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Salt is an important ingredient of our diet which adds flavour to food but too much of it can cause several health problems such as high BP, obesity, inflammation and more. Though you should moderate the quantity of salt you eat in a day, you should also pay attention to which kind of salt is better. Most of us use table salt on a daily basis but many believe that rock salt is a healthier choice. Is that so? Let's find out. Poonam Singh, a Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator lists out certain pointers to help you make an informed choice.
Table salt is the white or colourless powder we add to our dishes. Rock salt on the other hand is pinkish in appearance and is not that fine, it is usually in crystals. It is also called halite and is the mineral form of sodium chloride.
Table salt is treated with additives and chemicals such as anti-caking agents and is refined to remove impurities. Rock salt on the other hand does not undergo this process.
Which has more nutrients?
No prizes for guessing, the unrefined version i.e. rock salt has more minerals compared to table salt as during the refining process it loses calcium, potassium, etc. But table salt does have more iodine content than rock salt which helps prevent goitre a disease due to iodine deficiency.
Which is better?
Says Poonam, 'When it comes to salt, what one should worry about is its sodium content which is more or less the same in both the types. As far as the mineral content goes that can be covered up by eating a variety of food groups. The golden rule is salt is salt whether it is the expensive rock salt or the commonly used table salt. If an individual consumes high amounts of salt, it may put you at risk of developing hypertension.'
As per the American Heart Association, the recommended intake of sodium is no more than 1500 mg/day. Once you manage to keep this quantity in-check, you can use any salt which pleases your taste buds and also switch from one to the other from time to time.
Poonam warns that many food items have naturally occurring sodium in them so it is best to refrain from adding salt in your salads, curd, fruits, etc. If you find eating them raw too bland, experiment with flavours such as lime, pepper, chilli flakes or dried herbs. These will improve their taste yet not increase your salt content.
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