The pink salt from the Himalayas has become a fad and is popping up everywhere: in beautiful packaging on the shelf in the supermarket, like stone grilling in food and even a glass lamp shining supposedly purify your air and your energy (or something like that). It is often cited as the purest salt in the world and a product with beneficial characteristics for health.
This type of salt has a pale pink color from minerals that are part of its composition: calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. It is mined from salt mines in Pakistan, mainly from the Khewra Salt Mine, located about 300 km up the Himalayan mountain range - so it is not really a Himalayan salt.
Next, we will talk more about its benefits and characteristics:
Health benefits of Himalayan pink salt
Although various sites and blogs say otherwise, there is no evidence that Himalayan pink salt is healthier than using other types of salt in food. And excess salt is not recommended by most healthcare professionals.
McGill University, one of the best in Canada, has made an analysis of some of the benefits attributed to pink Himalayan salt, and these are some of the conclusions:
It has more minerals than refined salt: it is true, since with the refinement of the salt most of the minerals are removed, with the exception of sodium chloride; but common salt has the same types of minerals as pink salt; Despite being extracted from a salt mine, this mine was previously a sea whose water evaporated; therefore, Himalayan salt is technically sea salt.
Its composition does not provide additional health benefits: the amount of salt we consume daily in our meals is too small for the minerals in the salt to generate benefits; and the same minerals are already consumed through a balanced diet.
Pink salt creates an electrolyte balance (important for hydration of the body): but the truth is that all types of salt do.
It does not lower blood pressure: consumption of salt, pink or not, probably has the opposite effect.
Many people prefer Himalayan salt to common salt because they believe that it has less sodium than common salt in its composition. However, both salts are comparable in terms of sodium chloride content of about 98%. Since pink salt is often found in larger crystals than table salt, it contains less sodium per teaspoon, but more salt will be needed to obtain the same salty taste.
Therefore, in addition to probably not having any health impact different from any other non-iodized salt, due to its high price, the market for counterfeit products is large - and it is very easy to add a pink coloring to sea salt; in order to pass it off as Himalayan salt. Therefore, we recommend that you buy the product of recognized brands to avoid counterfeiting.
How to use pink salt in the kitchen
With the exception of color, Himalayan pink salt does not present characteristics that differentiate it from other salts, mainly in relation to taste. Therefore, it is not recommended to use this salt to replace other cheaper salts in the preparation of dishes. Some people say they feel the difference in taste between iodized salt and non-iodized salt, but most scientific studies are unable to show that difference. If you are one of those people, we suggest using a non-iodized sea salt or kosher salt, which are much cheaper options.
Therefore, the main reason to use Himalayan pink salt in cooking is its visual appearance. Use in a dish where its color stands out: as a chocolate, caramel or meringue-based candy glaze or to garnish cocktails, like a margarita.
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