Good salt does not have to be expensive
Every day the body of an adult person loses salt. Therefore it must be reabsorbed through food. But which salt is the best and healthiest of all the many different types available on the market today? How much salt should I consume? How sensible is it to buy salt enriched with iodine, fluoride and other substances? These are the questions we will be looking at in this article.
How much salt is necessary?
The daily salt requirement of a person is between three and a maximum of twenty grams. In the case of intensive sporting or physical activity, considerably more than three grams may be needed. The WHO recommends a salt intake of fewer than five grams per day (equivalent to about one teaspoon). In Europe, however, according to various health authorities, about eight to eleven grams or more per person are consumed daily. However, excessive salt consumption can cause high blood pressure. This in turn promotes cardiovascular disease and increases the risk of a heart attack.
Beware of hidden salts!
Consumers in this country are generally aware of the fact that too much salt is unhealthy. When cooking at home, this is also often taken into account. A greater danger lurks in the so-called hidden salts. We take these up, often without knowing it, with processed foods and other products of the food industry. Ready meals in particular usually contain far too much salt. Caution is absolutely necessary. But even those who do not eat ready-made meals eat salts hidden in bread, meat and sausage products and cheese.
Types of salt
Countless types of salt are available in shops and do not make the decision easier when shopping. But which salt really offers a health benefit? Which salt is perhaps ecologically and socially problematic? We present and compare the most common salts.
Rock salt also called halite or salt rock is a sedimentary rock. is a sedimentary rock. It was formed as a fossil relic from concentrated sea water. About 70 percent of the common salt produced worldwide is rock salt. It consists of 98% sodium chloride.
Sea salt is obtained from seawater by evaporation (by sun and wind) in artificially created basins, the salt gardens. The fleur de sel is the most expensive sea salt and is extracted along the Mediterranean coast, e.g. in France or Portugal. Wafer-thin layers of the crystal are removed from the water surface by hand. Fleur de Sel differs from conventional salt by its crispy consistency and its special taste, which results from the calcium and magnesium sulfates it contains. Due to the increasing pollution of the world’s oceans with heavy metals, microplastics and other pollutants, there are unfortunately ever-greater differences in the quality of sea salt, and many people now reject sea salt completely for this reason.
Evaporated salt is also obtained by evaporation. For this purpose, mineral water rich in cooking salt (brine) is boiled until only the salt remains. Saltworks in which table salt is obtained from brine are also found in this country. Evaporated salt therefore does not have long transport routes.
Himalayan salt is a rock salt with a pink coloring caused by the iron ions it contains. Peter Ferreira and Barbara Hendel, among others, have attributed healing effects to this salt for a number of diseases of civilization. Through their book “Water and Salt – The Source of Life” the exotic Himalayan salt quickly gained great popularity in the West. Studies, among others by the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety, show that this salt hardly differs from other table salts in its composition. Nevertheless, the salt is sold at a price fifty times higher than other table salts. The customer pays less for the high quality than for the long transport route and the marketing of the natural product. The various salts on the market differ less in their composition than in their origin, the method of extraction and the price. Salt is available from native regions, but also from the distant Himalayas, at prices ranging from not even one euro to twenty euros per kilogram. Rock salt comes from the primeval sea. Even the native rock salt is about 200 million years old, like the exotic from the Himalayas. Thanks to the short transport distance, however, it is much more environmentally friendly. Those who want to choose good salt do not have to spend a lot of money on it. If the social aspect of purchasing is important to you, you should pay attention to how the salt is produced. Fleur de Sel, for example, is traditionally produced by hand in its growing areas. By buying this salt, therefore, you are supporting this old method of production and securing jobs in otherwise structurally weaker regions. Those who want to support the salt mines and salt works in their region are better off buying their products.
Additives in salt – useful or even harmful?
In the USA and most other industrialized countries, trace elements and vitamins are added to table salt. Which additives these are and what they are perhaps needed for is explained below.