Excessive intake of sodium can contribute to chronic hypertension. The intake of sodium is linked to high blood pressure, as too much of it spikes blood pressure by increasing the levels of water in the body. Sodium causes water retention in the body, which leads to an increase in blood volume too. It is the body’s natural response to maintain a certain ratio of salt to water and keep balance.
When the volume of blood in the body increases, the strain on the heart increases as well. This happens as the heart will have to work extra hard to get large amounts of blood pumped throughout the body. This potentiates heart damage. Sodium is one of the major contributors to high blood pressure, and salt is the biggest source of sodium.
Why It Is Necessary To Limit The Intake Of Common Salt
Consuming excessive salt will increase your risk of hypertension, which is why it is necessary to limit the intake of common salt. Instead, it can be replaced with Himalayan pink salt or rock salt, which contains less sodium comparatively. That does not mean one can consume this salt in excessive amounts. It is a little less risky than the table salt that you usually consume and not completely safe, so do not overdo it.
What is Himalayan pink salt?
Himalayan salt is named so because it is found in the Himalayan regions near the mountains in South Asia. It comes in a variety of pinkish hue colors naturally. The pinkish tint is obtained from impurities in the salt. It can be easily available at any grocery store. Several claims have been made about the health benefits of Himalayan salt for many years now. Still, there needs to be done comprehensive research to support such claims.
Himalayan salt is considered good for hypertensive individuals, as it has less sodium and contains more of other minerals calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. It is naturally extracted and is less processed, hence it is considered better than regular table salt. However, according to some researchers, Himalayan salt lacks adequate amounts of iodine, which is an essential mineral needed by the body. Iodine is present in sufficient amounts in regular table salt.
How table salt differs from Himalayan salt?
Regular salt is a granulated salt that has white color. It is extracted by mining underground salt deposits. It is later processed to remove all the impurities and separate unwanted minerals. Another one is sea salt, which is produced by evaporating seawater. Sea salt comes in the form of fine grains. It is healthier compared to table salt, as most of the minerals in the salt are retained, which enhances sea salt’s nutritional value.
Unlike regular table salt, Himalayan salt is not processed. Instead, it is extracted by hand, which keeps the nutritional content of the salt intact. The natural extraction process also helps in retaining the essential minerals in the salt, which increases the nutritional value of Himalayan salt. Regular table salt is far more processed, and it lacks essential minerals.
Himalayan salt for cooking
You can use Himalayan salt while preparing meals, like the way you use regular salt. This salt comes in various forms such as big crystals and large rocks which can be crushed or ground to form fine particles. Most grocery stores also sell Himalayan salt in finely ground forms.
What is rock salt?
Rock salt is dug from the earth’s surface which is naturally formed from the remnants of ancient water bodies. It is extracted in a way that it retains its crystalline structure. It consists of grace minerals and several other impurities, which does not make it appropriate for direct consumption. Unless it is labeled to be edible, it cannot be consumed. It must have a food-grade label to be included in the meals.
Is Himalayan salt or rock salt worth the hype?
Chemically, Himalayan pink salt is somewhat similar to regular salt. It contains about 98% sodium chloride, while regular salt has about 97 to 99% sodium chloride. Rock salt contains between 90 to 98% sodium chloride, thereby making it preferable for consumption. Keep in mind, even if they contain a slightly less amount of sodium, it is not safe to consume any kind of salt in excessive amounts.
Most of the sodium that you consume comes from packaged foods, processed foods, junk, or fast foods. Avoiding such foods will help you in reducing your sodium intake, which will bring your blood pressure to within a healthy range.
Himalayan pink salt and rock salt have lesser amounts of sodium when compared with regular salt. Sodium is a mineral that can contribute to high blood pressure, which is why Himalayan salt or rock salt is a better option for hypertensive individuals. Even though it is less risky for health, that does not mean it can be consumed excessively. But it is indeed a safer option when compared with regular salt.