Flavoring salts: is it okay to eat them?

Written by hana

Increased risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, water retention, osteoporosis or even microbial imbalance, the main problems arising from excessive salt consumption are numerous. However, our body still needs it to function well. Salt helps maintain, along with potassium, a good water balance in the body. It also enhances nerve impulses and muscle contraction. Thus, our physiological salt needs are between 2 to 3 g (or 800 to 1200 mg of sodium) per day”, notes Bérénice Bompart, Dietitian. In light of all these criteria, the World Health Organization invites you to stay within the limits and not to exceed 5 grams of salt per day. This presents a challenge for many of us, since the average salt consumption in France is 6-9 grams per person per day. If the most effective lever to achieve this goal is the sharp reduction in the consumption of processed products (originally 80% From our consumption of salt, via hidden salts), one wonders if all the “new” salts with low levels of NaCl could be one as well.

Gomasio and salinu, good alternatives

from Gomasio

From Gomasio – Source: spm

A Japanese seasoning, gomasio is a mixture of toasted sesame seeds, then crushed into a slurry to match a generally 90 to 95% 10 to 5% sea salt. You can also easily do it yourself. “It is an interesting alternative, especially since it allows the supply of sesame with unsaturated fatty acids. The only downside is a rather pronounced taste that does not necessarily allow its use in all conditions,” analyzed Berenice Bombart. Closer to home, salinu, a Corsican specialty now available in many grocery stores, is made according to the same principle as gomasio and combines an average of 90% crushed hazelnuts for 10% salt. So it can also be adopted, without overdoing it, and benefiting from the contributions of omega-9 polyunsaturated fatty acids, by hazelnut.

Salts associated with vegetables or spices

In this category, navigation is more difficult. Spices, herbs, vegetables and even mushrooms (truffles and morels) can be mixed to reduce the salt content. Unfortunately, the proportions are often disappointing. Some vegetable salts contain between 90 and 98% sodium chloride and vegetables are often still present. For example, truffle salt is present in 1.1% of truffles. Where is the benefit? In addition, it is an expensive product, ”our experts regret. Always check the salt content; if it exceeds 70%, there will be no noticeable difference with conventional salt.” But if you want to choose this type of product, especially for cooking, You should also check that noble ingredients are used, not artificial flavorings. Above all, these products should not be an excuse to consume more, a phenomenon often observed with low-fat products ”, emphasizes Berenice Bombart.

The presence of minerals is a good false reason

1 tablespoon of pink Himalayan salt

A spoonful of pink Himalayan salt – Source: spm

Pink salt from the Himalayas, blue salt from Persia, black salt from Hawaii … Colored salts also remain fashionable and have a healthy image, because they are unrefined products compared to fine table salt. It consists of 85-95% salt, and retains some minerals (magnesium, calcium, potassium). “But that’s not a good argument, because these mineral levels are very low, and you’ll have to consume a lot of products to really benefit from them, which is something to avoid, especially because they are so expensive,” the dietitian reacts. However, here, too, it can be used sparingly for its taste qualities. Black Hawaiian salt, for example, has an interesting little sulfur taste in certain dishes.

Just a salt flower?

Even if that means adding a little salt, it’s best to choose fleur de sel (94.3% salt), which is more natural than fine table salt to which binders are added. Its advantages: some preserved minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium) and a subtlety that give it gastronomic strength. Ideally, it is added as a finish, in very small quantities, because it dissolves quickly. Same principle for gray sea salt.

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