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Salts

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What you need to know about the different types of salt

With the unique gift of bringing out the flavors in food, salt has been added to most recipes as an important condiment for centuries. Cooking without salt can be boring and unpalatable. However, it is also important to pay attention to salt. The consumption of too much salt is linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular irregularities. However, salt is necessary for our body to function properly. Finding the right balance is therefore necessary.

Certain types of salt highlighted

To get a good idea of the different types of salt, we discuss the most important salts here.

Sea salt

As the name suggests, sea salt comes from the sea. The clean, pure taste is highly appreciated by chefs and is available in coarse and fine grit. The first is well suited for garnishing, while the second is ideal for cooking food and baking thanks to its ability to dissolve. The color can vary from white to gray, red, pink and black. The French producer Baleine is known for its high-quality sea salt. They have a wide range of sea salts and they are easily recognizable by their striking logo: a large whale.

Unrefined salt

The most common ground salt is extracted from the soil and not from the sea. Table salt is also a cheap and common seasoning that can be found in all kitchens. A disadvantage is that this cheap type of salt is refined and processed in a factory. More refined unrefined salts are recommended and contain more iodine. An element that is necessary for correct thyroid function and good for mental development.

Fleur de sel

Fleur de sel (which can be translated from French as a flower of salt) is an easily available sea salt ideal for garnishing and other luxury gastronomic options. The pure nature of Fleur de sel, free from additives, preservatives or anti-caking agents, results in salt with a cleaner taste.

Smoked salts

Smoked salts are exactly what the name says. Smoked salts are a gastronomic treat and must be used sparingly on meat, fish, eggs and vegetables for a truly unique taste. Flavored salts can contain any number of natural additives, from lemon peel to lavender to dried truffles to chili, and can be purchased or made at home.

Potassium salt: Salt without sodium

Salts containing a combination of sodium and potassium chloride are now widely available in the UK. The most available and used Potassium Salt products contain up to 70% less sodium than standard table salt. You do not have the same high risk as salts based on sodium. Potassium salts can even have a beneficial effect on your blood pressure. Potassium salts can be used in the same way as standard table salt and many people are substituting their regular salts with potassium salts. Other people, however, have an unpleasant aftertaste when they eat it and therefore do not opt for potassium salt as quickly. Another problem with using potassium salts is that although you have less sodium, you still have salt-tasting foods and therefore your salt preferences have not changed. People with kidney disease or diabetes should seek medical advice before using potassium salts, as an increase in potassium intake might not be advisable.

Other salt alternatives

Like sugar, salt has low-sodium alternatives that usually consist of chemical sources. The distinct taste of chemically obtained salt alternatives is not to everyone's taste. Natural, chemical-free options such as dulse (seaweed) grains are marketed as salt substitutes, which contain the same series of minerals as 'pure' sea salt. The taste of dulse grains is definitely sea-like, so use this wisely when adding this salt substitute to a recipe.

Finally: watch your salt intake

consuming too little salt is not a problem for most, with the arrival of packaged and ready-to-eat foods. Enjoying a diet rich in unprocessed, naturally low-sodium foods is the most nutritious option, allowing you to add salt to taste during cooking. The choice of which type of salt is best depends on personal taste. If you are concerned about increasing the mineral content in your diet, concentrate on consuming more grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, nuts, and lean proteins. Reducing your salt intake to the recommended daily intake (1500 mg) can be achieved quickly with a diet low in unprocessed foods.