Ever found yourself standing in front of the salt section in supermarket and picking the usual salt which your Mom has been using in the kitchen for years because you really don’t know what’s the difference??!! Do not worry, we have you covered.
Salt, the most important ingredient in everyone’s kitchen and dining table. While we have been using salt in our diet for many many years, not many of us know the difference in various forms of salts available in the market – table salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, sea salt, kosher salt.
As the name suggests, this is the most common type of salt sitting on your table in salt shaker and used in cooking. Mined from salt deposits on land, this salt is refined to remove impurities and trace minerals. Since it’s heavily ground, this salt tends to clump together and for this purpose, some anti-caking agents are added to the salt to make it flow freely.
Kosher Salt, is another variation of table salt as it is also obtained from land salt mines but is usually, less processed with fewer additives. Due to its coarse and flat grain size, it is used for curing meat – a step in the koshering process. You might want to note that Kosher Salt does not contain iodine.
Why is Iodine added to Table Salt?
Iodized salt, commonly found in market, is the table salt fortified with a mineral called Iodine, used by thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones.
Iodine deficiency can cause goiter, a condition which causes the neck to swell when thyroid gland enlarges as it tries to maintain its optimal function. So, for many years many countries have been fortifying the salt with Iodine – which is found in seafood and dairy products – to prevent goiter.
In North America, salt has been fortified with iodine since the 1920s.
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Himalayan Pink Salt
Also known as Sendha Namak, Himalayan salt has been gaining a lot of popularity lately. It is the purest form of salt as it is unprocessed and raw with 98% sodium chloride (like table salt) and traces of other minerals like potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc etc. Due to the presence of other minerals, it is slightly pink in color.
- Both table and pink salt consist of approximately 98 percent sodium chloride, what varies is as pink salt has larger crystals than table salt, it technically contains less sodium per teaspoon.
And because of its saltier flavor than table salt, a person uses less pink salt to achieve the same taste.
- Himalayan Salt is usually less artificial and does not contain any additives.
- As there is no added mineral in Himalayan Salt, it may contain less iodine (whatever is present naturally) than iodized salt. So, if you are using Himalayan Salt instead of table salt in your diet, make sure to source iodine in your body from somewhere else.
Sea salt is obtained by evaporating seawater. This is also minimally processed like Pink Salt and retain its natural minerals like calcium, magnesium etc. This can be coarse or fine grained and usually does not have added iodine but you might want to check before purchasing.
All types of salt contain 40 per cent sodium what varies is when we talk in terms of teaspoon. For a coarser salt, one teaspoon will contain less sodium than a fine-grained one.
Like, one teaspoon of table salt contains 2,325 milligrams of sodium while same for kosher salt is roughly 1,800 milligrams. Healthy adults require 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, depending on age. The recommended upper daily limit for sodium consumption is 2,300 milligrams.
So, let your taste buds decide which type of salt to use but, people with high blood pressure should minimize the use of salt. You also might want to notice that processed foods and restaurant meals contribute to high sodium content.
“Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.” – Nelson Mandela