Lately, I have been receiving a lot of queries from our clients and readers about which salt is good for health ? All of them want to know which salt is healthy for cooking in every day life. Some of my clients even expressed their interest in exchanging the regular table salt with rock salt or Himalayan pink salt for everyday cooking. But is it really required ? What difference will this make on your health ? Read on to know about different types of salt in India and which Salt is healthy for Cooking and about table salt Vs sendha namak /rock salt.
Each one of us will agree that we simply cannot avoid using salt in our food. Salt forms an indispensable ingredient in our meals that makes it tastier.
So what exactly is salt made up of that makes us dependent upon it?
Salt is primarily composed of Sodium. Sodium is a naturally occurring mineral. We make use of sodium in the form of table salt which is a mixture of roughly 60 percent chloride and 40 percent sodium by weight. different types of salt have different sodium content. Which salt is healthy and which salt is best for cooking in every day life depends a lot on their nutrition content.
Importance Of Salt And Its Function In Our Body-
- Chlorine and sodium form the two vital elements that assist in cellular circulation and balance.
- Sodium is mainly responsible to maintain electrolytes that include potassium, bicarbonate, calcium, and potassium.
- Brain cannot send the required electrical impulses to body without adequate sodium.
- But a high level of salt intake is not healthy and it can lead to water retention and high blood pressure.
- The elevated level of sodium can force body to retain water to prevent the serum sodium concentration from reaching outside its limits.
- Since excess sodium results in hypertension, doctors generally recommend less or no salt intake depending upon individual’s risk.
- According to the American Heart Association, a daily intake of 1500 mg of salt is recommended for people suffering from high blood pressure.
- For normal healthy adults, the daily salt intake should not go beyond 2300 mg which comes to one teaspoon.
- Also, the use of added salt should be restricted by the people suffering from pre-hypertension. Some of the biggest sodium culprits are packaged foods. Processed foods such as frozen food items, canned soups, and lunch meats contribute to about 75 percent of the total sodium. Some of the other health dangers of excess salt include- renal disease, kidney stones, osteoporosis, impaired nerve and muscle function and intestinal disorders.
Types of Salt in India: Which Salt is Healthy And Best for Cooking
Now days the market is overloaded with a dazzling array of salts having a different kind of textures, colors and price points. So what exactly differentiates these types of salts?Are these expensive salts worth the money? Let’s find out by comparing different culinary salts to find the best one for your needs.
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These types of salt is made by super heating the natural salt at a temperature of about 1200 degree Fahrenheit that eliminates all the beneficial compounds. Table salt or iodized salt also undergoes the bleaching process and lacks the trace elements. So this type of salt certainly cannot be the healthiest salt that you can consume. It also consists of artificial additives which slow down the absorption of moisture making it easy to sprinkle.
Sea salt is the most familiar types of salt that originates from the ocean and goes through an evaporation process in order to isolate it from the water. It comprises of iodine in small quantity and it is less refined. Some of the examples include- Celtic, Hawaiin sea salt, black sea salt and French(fleur de sel). It is found in fine as well as coarse varieties.
Himalayan Pink Salt / Rock Salt
This salt is also called as a finishing salt or rock salt since it is added for a crunchy texture and flavor to the meal at the end of cooking. This salt is pink in color as it is rich in iron content. It also contains 84 essential trace elements that are needed by your body. Himalayan Pink salt is often recommended by the experts as it is considered to be the healthiest salts. This salt has a lot of health benefits.
- Promoting healthy pH
- Promoting blood sugar health.
- It also helps to reduce muscle cramps.
Kosher salt contains large flakes. It is less refined compared to the table salt. It is versatile and used to enhance crunchy texture to certain drinks and dishes. As it has coarse grains it fits less in a spoon.
This is a salt with flavorings and herbs like onion salt, celery salt and garlic salt that do not contain sodium and are used to minimize sodium in your diet. But it is better to go for dried spices and herbs than seasoned salt to control the salt intake.
Which salt is healthy: Which salt is best for cooking ?
With all the misguided health claims, it becomes really difficult to choose the best types of salt. There are a lot of dangers associated with consuming excess table salt hence many people are choosing to use Himalayan salt. So is it a good idea to replace the regular table salt with rock salt? Let’s compare the mineral contents of both these salts to help you decide.
Table salt Vs Rock salt / Himalayan Pink Salt
|Minerals(mg)||Rock Salt||Table Salt|
From the above table it is clear that rock salt contains high mineral content whereas sodium levels are high in table salt. Although Rock salt can be a great alternative if you prefer to keep away from additives in table salt. However table salt is the main source of iodine in most vegetarians. So if you plan to replace the regular table salt with rock salt then you will have to get your dose of iodine from other foods like dairy products, fish. Other sea foods and seaweed.
– Indian diet plan for Hypotention (Low blood pressure)
End Note –
Amongst different types of salt, rock salt is more expensive as compared to the regular table salt. Many vegetarians in India become iodine deficient. People who do not consume sea foods are also at a risk of developing goitre due to iodine deficiency. Hence I would recommend that you Consume a mix of both types of Salt. That is, use table salt in some of your foods while cooking while on salads, buttermilk, juices and boiled veggies use sendha namak or Rock salt or Himalayan pink salt. Remember too much of any thing is bad for health. Hence use salt in limitation and mix and match !