo if you had to give up salt?
I'd definitely still be paleo. There are so many other spices to chose from, and as a kid my grandmother, who did all the cooking, barely put a pinch of salt in most foods. As for its health benefits, we actually have absolutely no idea. I honestly don't think salt poses a threat. There's no proof that it does. And also what @paleot said. So I'm not planning on cutting salt, but if suddenly it turned out that it's the devil (which I'm pretty sure it isn't) I wouldn't be too sad about it. *grew up in a tropical island with all sorts of cheap delicious spices*
When I think of a stone age culture, a group like the Inuit comes to mind, thriving against the harsh elements of nature. They ate salt water meats and drank the salty blood of animals with the salts from bones boiled down with drinking water from partially desalinated sea water from melted coastal ice (selected by an exceptional taste for sodium chloride in comparison with other cultures). They covered hundreds of miles across the moving ice, where salt wasn't consumed as a fad, but as a requirement of the human body, tightly working in harmony with their hunting and gathering.
Sodium is the 6th most abundant element in the earth's crust, between calcium and magnesium. It's useful stuff. (eg. Na+/K+-ATPase.) If you decrease your sodium intake toward the human minimum, you will likely shorten your life, decrease your health metrics, lose athletic endurance and performance, and food will taste worse. Hyponatremia / restricting essential nutrients isn't Paleo.
Any source of salt should do.. they're all more or less salt. (this diet isn't a reenactment.)
There are also these questions:
1) Should evolution be cut at a point after which it is beneficial in examining our health ? If yes, when should that be ? [ Most of our evolution (our ancestors' ancestors' ancestors' ... ancestors till the first organisms) must have happened in salty water ]
2) Did our close ancestors not use natural salty water (besides salt deposits) ?
Look at what these animals do for some salts, such may be in our instincts also:
PS: You may want to check these also:
I would try a no salt diet for a month, then evaluate it. The Weston Price book states that it takes about two weeks to become used to a no salt diet, and that the Amazon tribes show good health on hundreds of milligrams sodium intake per day.
The first statement (about two weeks) agrees very well with my experience. I have had to travel for work in the past, and got myself in situations where I would take no salt for breakfast or lunch for a couple of weeks. Salt cravings become very real after one week, forcing you to buy a pack of chips, but then they subside. Surely nature made us craving salt for a good reason, but, as is often the case, optimal intake may be just twice or so the natural, "paleo" intake.
Before you assume that cavemen had no access to salt, perhaps you might want to read about how elephants get their salt.
If an elephant can go to such lengths, do you think cavemen wouldn't go to such lengths? In any case, salt is as near as the ocean, and most humans stayed near bodies of water. The ones near the ocean would of course need fresh water, but access to salt water meant access to salt.
People in stone age did consume salts. Chris Kresser had given a great article on Historical consumption and health implications of salt.
Preagricultural people were assessed to have devoured just 768 mg of sodium every day about 1950 mg of salt, which is much lower than our current admission
Eventually he says that "adding grungy salt to an entire sustenance’s Paleo eating methodology is fit as a fiddle. By restricting grains and transformed sustenance’s, the measure of sodium in your eating regimen will as of now be definitely diminished as contrasted with the standard American diet.