With doctors always telling us to eat less salt, you might wonder why there are so many gourmet salt varieties available. Let us discuss why you should take some of these claims with a pinch of salt.
Today, the shelves at the local grocer are fuller of more salt than they have ever been. There are many exotic flavors to choose from including seaweed, porcini, vanilla and truffle and they can each be found in different grinds including rock salt, coarse and finely ground.
In spite of all of these selections, the experts do agree on one thing. If you want to remain healthy, it is essential that we consume less salt. Over doing it with salt can increase our blood pressure, which will increase risk for a stroke.
Hypertension accounts for 62 percent of the strokes and nearly half of all cases of heart disease. Salt is also linked to other conditions, including obesity, kidney stones, kidney disease, osteoporosis and stomach cancer. It can also make the symptoms of diabetes, Alzheimer’s and asthma worse.
As we read the labels on all of these fancy types of salt, we may become confused and start believing that these are healthier salt choices. The packaging may make claims that the salt is all-natural or that it is tastier or a healthy alternative to table salt. These claims are simply not true.
Another concern is that these fancier salts are larger crystals. Since they are larger and do not taste as salty, more salt is being consumed than ever before. Let us bust some of these common salt myths.
Gourmet salts contain less sodium than regular table salt and is better for our health.
All salts, including gourmet salt are 100 percent sodium chloride. This means that any kind of salt will have the same impact on your health and on your blood pressure.
Gourmet salt has minerals that are essential for good health.
No type of salt is a source of essential minerals. By eating a well-balanced diet, you can get all of the essential vitamins and minerals that you need.
These salts are good for you to use since they are all natural.
Any kind of salt could be labeled as all natural. This does not make them healthier because they are all sodium chloride.
Since these gourmet salts taste better, you will use less of them.
Since these gourmet salts have large crystals and less salt taste, you could essentially end up using even more of them.
Five Tips for Using Less Salt
1 – When using salt, instead of shaking it liberally from a saltshaker, measure it out and put it on the food with your fingertips.
2 – Purchase a saltshaker with the smallest possible holes. Look for salt grinders that can be adjusted to ensure only small amounts come out.
3 – Choose fine table salt over the coarse crystals.
4 – Do not use salts that are flavored. Opt for other ways to enhance your foods flavor.
5 – Consider the use of a reduced-sodium alternative.
By consuming less salt per day, we could eliminate as many as 6,000 deaths from heart attack and stroke each year.
As many as 46 percent of the adults who buy salt think it is worth paying more for sea salt and rock salt even though it costs as much as 19 times more than regular table salt does.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization,) reducing our salt intake is as important as quitting smoking.
Optional Flavor Enhancers to try:
• Red or white wine
• Citrus fruit juice
• Fresh or dried herbs
• Garlic and/or onions
• Fresh ginger
• Chili powder