How many times it has happened that you find yourself standing in a grocery store’s aisle trying to pick a healthier salt but confused about which one to pick out of so many available options?
Without further ado, let’s jump straight into the most frequently asked questions when it comes to choosing and consuming salt.
What is salt, and does it differ from sodium?
Salt is a mineral compound chiefly composed of sodium and chloride. Although sodium is an element needed for carrying out various bodily functions because of such a high percentage of sodium chloride in salt, they are used interchangeably.
But how much sodium gets hidden entry into your body from other foodstuffs (specifically packaged ones) along with bottled drinking water does need a watchful eye.
What are the most common types of salt and their benefits?
Sea salt is prepared by evaporating seawater, is rich in minerals with sodium content similar to other salt types. As it is unrefined, it makes a great choice for consumption.
Table salt is prepared by refining natural salt from impurities. Further, it is bleached, added with anti-caking additives, and fortified with iodine which also removes the beneficial trace minerals.
Hence you get that smooth fine grains-like texture which makes it easier to sprinkle.
Rock salt or black salt is extracted from the salt mines located in the Himalayas which were believed to be formed from ancient water bodies. It has been well known for its digestive and laxative properties.
Himalayan salt or pink salt is one of the types of rock salt. The natural harvesting process retains nearly all trace elements that help in improving circulation, reducing muscle cramps, and stabilising cellular pH.
Because of these numerous health benefits, pink salt is gaining popularity and weightage over other salts. However, the sodium chloride content of Himalayan salt is the same as table salt, and lacks iodine. Moreover, there is no scientific evidence to support that it is the healthiest salt.
Kosher salt has a large, flaky texture and is used in professional cooking to season various varieties of meat. It is devoid of any additives along with iodine.
Which salt is the healthiest?
All salts have their benefits and can be used in rotation while preparing dishes. Not any particular type can be labelled as the best and healthiest salt. What is predominantly concerning is the quantity to be consumed.
As per World Health Organization (WHO), “Salt intake of less than 5 grams per day for adults helps to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart attack.”
Henceforth, reshuffling and limiting your salt is the major takeaway.
Dr Nisma Haris
The writer is a content creator and wellness advisor