Himalayan salt

  • Our verdict: 1 - all right
  • Origin: It is produced from natural sources that are not further chemically treated.

Himalayan salt, often recognized for its distinctive pink hue, is a type of rock salt derived from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, near the Himalayan foothills. It is known for its unique mineral composition, containing up to 84 trace minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which contribute to its characteristic colour and flavoucr.

Origin

Himalayan salt is of natural origin. It is mined from ancient sea beds that were covered by lava millions of years ago, which protected the salt from modern‑day pollution and preserved its purity. The salt is extracted, washed, and minimally processed to maintain its natural mineral content and crystalline structure.

Characteristics

Himalayan salt is valued for several reasons:

  • Mineral Content: Rich in trace minerals, giving it a unique flavour and potential health benefits.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Pink colour adds a decorative element to dishes.
  • Flavour Profile: Provides a distinct taste that enhances culinary creations.
  • Purity: Less processed compared to table salt, often considered a "natural" salt option.

Uses in Ultra‑Processed Foods

Himalayan salt is used in ultra‑processed foods for various reasons:

  • Flavour Enhancement: Adds a unique, subtle flavour to snacks, ready meals, and convenience foods. It also helps to balance and mask off‑flavours in processed foods.
  • Preservation: Acts as a natural preservative, inhibiting microbial growth and extending the shelf life of products such as canned goods and packaged snacks.
  • Texture Improvement: Helps maintain the desired texture in products like meats and cheeses by influencing moisture retention and protein structure.
  • Nutritional Appeal: Used in health‑oriented marketing to appeal to consumers seeking natural or less refined ingredients, often labeled as a premium ingredient.

Health Considerations

While Himalayan salt has various culinary uses and is often marketed for its potential health benefits, several health considerations should be noted:

  • Sodium Content: Similar to other salts, it has a high sodium content, which can contribute to hypertension and cardiovascular issues when consumed in excess.
  • Potential for Contamination: Although it is generally considered pure, like all natural products, it can sometimes contain contaminants.

References

  1. Brown, S., & Wiggins, R. (2020). "The Nutritional Value and Health Implications of Himalayan Salt." Nutritional Reviews, 78(4), 355‑368.
  2. He, F. J., & MacGregor, G. A. (2009). "A Comprehensive Review on Salt and Health." Journal of Human Hypertension, 23, 363–384.
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). (2021). "Sodium Intake and Health." Retrieved from WHO website.
  4. Monteiro, C. A., Moubarac, J. C., Cannon, G., Ng, S. W., & Popkin, B. (2013). "Ultra‑Processed Products Are Becoming Dominant in the Global Food System." Obesity Reviews, 14(S2), 21‑28.
  5. Fardet, A. (2016). "Minimally Processed Foods Are More Satiating and Less Hyperglycemic Than Ultra‑Processed Foods." Food & Function, 7(4), 233‑240.
  6. Integrative Nutrition. (2020). "Himalayan Salt Nutrition: The Health Benefits of Pink Salt." Retrieved from https://www.integrativenutrition.com/blog/himalayan‑salt‑nutrition.