The Wonderful World of SALT

Have you noticed that there are just about as many varieties of salt on the store shelves as there are varieties of sugar and flour? So what about them, are they all the same? Should you be concerned about which type to use?

No, they are not all the same, and yes, you should be concerned about which type to use. Some salt varieties are loaded with sodium while others have less, some have mineral content that is healthy for our body. And if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease, or have been told by your doctor to limit your sodium intake, your choice should be for a lower sodium variety.

Regular table salt, with iodine, is 99% sodium. It also has been chemically processed to appear white and have tiny grains, and may also contain preservatives or other additives. Kosher salt is not chemically processed and has no additives, but still is high in sodium content.

Mediterranean Sea salt and pink Himalayan salt have much less sodium (about 85%) and contain other healthy mineral content, but typically contain none of the artificial stuff you find in other varieties (but be sure to read the label just to be certain there are no additives). Pink Himalayan salt especially: it has 27 different minerals along with sodium, and these minerals help your tissues to become more alkaline. These types of salt add interesting flavor to any dish, and it does not take much!

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sodium is 1500 mg, which is about 1/4 teaspoon. This is not much, but the problem is not in the extra salt we add to our foods, but the salt that is already present in them. If you eat a lot of packaged or processed foods (frozen dinners, lunch meat, canned vegetables, canned meats) then you are getting probably well over the RDA for sodium on a daily basis. This is where label reading becomes SO important, especially if you need to watch your sodium intake.

Salt is one of those things that we love on our foods, but we tend to take it for granted as just another spice and do not keep up with how much or how often we are using it. Mindful sodium intake could be the key to your healthy journey, so start reading labels for sodium content and try a different variety of salt with less sodium.  You may notice a difference right away!

~ Doneane

(c) 2016