Know : Salt – Types, Facts and How much we need?

Salt

Common salt is a mineral substance composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of ionic salts; salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite.

The main ingredient in salt is sodium, a mineral our body needs to maintain a normal fluid balance.  But too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. Most of us eat more sodium than we need. Healthy adults should have no more than 2,300 mg of sodium each day. That’s one teaspoon of table salt. .

The amount you need is actually much less as the table below shows:
Age Sodium (mg)
1-3 1000
4-8 1200
9-18 1500
19-50 1500
51-70 1300
71+ 1200

Salt is present in vast quantities in the sea where it is the main mineral constituent, with the open ocean having about 35 grams (1.2 oz) of solids per litre, a salinity of 3.5%. Salt is essential for animal life, and saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. The tissues of animals contain larger quantities of salt than do plant tissues

Types of Salt

The major classification of salts can be kosher salt, sea salt, iodized salt, and regular table salt. However based on the origin and constituents / flavours, the salts can be of many types as follows

Types of salts

Any version of salt can be iodized or non-iodized. In the United States, iodized salt was introduced into the marketplace in the early 1920’s in an effort to help lower the incidence of goiter. Goiter is a condition in which the thyroid gland enlarges to try and maintain its optimal function, and one possible cause of goiter is dietary iodine deficiency. The way salt is iodized is usually very simple and involves the addition of an iodine-containing mineral salt (like potassium iodide) to the sodium chloride.

There are three basic ways to obtain salt.

  • First, salt can be mined since it is part of natural rock formations like halite. This mined salt can be processed and converted into ordinary table salt.
  • Second, salt can be obtained from the ocean and produced by evaporating the water and leaving behind the salt. This salt can also be processed to produce a sea salt that looks and feels basically identical to table salt. However, because there are often additional minerals left following the evaporation of the sea water, sea salt can provide a little more nourishment in this context than other forms of salt.
  • Third, salt can be produced from scratch in a science lab, although you won’t see this type of salt in the grocery store because the other ways to obtain salt are much cheaper.
Sodium found in packaged food
What the label says What it means
  • Free of sodium or salt
  • Salt-free
  • Without Salt
  • Contains no sodium
Contains less than 5 mg of sodium or salt per serving
  • Low in sodium or salt
  • Low sodium
  • Low source of sodium or salt
Contains less than 140 mg of sodium or salt per serving
  • Lightly salted
Contains 50% or less sodium than the regular version of the same food product
  • Reduced in sodium or salt
  • Lower in sodium or salt
  • Sodium reduced
  • Less salt
  • Reduced in salt
Contains 25% or less sodium than the regular version of the same food product
  • No added sodium or salt
  • Without added sodium
  • No added salt
  • Unsalted
Contains no added salt or other ingredients that contains sodium (product might still have naturally occurring sodium)

Potassium salt is often used as a substitute for regular sodium chloride salt (the salt you find on your kitchen table), and for good reason. Most people take in too much salt on a daily basis

Sodium is an essential part of your body and comes from sodium chloride. It works to keep your fluids balanced, while helping your muscles contract and relax. But your body can take in too much sodium, which weights your blood with water. When high sodium is combined with a low potassium level, it becomes difficult for your heart to pump blood through your body, causing high blood pressure.

Since there are no obvious symptoms of high blood pressure, many people don’t even know they are at risk until they are stricken with a heart attack, stroke, or find they have heart disease.

Others who take in too much salt fall victim to kidney disease, because their kidneys are forced to work overtime to excrete the extra water held by sodium ions from their bodies. Kidney disease and high blood pressure can both be prevented by controlling sodium intake and increasing potassium.

Using potassium salt offers a simple alternative to table salt as it allows the continued use of salt in cooking and as a seasoning, but encourages a healthier lifestyle at the same time. Although those afflicted with high blood pressure or risk of high blood pressure are most likely to benefit from potassium salt, it can be a healthy lifestyle change for anyone.

Salt Awareness

Visit http://www.worldactiononsalt.com/ for more info about salt and ways of healthy consumption of salt


Courtesy : Wikipedia, www.whfoods.com, Ontario Ministry of Health,  http://www.worldactiononsalt.com/http://www.fitday.com/

 

2 thoughts on “Know : Salt – Types, Facts and How much we need?

  1. Excellent post and extremely helpful thank you.

    Like

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