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Is Salt Natural…?

Without salt most meals would taste bland and unexciting… Isn’t it? But taste of salt also differs from brand to brand… In fact salt is completely different in terms of ‘salt’ concentration…What is salt? In chemical terms, a salt is any compound defined by the ionic bond of a cation (a positively charged ion) to an anion (a negatively charged ion). In table salt, sodium (Na+) is the cation and chloride (Cl-) is the anion. It consists of 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride, by weight.

Saltiness is one of the primary basic tastes the human tongue can detect. Salt is a flavor enhancer high-salt levels activate not only salt taste receptors, but also both bitter and sour taste receptors. So that “yuck” reaction to a cookie that’s too salty may be a reaction to the sudden sense of bitterness and sour in your mouth, too.  For example if you add a little bit of salt to any non salty food items, it really enhance the taste of that food item , isn’t it…??

How salt is made? Every type of salt comes from a deposit that is created when salt water evaporates. Do salts differ in composition? Not only do they differ in taste and texture, but there are also some differences in mineral and sodium content. I.e. Iodised salt is table salt mixed with a minute amount of various salts of the element iodine. The ingestion of iodine prevents iodine deficiency. Sea salts retain the trace elements while processed salt is devoid of trace elements and include additives like iodine. They share the same amount of sodium chloride, but only sea salt retains the trace elements found in saline water. In some countries, table salt is treated with potassium fluoride to enhance dental health.

When we dissolve same amount of salt of different brands into same amount of water. The saltiness felt is different… Why???

It’s because not all salt is created equal and there are many “types” to choose from. The amount of sodium chloride is same in all cases… The salt additives do not create a pseudo-food. Their purposes are to enable flow and improve health outcomes while the food value remains intact. The impurities, including the trace minerals, can affect both the color and taste of the salt. The size of the salt can also affect the salty flavor. Salt with a larger grain size can have a stronger flavor and last longer on your tongue.

True sea salt is far better than industrial sodium chloride with aluminium derived anti-caking agents.

Sodium, along with calcium, magnesium and potassium, helps to regulate the body’s metabolism. In combination with potassium, it regulates the acid-alkaline balance in our blood and is also necessary for proper muscle functioning. When we don’t get enough sodium chloride, we experience muscle cramps, dizziness, exhaustion and, in extreme cases, convulsions and death. Salt is essential to our well being.

Of all the nutrients we put into our bodies through eating, water is the most important and salt plays a crucial role in moving water around the body. We like salt because we need it for normal bodily function. Salt makes your body hold on to water. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure.

We have no sodium storage system, as we do with other minerals (i.e. we store calcium in our bones). Too much or too little sodium in the body affects everything from digestion to blood pressure to brain function. Limiting salt intake does result in a slight reduction in blood pressure especially in people with a medical condition called salt-sensitive hypertension . A low-salt diet has been linked to higher LDL and triglyceride levels and increased insulin resistance. It may increase the risk of death from heart disease, heart failure and type 2 diabetes. So confused again.. No need to worry eating extremely high amounts of salt can be harmful, but eating too little may be just as bad for your health.

Foods that are high in salt include processed foods, such as salted snacks and instant soups. Less obvious foods, such as bread and cottage cheese, may also contain a lot of salt. Avoiding such foods will help.

One of the keys to maintain a heart-healthy diet is to control your sodium intake. If you’re consuming more salt because you think it has less sodium, then you may be placing yourself at higher risk of developing high blood pressure, which raises your risk of heart disease. In short, we can say all salt are equally “healthy” when used in appropriate amounts and enjoy tasty foods…..

So what do you think , are we using natural salts all time??