Health & Fitness blog Uncategorized Himalayan or sea salt – which is healthier?

Himalayan or sea salt – which is healthier?

There are many types of salt available on the market today: in addition to the most famous and common table salt (kitchen, brewed) you can also buy rock, Himalayan or sea salt. So there is plenty to choose from, and the individual products differ not only in appearance, taste and texture, but also in mineral content.
Gourmets and chefs choose salt on the basis of its taste and texture, but also colour and even… convenience of use. Those who prefer a healthy lifestyle often see kitchen salt as inferior and use other types of salt as a healthier alternative. Are they right and is there such a thing as “healthier salt”?   What is salt? Salt is a crystalline mineral made up of two important elements: sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl). Most of the world’s salt is extracted from salt mines. It can also be obtained by evaporating sea water or other mineral-rich waters. Trace elements, as well as impurities, can affect both the colour and taste of salt. The size of the crystals can also affect the intensity of the salt taste – salt with a larger grain size gives a more intense sensation as it dissolves in the mouth for longer. However, once dissolved in food these differences are no longer so noticeable. In general, what we call “salt” can be one of three types: table salt, sea salt or rock salt. The actual distinction between the “types” of salt is based on how the salt is processed and where it comes from.   What are the types of natural salt? Brewed salt (also called table salt or kitchen salt) – is the most popular and most commonly used type of salt. Brewing is the hot evaporation of brine, a water solution of rock salt. In this way, crystals of almost pure sodium chloride (NaCl) are obtained, as most impurities and trace elements are removed in this process. Due to the high degree of fragmentation, the boiled salt tends to stick together, which is why anti-caking agents are added to it to keep it flowing. In many countries, including Poland, iodine is added to cooking salt as part of iodine prophylaxis in order to prevent thyroid diseases against the background of a deficiency of this component. Such salt is an important source of iodine in the diet. Therefore, if we exclude kitchen salt from our menu, it is worth taking care to eat other products rich in iodine, such as fish, dairy products or eggs. Because kitchen salt is more processed and purified, it is often seen as inferior to other types of salt. Sea salt – is formed by the evaporation of ocean water or water from saltwater lakes, usually with little processing. It is considered a more natural form of salt than table salt. There are many varieties of sea salt, and their quality varies greatly. Depending on where it is obtained, it usually contains certain amounts of trace elements such as potassium, iron, magnesium, which give it a different colour and can also affect taste. It is worth noting that the darker the sea salt, the greater the concentration of trace elements, but also impurities. Due to ocean pollution, sea salt can contain traces of heavy metals, such as lead. Sea salt is often less ground than ordinary refined cooking salt. Natural rock salt is also sea salt, only that it was formed millions of years after the prehistoric seas dried up. It is mined in the form of stones and lumps. Unlike table salt, it does not undergo the process of leaching. It can have different colours, usually grey, but also orange, blue or green. It contains minerals in trace amounts, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium and iodine. Due to the fact that it is unprocessed and unpurified, it is perceived as a “healthier” type of salt. Himalayan salt – is a type of rock salt mined in the eastern belt of the Karakorum and Himalayas in Pakistan. It often contains traces of iron oxide, which gives it an attractive pink colour. Because it is extracted from old and dry seabed, it is free of the pollution that can be found in modern sea salt. In addition, there are also many other types of salt of different taste and appearance, such as Hawaiian salt (red, black, green, white), Kala Namak Indian salt called ‘black salt’ – high in iron and hydrogen sulphide, which gives it its specific taste and smell, smoked salt with an intense, aromatic smell and taste, reminiscent of freshly smoked dishes, or bamboo salt (sea salt roasted in bamboo cane).   Is there therefore a ‘healthier’ salt? Salt is the main source of sodium in our menu – an essential component for the proper functioning of the body. However, if consumed in excess, it increases the risk of developing hypertension, which in turn is associated with strokes and heart disease. Regardless of the type of salt, the effect of the sodium it contains on the body is the same. Both table salt and other types of salt consist mainly of sodium chloride (NaCl) and therefore also contain comparable amounts of sodium – as shown in the table below.   Table: Composition of different types of salt TYPE OF SO

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