What To Use Instead Of Salt: A Detailed Evaluation Of Salt
This article contains all the details one needs to know about salt. It states the advantages and disadvantages of salt consumption. The article also contains a list of salt alternatives. If you are wondering what to use instead of salt, this article can be very helpful.
All of us like to make and eat tasty dishes. We add various spices to make our food tastier. Salt is one such spice that is used in almost every dish. It is more like an omnipresent spice. Even if we are unable to taste it in some dishes, it’s always there. But as we all know, too much of anything is bad. The same goes for salt. If we intake too much salt, it can damage our health. So, the next question is what to use instead of salt and how much salt is good for our health. We must know more about salt before answering these questions. Below, all the necessary things one needs to know about natural salt are discussed in detail.
What is salt?
It is a mineral primarily made of sodium chloride. Salt is also a natural crystalline mineral, which is also known as halite or rock salt. It is present abundantly in seawater. Salt is one of the essential things for our life, and it is a basic human taste. It is one of the oldest spices used for seasoning food. Salt also has several other usages.
Where does salt come from?
Salt can be found in two places, the first one is seawater, and the second is from deep mines within the earth. Seawater is collected in different ponds, and through natural evaporation, the water disappears, and the salt is left behind. For underground salt, the salt rock is cut into pieces and then crushed. Thus, salt is extracted from natural resources and used as a food ingredient.
What are the uses of salt?
Salt has multifaceted usage. For ages it has been used by us for various purposes:
- Salt adds a great flavor to our foods. Saltiness is one of our basic tastes. Without salt, we cannot taste the other flavors in a dish.
- We can keep food fresh for a longer time if we sprinkle salt over it. Salt draws the moisture out of the food and keeps it safe from mould, bacteria, or any type of spoilage. In ancient times, hunters used this process to keep their meat fresh for days.
- Salt can also be used to preserve corpses. It was also used in mummification. Salt was used so much in ancient times that it became a type of currency.
From this, we can understand, salt is not only an ingredient that makes our food tastier. It also has many practical usages. That is why, for ages, salt has been used by human civilization.
Salt and Sodium: Are both the same?
No, salt and sodium are not the same though some of us use it interchangeably. Salt is a natural mineral. It is made of two elements, one is sodium, and the other is chloride. Salt has 60% of chloride and only 40% of sodium. So, from this, we can tell, salt and sodium is not the same thing. Salt is a compound, and sodium is only an element that forms the compound.
What are the health benefits of salt?
Consuming a limited amount of salt daily is very beneficial for our health. The mineral helps our body to function properly. Some of the numerous health benefits of salt are:
- Good for brain
It keeps our brain healthy. Salt makes the brain sharp and is an essential mineral for brain development. A lack of salt in the body brings lethargy and dullness.
- Regulates blood pressure
Salt maintains one’s blood pressure. That is why, when we get sick or lose too much water from our bodies; we drink salted water. It gives us instant energy and heals low blood pressure.
- Balances body acid
Salt controls the acidic reactions in our kidney. It changes the frequency of urination, and balances the acid-base of our bodies.
- Balances body fluids
Salt controls the level of fluids in our bodies. It sends water into our different cells, which adjust the ratio of fluid in the body.
- Heal muscle cramps:
In the months of summer, we suffer from electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. As a result, we get muscle cramps. To keep the body hydrated and balance the electrolyte, you must drink juices and fluids that contain salt. Thus, you can avoid muscle cramps.
- Positive and negative ions balance:
Ions are chlorides and bicarbonates found in a human body. Sodium that is present in salt balances the negative and positive ions in our bodies.
- Prevents sunstroke:
When we are exposed to high temperatures, our bodies exhaust heat. Because of this, our bodies fail to maintain normal body temperature. It becomes worse when we have a lack of water and salt in our bodies. Salt is an essential element that prevents sunstroke. It restores the electrolyte loss and retains our body temperature. That is why we should drink a lot of water mixed with sugar and salt when we have to survive at high temperatures. It balances our body fluids and keeps us safe from sunstroke.
- Great for our skin:
Sodium present in salt acts as an anti-aging agent and keeps our skin hydrated. You get a young-looking and healthy skin if you consume salt regularly. It also prevents free radicals that speed up our aging process.
These are all the health benefits you get from salt. That is why doctors suggest intaking a small amount of salt daily to maintain good health.
Are there any health risks if we consume too much salt?
Consuming a reasonable amount of salt daily is good, but taking an excessive amount of salt can damage our health. All the health risks that are associated with excessive salt intake are mentioned below:
- High blood pressure
The kidney expels the extra amount of sodium from our bodies. Whenever we consume too much salt, the amount of sodium in our blood rises. Thus, the kidney fails to expel that much extra sodium. The excess amount of sodium increases the volume of blood in our bodies. The more blood we have, the more difficult it becomes for our heart to pump that blood to the different parts of our bodies. High pressure is created on our arteries, which leads to high blood pressure.
- Retains body fluid
The body water reacts with sodium, and having high sodium levels is very harmful to us in the long run. Sodium can retain our body fluids, which can cause swelling in ankles, hands, and feet. We also gain weight very fast. If this happens constantly, we may face heart failure, kidney diseases, arthritis, liver cancer, and others. People already having these diseases should avoid salt consumption.
- Damages bone growth
Sodium is harmful to our bones. Our bones need calcium for growth and strength; sodium prevents our bones from getting that calcium. Thus our bones become weak and unhealthy.
So, all these are the harmful effects of salt. We should always intake a limited amount of salt to avoid these health risks.
Now, the question comes, what to use instead of salt. There is a list of spices that can be used instead of salt. All the salt replacement spices are discussed below.
What to use instead of salt?
People who already have a high amount of sodium in their bodies must avoid salt. Even for others, consuming excessive salt can cause some deadly diseases like hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, kidney cancer, and others. There are different spices to use instead of salt. All of them add distinctive flavors to the food.
All these herbs can be easily grown in the house, or you can easily buy them from the market. The list of herbs that can be used as a salt substitute for cooking is mentioned below.
What to use instead of salt: Herbs and spices to replace salt
You can use these herbs and spices for your seasonings instead of salt.
- Black pepper
Black pepper is a great salt alternative. We can sprinkle a dash of black pepper in soups, grilled vegetables, or meat. They have a delicate spicy and salty flavor that enhances the taste of food.
Cinnamon is a magical spice. It does not only enhance the flavor, it also has many health benefits. They taste like sweet treats. You can use it in drinks, grains, vegetables, fruits, fried potatoes, and other baked goods. So, when a question ‘what to use instead of salt” p[ops up your mind, you can use cinnamon.
It is a refreshing and bright herb that goes well with sweet, delicate dishes. You can use fresh mint leaves to your dishes. One can add them to salads, pasta, and sweet soups.
It has a strong pine-like aroma. So, you have to use a little bit of rosemary to your dishes, or overpower other flavors. You can use dried or fresh rosemary. One can also roast them and add to meats, pizza, bread, eggs, and other potato and bean dishes. This works wonders when it comes to what to use instead of salt.
Basil is a great herb that adds an authentic taste to your dish. They go perfect with pestos, sauces, sandwiches, marinades, and soups. Thai Basil leaf is also used to make different Thai dishes.
You can turn to turmeric when you are looking for a natural substitute for salt. Turmeric adds a beautiful color to your food. They also have healing powers, anti-inflammation, and are great for your gut.
Lemon goes with almost everything. It brings out the flavors of different ingredients in your dish and is an excellent source of vitamin C. Lemons are one of the great salt alternatives for food as they bring out the spicy flavour.
Oregano does not only make a great pizza topping, but it also is an ideal salt alternative. It adds a new layer of flavor to the food and goes well with grains, protein, and sauces. So, this is a great answer to what to use instead of salt.
Cardamom has a distinctive flavor. You can add the whole cardamom or just the seeds to your dishes. They also have a delicate aroma. Cardamoms are mostly used in different Asian dishes.
Coriander leaves add a lemony and earthy flavor to our dishes, whereas coriander seed has a warm spicy taste. The leaves can be directly added to the dish at the end of cooking, and the seeds are heated and crushed before adding to any dish. One can use them in soups, salads, curries, chicken, and fish. If you are wondering what to use instead of salt, go for coriander.
Gingers have a sharp aroma with a spicy flavor. It can be used as a great alternative for salt. One can add grated ginger while cooking any dish. Adding ginger paste on chicken or fish before baking or frying gives a great taste to the dish.
If you are wondering what to use instead of salt, all these spices and herbs will be the answer. They are great for our health, and thus you can balance the sodium level in your body. Completely cutting off the salt from one’s diet is not always necessary, but make sure you use these herbs and spices as healthy salt alternatives.