While in recent years salt has been condemned as a health danger on par with cholesterol, trans fats, and even tobacco, a faction of sea salt experts is taking the anti-salt hype with–what else–a grain of salt. These “salt-issuers” argue that salt can be good for people, as long as it’s not stripped of its natural mineral content.
Of course, this does not include bleached white table salt or the really high levels of sodium in processed foods. Instead, health food enthusiasts are flocking to natural, living sea salt as a source of important nutrients when used as a finishing touch on foods.
Whole sea salts hold trace minerals that are crucial to your health. In fact, you can’t live without salt, one professional points out. Sodium is a major component of the body’s extra cellular fluids, and it helps take Nutrients into the cells. Sodium also helps regulate other body functions, such as blood pressure and fluid volume, and sodium works on the lining of blood vessels to keep the pressure balance normal.
But don’t go pouring an umbrella-full of salt on tonight’s dinner. The natural salt crowd stresses that consumers should decrease the amount of salt they use, while increasing the quality.
Movement proponents deem that this practice of quality over quantity is the key to healthy salt. Putting gourmet salt on the top of food after it is cooked will permit consumers to use much less total sodium chloride, but still get all of the agreeable and savory salt flavor. They argue that this is the beauty of finishing salts, as they are sprinkled on a dish after it is prepared. Easily done in the kitchen or at the table, this allows each individual to taste the food, and then season accordingly with natural sea salt to their desired level of saltiness.
Natural sea salt, which is basically evaporated sea water, contains no additives and is not chemically processed. When evaporated by the warmth of the sun, natural sea salt retains all of its naturally occurring, beneficial minerals. As a result, these unrefined salts each have a unique color, mineral makeup, density, crystalline structure and flavor.
Many think of salt as a basic table seasoning, but this move towards gourmet, natural salts aims to change that deep-seated belief. Passionate natural salt consumers advocate that, whereas regular table salt can add a predictable tang to a meal, premium natural sea salt can transform the taste of a dish, conjuring up subtle flavors and bold connotations–all while providing minerals necessary to the healthy function of the human body.