Salt is one of the most important cooking ingredients. There are varieties of salts, some are concentrated, some dissolve more easily, and some should be used only as a preservative. And if you know the difference between them, you might avoid over or under-salting your food.
Here are few commonly used salts and their Health benefits
1. Refined/table salt– It is a widely used salt in the kitchen. Adding iodine to it helps prevent iodine-Helps prevent iodine deficiency- a condition that causes thyroid and other problems.
2. Koscher/coarse salt– it is a coarse-grained flaky salt without additives or anti-caking agents. Also, it’s less pungent than table salt and dissolves quickly. Coarse salt doesn’t contain iodine and is hence is a preferred salt for burning, curing, and often pickling.
3. Sea salt– like table salt, sea salt is mostly sodium chloride. Unlike regular refined salt, it is less ground and causes a more potent flavor than refined salt. It has small amounts of iodine. It helps maintain adequate hydration and blood pressure levels, sea salt with water aids in digestion.
4. Himalayan pink salt– this minimally processed salt gets its color from trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The extra minerals give the extra salt flavor, and many people these days are preferring Himalayan salt over others due to its nutritional benefits.
Some of the health benefits of this salt, as claimed by the researchers, are improved respiration, balanced body pH, reduces aging signs, and regulation of blood pressure.
5. Black salt– this is a popular salt used in Indian kitchens. While it adds distinct flavors to most dishes, it has various health benefits. It cures bloating, acidity, reduces water retention, and stimulates blood circulation.
How Much Salt is Good For Health?
For decades, health care professionals have urged people to limit their sodium intake to control blood pressure. It is estimated that the body needs about 186 mg of sodium per day to function properly.
For Adults– eat no more than 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium) that’s around one teaspoon.
For Children-the maximum amount of salt children should depend on their age:
1 to 3 years -2g salt a day (0.8g sodium)
4 to 6 years -3g salt a day (1.2g sodium)
7 to 10 years -5g salt a day (2g sodium)
11 years and over -6g salt a day (2.4g sodium)
Tips For Reducing Sodium Consumption
1. Check for nutrient claims on food and beverage packages to quickly identify those that may contain less sodium.
2. Prepare your food when you can- limit packaged foods
3. Add other flavors like non-salt seasoning blends, herbs, and spices instead of salt.
4. Buy fresh foods rather than processed varieties as these foods contain more salt as preservatives.
5. Rinse sodium-containing foods like beans, vegetables, and seafood before eating as it helps remove some of the sodium.
6. Choose low-sodium or no-salt-added snacks
7. Make low-sodium choices at restaurants by asking to prepare your meal with less salt.
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