You plan to cook a delicacy and suddenly notice that your kitchen cabinet lacks something extremely essential for cooking-salt. You run to the nearby supermarket to purchase it but find yourself in a precarious position as you see the unexpected-there are diverse options to choose from including table salt, kosher salt, sea salt and finally something pink in color that sits with a very pretty look on the shelves as she knows that she is different from the rest-the Himalayan salt. Until now salt has been white in color for us and there has not been a second thought picking something as simple as a bottle of salt from the grocer’s store. For those who have already faced such a scenario and for those who would be facing it very soon (as pink salt is becoming predominantly seen everywhere) this article would definitely help you choose the right salt in the right quantity for your yummy tummy dish!
98% of salt is composed of sodium chloride and our body needs sodium for performing various functions such as contracting and relaxing muscles, maintaining fluid levels in the body, avoiding dehydration, sending nervous impulses and avoiding low blood pressure. Excess salt is bad for health as it raises BP levels but avoiding salt too puts us in a dangerous position as low BP is worse than high BP in some scenarios. There have also been evidences showing that eating salt can kill harmful bacteria and reduce the risk of infection.
Until now we have been seeing arguments supporting sea salt and table salt. Sea salt has been the winner mostly as it is believed to contain minerals that are mostly absent in table salt. It also undergoes less processing retaining most of its minerals such as magnesium and potassium compared to table salt making it a healthier option. Himalayan salt too falls into the same category as sea salt in terms of processing. So, what is pink Himalayan salt and how exactly is it beneficial for the body?
Pink Salt Linked to Better Health
Pink Himalayan salt is a type of rock salt that’s ideally found in the Punjab region of Pakistan near the Himalayas. Some brand it to be the purest form of salt available and maybe its due to its minimal processing, just because it’s found at the foothills of the Himalayas or because its hand-mined and ground without using any instruments! If you look at it chemically its almost similar to table salt containing 98% sodium chloride. Only 2% is made of trace minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium that gives the salt the pretty rosy pink and makes it taste differently from other salt options.
Amazingly, there is frenzy surrounding the pink salt not only in the food industry but also it has achieved a greater status as a home décor, spa product and salt lamp. Markets and shops do make use of the beautiful rose color in pink salt to make table lamps promoting them to prevent seasonal affective disorder (https://time.com/4834865/himalayan-pink-salt-benefits/)! An animal study shows that salt can have an amazing effect on clearing depression and this is more than enough reason for the marketing people to sell it to us! Spas have not missed to use this golden opportunity to provide their valuable customers with Himalayan pink salt therapy to ease stress and anxiety. But sitting in peace for half an hour would provide this calming effect with/without therapy, right?
Coming back to health, pink salt is claimed to contain 84 different trace minerals but these minerals are present in the 2% of salt. Mankind consumes very little of salt and the presence of minerals don’t even amount to a significant amount and hence, it’s unlikely that we can experience any health benefits on our body.
Pink salt, table salt and sea salt contain almost 98% sodium chloride with the only difference being that pink salt has larger crystals compared to table salt. This means that it is saltier and can be used in lesser quantities for cooking. Another important claim is that pink salt is the most natural form of salt which seems to be true to some extent. Table salt is usually processed and mixed with certain chemicals to avoid clumps whereas pink salt is mostly in its natural form without any addition of chemicals or additives.
On the downside, pink salt naturally contains less iodine than iodized salt and if you have iodine deficiency you must compensate for it by consuming other foods rich in iodine such as dairy, eggs, fish and vegetables. Iodine is essential for the normal functioning of the thyroid hormone. Taste-wise too though people feel that pink salt tastes better, in reality there is not much taste difference between any salt varieties. It’s all in your mind. Just because the pink color of the Himalayan salt makes it prettier and a treat to the eye it doesn’t mean that the Himalayan pink salt must be glorified. Though there are more minerals comparatively they are not going to benefit your health-only cause you more expenses! But if choosing pink salt does give you mental satisfaction there is nothing wrong in choosing it!
Above all, more than culinary purpose pink salt is now used as a beauty product indeed. They are sold as shot glasses, bedside lamps and bath soaps. Maybe it’s time for hues of pink to adore your lovely abode beyond what’s stored in the kitchen!
How Pink Salt Took Over Millennial Kitchens https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/12/himalayan-pink-salt-in-your-kitchen/577390/
Is Sea Salt Really Healthy or Just Overhyped: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-sea-salt-really-healthier-or-just-overhyped_n_563149efe4b00aa54a4ca8b4
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.