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Are other varieties of salt healthier than table salt? Myths about salt?

Salt is common in the kitchen, but its use has been controversial in the medical field. While salt is important for the proper functioning of the body, excess amounts of it can lead to health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. That is why, nowadays many people are choosing alternative salts like pink salt and black salt as they believe that these are healthier. But, is it true?

To answer this question, abp live Seeking the opinion of experts who clarified some of the myths prevalent about salt. But, before that let us know how many types of salt are there:

Difference between table salt, sea salt and rock salt:

Dr. Santosh Pandey, an acupuncturist and naturopath at Rejua Energy Centre, Mumbai, said the primary difference between table salt, sea salt and rock salt lies in their sources, processing and mineral content.

table salt: Salt is mined from underground deposits or extracted from seawater.

  • Health Considerations: While iodine is an essential nutrient, excessive consumption of refined table salt can contribute to health problems like high blood pressure. It is often recommended to use iodized salt to prevent iodine deficiency.

sea ​​salt: Evaporated from sea water.

  • Health Considerations: While sea salt does provide some additional minerals, the amounts are generally too small to have a significant impact on overall nutrition. It is still a source of sodium and excessive consumption should be avoided.

Rock Salt (Himalayan Salt): Often mined from ancient salt deposits in areas such as the Himalayas.

  • Health Considerations: Some people claim health benefits due to trace minerals, but the amounts are minimal. The distinctive pink color is attractive, but it does not necessarily provide significant health benefits compared to other salts.

Suvidhi Jain, a lifestyle, exercise and nutrition coach and founder of LEAN by Suvidhi, while mentioning the mineral content in the three varieties, said that the rich mineral composition of rock salt includes zinc, copper, iron, manganese, potassium and calcium. Are; While small amounts of zinc, copper, iron, manganese and potassium contribute to the nutritional profile of sea salt.

Talking about table salt, Suwishi said, “Table salt, widely distributed in households, undergoes extensive processing, which involves refining and anti-caking agents. While this process eliminates impurities “It also removes many naturally occurring minerals. As a result, table salt is often considered less nutrient dense than its unprocessed counterparts.”

“Both rock salt and sea salt provide slightly higher mineral content than table salt. While these minerals contribute to the overall nutritional profile, it is important to recognize that the amounts are relatively modest. As a primary source of these minerals Not recommended, depending on salt,” she added.

Talking about sodium content, Suwishi said, “Despite mineral differences, all three varieties of salt are composed primarily of sodium chloride. Excessive sodium intake is linked to health issues like high blood pressure and electrolyte imbalances. . While some argue that the additional minerals present in rock and sea salt may provide marginal health benefits, moderation is paramount to prevent adverse effects.”

He said, “Whether rock salt, sea salt, or table salt, moderation is the guiding principle. The health effects have more to do with overall sodium intake than with specific types of salt.”

What about pink salt and black salt?

Talking about these varieties, dietitian Umang Malhotra said, “Although pink and black salt contain minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium in lesser amounts, the differences in composition and potential health benefits are still under discussion. The color of pink salt is derived from minerals such as iron oxides that are trace elements. However, the concentrations of these minerals are low compared to concentrations that have a significant impact on health. Black salt is associated with a distinctive taste. It is also rich in minerals such as iron and sulfur, but it lacks a significant amount of these nutrients for the health benefits required.”

Are they better than table salt?

In this regard, Umang said, “Despite the different mineral composition, all these salts are composed primarily of sodium chloride. The primary issue is the sodium component, which is mainly consistent with respect to the type of salt used in these options. Consuming too much can have the same health risks as regular table salt due to its sodium content. The secret is to be mindful of your overall sodium intake, which comes from all sources. Stay healthy and balanced with limited sodium. Maintaining diet is still important for the overall health of a person. As a result, the focus is still on maintaining health along with eating in a moderate and balanced manner. It is therefore advisable to use iodized salt in moderation. Do it.”

Other myths related to salt:

Garima Dev Varman, a certified nutritionist and medical content analyst at The Healthy Indian Project (THIP) – a health literacy platform, said the following:

Myth 1: Rock salt/black salt is always a healthy option

It is a myth that rock salt (sendha namak) or black salt (black salt) is always a healthier option. Continuous consumption of these salts can lead to iodine deficiency and even thyroid problems. Unlike iodized salt, which is enriched with iodine to support thyroid health, these salts may be deficient in this essential micronutrient. Relying only on rock salt or black salt without considering iodine intake from other sources can be harmful Adverse effects on thyroid function. It is important to maintain a balanced approach towards salt consumption and ensure adequate iodine intake for overall well-being.

Myth 2: Low-sodium salts are always healthy

The idea that low-sodium salts are always healthy needs careful consideration. Many brands offer low-sodium salt, which is often a mixture of sodium chloride and potassium chloride. Although these salts may be beneficial for individuals who want to reduce sodium intake, long-term and excessive use may contribute to kidney diseases. It is important to use these salts in limited amounts and be mindful of potential side effects.

Myth 3: Iodized salt is unhealthy

The idea that iodized salt is unhealthy is a myth. Iodine is an important micronutrient for thyroid function and overall health. Iodized salt serves as a practical means to prevent disorders caused by iodine deficiency. While excessive salt consumption should be avoided, it is not right to denigrate iodized salt without considering its essential role in preventing health problems. Moderation is key to getting the benefits of iodine without compromising overall health.

Myth 4: Salt causes high blood pressure in everyone

The thinking that salt causes high blood pressure in everyone is wrong. While excessive salt intake can contribute to high blood pressure in some individuals, not everyone is equally sensitive to sodium. Genetic factors, overall diet and lifestyle play a role in blood pressure regulation. It is important to control salt consumption and consider individual health conditions. Widespread statements about salt universally causing high blood pressure oversimplify a complex relationship between diet and heart health.

Myth 5: You can tell when a food is salty because it tastes salty

The notion that the taste of salt directly corresponds to its presence in food is a common misconception. While some salty foods are easily recognizable by their taste, many processed foods, such as breakfast cereals, breads, jarred sausages, and biscuits, can be high in salt without exhibiting an overly salty taste. This hidden salt can contribute to increased sodium intake, which emphasizes the importance of reading nutrition labels and being mindful of the different sources of salt in our diets.

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