TABLE SALT VS HIMALAYAN SALT
Have you noticed how popular Himalayan salt has become?
The rise of the pink salt has quickly seen it lining the shelves of many supermarkets. So what's all the rage?
We take you through the difference between table salt and Himalayan salt, and why it's so important.
REGULAR TABLE SALT
- Is composed of 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% additives.
- So it has a greater percentage of sodium, with additives making up the rest
- It is heavily processed
- Purified by re-crystallisation at over 650 degrees
- This purification process completely strips the salt which leaves it devoid of any natural minerals for the body
- It includes manufactured anti-caking compounds which in large quantities is a carcinogen
- It's also often whitened, fluoridated and fortified with synthesised iodine
In terms of cooking. Table salt is often useful for baking when measuring out salt for cake recipes. However, it is easy to over season our foods when using this form of salt.
- Is composed of 85% sodium chloride and 15% trace minerals.
- Compared to regular table salt, you can see here that is has a lower ratio of sodium chloride and contains trace minerals rather than additives
- It is far less processed, mostly unadulterated
- Resulting in this type of salt containing 84 essential minerals required by the human body unlike table salt which has no minerals at all from the 'purification' process
- It's a good natural source of magnesium in which 80% of individuals are deficient
- Contains iodine in its natural state rather than the fortified manufactured kind
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Promotes a healthy pH balance of cells
- Helps regulate the body's natural sleep cycle
For cooking it is often used for savoury dishes and salads. The benefit is you can use very little - a small sprinkling to achieve the desired result.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER NATURAL SALTS?
You don't need to use Himalayan salt but it is a good example of the benefits of using natural salts over processed table salts.
Pink Murray River, Fleur De Sel, Celtic and Maldon sea salt are all natural sea salts that have just as many benefits.
RECOMMENDED DAILY INTAKE (RDI) PER DAY
Whilst minerals are essential to the body, they are only required in small amounts, so you don't need much salt per day. Too much salt can lead to hypertension and cardio vascular disease if consumed in large quantities over time.
Sodium is found in salt. So having said that, as per the Australian Dietary Guidelines, the recommended sodium intake for an adult is 2300mg per day which equates to 6000mg of salt (6g). Visually this means having no more than 1 teaspoon of salt per day.
However it is a lot easier to accumulate more than the RDI for sodium than you may think. Below are some common items we eat on a daily basis that can very quickly push us past the recommended levels.
A typical breakfast cereal or having toast with vegemite and butter are just some offenders.
1. Table provided by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FANZA).
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
The best way to combat this, is to consume whole unprocessed foods (vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains) as well as natural salts which contain less sodium over regular table salt. The saying to eat less from a box and more from the earth is never more true than now.
Anne-Sophie Rayment, Nutritional Advisor.
2. https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/nutrition/salt/pages/default.aspx3. Whitney, E., Rady Rolfes, S., Crowe, T., & Walsh, A.
(2017). Understanding nutrition (3rd Australian and New Zealand ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning.