Does your water softener add unhealthy ammounts of sodium to your diet?
January 10, 2012
Most people prefer the taste of hard water to the taste of soft water.
I was reading this article about making healthier eating choices in the New Year and the author (a doctor) pointed to water softeners as another source of sodium in a person’s diet. This intrigued me because I rarely find mentions of water softeners in news articles.
The doctor’s proposed solution was to use potassium instead of salt for your water softener. Potassium can also be used to soften water and, as the doctor points out, it is a healthier option and, unlike sodium-softened water, it will not harm house plants.
However, potassium also happens to be much more expensive than salt, sometimes as much as four times the cost. While your health is definitely worth the extra cost and the doctor’s advice is good, it lacks some important information. I’d like to propose some alternative solutions to reducing sodium in your diet this year:
1. The cold water at your kitchen tap is typically not softened. So, if you are drinking the kitchen cold water you should not have to worry about extra sodium intake. The way I think of it is like this: All of the hot water in your home is typically soft. Whereas, the only cold water in your home that is soft is the water you wash with, like the bathroom, the wash tub, and the washing machine. Outside water lines and the cold tap in the kitchen do not typically go through the softener (unless the homeowner requests this).
2. Some of the sodium in your water is naturally occurring and this means that switching to potassium will not remove all of the sodium from your water. Installing a Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System is a better solution that has additional health benefits, too. RO systems remove the sodium as well as other naturally occurring substances that can give water a foul smell or unappealing color. Many of these substances, such as arsenic, aren’t exactly good for your health, either. Click here for more information on RO Drinking Water Systems.
3. As for your plants, outside water lines are also not typically hooked up to the water softener. This means that the water you use for your garden hoses will not contain extra sodium and your plants will be safe. Just make sure that if you fill a watering can inside your home you use the cold water from the kitchen, as most of the other inside water lines are probably connected to your softener.