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Manufacturer: Solo / Type: Condiment

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      11.05.2009 15:13
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      3 Comments

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      A good alternative to table salt.

      Solo is a special kind of sea salt which has 60% less sodium in it than conventional salt, and it claims to have potassium and magnesium in the correct ratios to prevent blood pressure from creeping up when sodium levels remain too high for too long.

      Solo also say that magnesium and potassium can be deficient when the soils in which our food is grown are less than adequately enriched with these important substances.

      Traditional salt is sodium chloride so this Solo salt is worth a thought.

      Made by The Low Sodium Sea Salt Company it is available in Morrison's and in health food stores and a 250 resealable packet retails for 99p.

      The packet is very attractive, the front has a cliff and sea spray scene with breaking waves, and it's a striking packet in navy red and white. I have also seen it in smaller drums too so handy for the table.

      I have been buying this for several years now for a slightly different reason as it is recommended for people with M.E, which I have, as it helps to raise magnesium levels which is important as the muscles in ME are damaged (and may benefit from extra magnesium) in my case from a polio related virus. As my family have a strong history of heart disease and stroke I also use it now because of the claims it makes in being a helping hand in reducing sodium levels to less than 6g per day (the recommended maximum).

      If you are not someone who really watches their salt intake then it is probably not going to be on your shopping list, and I am sure that minor indulgences of too much sodium are not too serious, but it is as well to note that if you eat a diet of purely home made food using natural ingredients you can really watch your levels and are unlikely to exceed the guidelines.

      If you are a meat pie lover, a ready made meal muncher, a breakfast cereal guzzler or a bread buyer, then it can all mount up to a colossal intake day after day. Most of us have over 9g per day and it is as well to remember that as potassium and sodium must be in the right ratios to control body water. You see many examples of fluid around hot and swollen ankles when sandals come out in May. Just look down at any bus stop. Something is wrong here and it could be this. Some bread slices have 0.5 g so if you make them into a sandwich with a filling you could well be hitting 1/3 of your allowance with just one little snack.

      It's strange really because my parents are salt lovers, my father has dangerously high blood pressure controlled by medication, and my mum is a stroke victim, but my childhood would see salt in everything they ate. Added to vegetable water, sprinkled over all meals, whatever they were, in copious quantities, so yes I was brought up on it! They have survived to old age, mind you, but certainly mum has been plagued with fluid retention, and dad has been on long term medication for decades to control his hypertension.

      All this scared me and so as well as having ME and needing to make sure I was adequately taking in magnesium, I switched to this salt some years ago.

      It tastes exactly the same and you can use it wherever salt is called for in a recipe. I use it instead of table salt and I also keep an eye on any ready made meals I buy, which are not that many to be honest, but I do enjoy them occasionally.

      It is important to note that you must not use it if you have any kidney problems, or Hyperkalemia, and you must check with a doctor about this and not just start to use it because Solo salt is a source of potassium. Diabetics must also talk to the doctor before using it.

      Some manufacturers have been using the salt in their processed foods and Young's in particular have incorporated it into some of their ranges, particularly the Scottish Smoked Salmon. I am vegetarian so haven't tried this, but it is certainly a step forward.

      I can't say it has improved my health or my blood pressure as I have not yet developed hypertension and I keep an eye on it, but the salt certainly slots into my home cooking and will continue to do so for a long time. Is it helping my ME? - Impossible to say as I was permanently damaged by the polio related virus and the illness waxes and wanes anyway.

      The salt was referred to in The British Medical Journal in 1994, when the results were published of a randomised double control trial which had been conducted in Holland at the Erasmus University. The efficiency of lowering blood pressures was significant in middle aged folk with mild to moderate hypertension. The conclusion was that the salt could offer an alternative to medication for some older people.

      In 2004 more research was conducted in South Africa, and at The University Of Capetown it was found to have significant lowering properties on the blood pressures of the subjects who tried it

      Whatever the evidence there is nothing like a home cooked dinner and you can make it healthy now by cooking with lots of fruit and veg, and not overloading the table salt and making sodium filled pie every time your oven goes on. With this at least the ratios are right and it's full of flavour so you won't notice the difference!

      Just a final word of caution, if you already have high blood pressure whatever you do don't stop your medication and try this as an alternative, I would always check with the GP first as stopping anti hypertensive medication is very dangerous.

      I think in conclusion it is fair to say that using this salt to lower or to control blood pressure is only half the story. Lots of wholegrains, nuts, fruit and veg will fill you full of magnesium and potassium and will do just as much for your BP. I doubt all the Solo in the world would be much good if you lived on a chip diet!

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