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Salt 101: Why You Need it and How Much is Too Much


Salt 101: Why You Need it and How Much is Too Much

Salt is a very popular and much used condiment around the world. But, did you ever stop to think where it comes from and what effect it has on your health?

To some people, salt is nothing more than an ingredient to add flavour to their favourite dishes. But salt doesn’t only add flavour to foods. The body needs salt, it also plays an important part in the preservation of food.

There’s more to salt than meets the eye. The following reveals more about this simple but widely used ingredient.

What Is Salt and Where Does It Come From?

Most of the salt you eat comes from seawater or is mined from deep within the earth.

Who is at Risk?

  • People over the age of 50,
  • People who have high or slightly elevated blood pressure,
  • People who have diabetes.

What Will Happen if You Eat Too Much Salt

As salt accumulates, your body will hold onto water in order to dilute the salt. This increases both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volume of blood in the bloodstream. This increase in blood volume means that your heart needs to work harder and there is more pressure on the blood vessels.

Over time, the extra work load and the extra pressure can stiffen blood vessels and may lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. It can also lead to heart failure.

What is the Difference Between the Salts?

Table Salt. Refined table salt is typically just sodium chloride. It has with substances called anti-caking agents that are added to it in order to prevent clumping. Iodine is frequently added to table salt.

Sea Salt. This is made by evaporating seawater. It is very similar to regular salt but often contains a small amount of minerals, depending on the brand that you choose. It can also contain trace amounts of heavy metals if it is harvested from a polluted sea.

Himalayan Pink Salt. This salt is harvested from a large salt mine in Pakistan. The iconic pink colour is due to the presence of iron oxide. It also contains trace amounts of magnesium, potassium and calcium.

Kosher Salt. This salt has a flaky structure which makes it easy to spread on top of your food. There is very little difference between kosher salt and table salt.  The only difference being that kosher salt is less likely to contain anti-caking agents and added iodine.

Celtic Salt. It has a light greyish colour and is often quite moist. Celtic salt is made from seawater and contains trace amounts of minerals.


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