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What Happens When you Reuse Cooking Oil?

If there’s one place in Indian households where the reusing practice happens without fail, it’s the kitchen! We do everything we can to minimize wastage and costs in the kitchen. So, reusing cooking oil is like a natural instinct for us. 

Oil is an expensive commodity and therefore it isn’t practical to throw it away after a single use. For this reason, most restaurants, office canteens, and street food vendors also reuse cooking oil.

However, after a point, reusing cooking oil can be hazardous to health. It is important for us to understand the potential health risks of this common practice to be able to lead a consciously healthy lifestyle:

Health Hazards of Reusing Cooking Oil

Reusing cooking oil can pose several health hazards. Here are some of them:

 

  • Decreased Nutritional Value: Reusing cooking oil can degrade the beneficial components of the oil which further reduces the nutritional quality of the food.
  • Reduced Flavour: Reusing cooking oil can also reduce the flavour of the food, making it less palatable and pungent.
  • Increased Risk of Health Problems: Reusing cooking oil can lead to generation of harmful compounds which can be deleterious to health. Regular usage of such oils can pose serious health issues like cardiovascular diseases or even cancer.

It is recommended to use fresh cooking oil for each cooking session to avoid these health hazards.

Reused Cooking Oil is Dangerous: Why & How to Avoid it

The most common issue that arises with reusing cooking oil is that the oil gets deteriorated,  turns rancid or spoiled. Such oils have a foul smell, flavour and may also contain certain harmful by-products. 

Reusing cooking oil can affect the smoke point of oils, as well as lead to the production of harmful by-products. Hence, to avoid health problems, it is essential to be aware of the smoke points of different oils. The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to emit smoke, indicating that it is no longer suitable for cooking. When deep-frying, it is recommended to use oils with high smoke points, such as, rice bran oil, safflower, corn, and groundnut oils. However, it is also important to avoid overheating any oil, as this can lead to a reduced smoke point. By using fresh oil for cooking and avoiding overheating, you can help ensure that the food you eat is both safe and healthy.  

When To Stop Using A Cooking Oil (source)

If you’re wondering how you will know when it’s time to discard the oil, you can look for signs of foul odour or taste. Moreover, if the oil has turned dark and thick, it is visible that the oil has deteriorated and is low in nutritional value and it is time to discard it.

If you’re looking for a cooking oil that has a high smoke point, you can opt for Saffola Gold.  With a high smoke point, Saffola Gold can be used for deep frying items. However, reheating or reusing cooking oil is not advised as it can impact your health.

Things to be Mindful of While Re-using Your Cooking Oil  

So, here are a few points to remember when storing or reusing oil:  ways you can extend the lifespan of your oil: 

  • Heat the oil only for as long as required. Fry the items as quickly as possible and avoid letting the oil heat on a low flame while carrying on with other activities.
  • Avoid storing frying oil in iron or copper utensils as they quicken the deterioration process. 
  • Ensure to strain the oil of any food particles before storing it. 
  • Store oil in an airtight, preferably amber-coloured, inert container in a cool, dry place since oil is sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen.

When it comes to finally discarding the oil, avoid draining it down the sink as oil severely pollutes water. An effective method to dispose of cooking oil is to solidify it. The oil will take approximately 24 hours to freeze, making it easy to discard in the trash bin.

Despite being a common practice in most households and kitchens, people are unaware of the health risks they are exposed to as a result of reusing cooking oil. We hope this article provided you with the information you were looking for and will help you lead a healthier lifestyle!

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3 Surprising Benefits of Meditation for Heart Health

Imagine if there was a magic pill that could improve your heart health, reduce stress, and boost your overall well-being. It would be the talk of the town, right? Well, what if I told you that this magical solution doesn’t come in a pill form, but rather in a practice that has been around for generations – meditation.

Yes, you read that right. Meditation has been found to have several surprising benefits for heart health. As we navigate through the stresses and uncertainties of modern life, it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to take care of our hearts, both physically and emotionally. And meditation offers a simple and accessible way to do just that. So, let’s dive in and discover why we need to make meditation a regular part of our everyday routine.

Meditate for a Healthier Heart –

When it comes to cardiovascular stress, practising meditation daily can benefit your heart in the following ways:

  • Improve Heart rate variability (HRV): 

Heart rate variability refers to the variation in time between each heartbeat. A healthy heart has a high HRV, that is, the time lapse between each heartbeat is irregular and not steady, as it fluctuates in response to the body’s requirements.  Research has shown that practising meditation regularly can improve HRV by promoting the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces stress and its related symptoms.   

  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases: 

Meditation has been found to have a positive impact on several risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and obesity. Studies have shown that meditation can help manage blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and maintaining stress hormones in the body. Additionally, regular meditation practice can improve lipid profiles, decrease inflammation, and help reduce oxidative stress, all of which are important factors in the development of cardiovascular diseases. (source)

  • Controlling cortisol levels: 

Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released by the body in response to stress. When cortisol levels are consistently high, it can lead to a range of negative health outcomes, including weight gain, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease. Research has shown that meditation can reduce cortisol levels in the body, which can have a positive impact on heart health. By reducing stress and promoting relaxation, meditation can help  manage cortisol levels and help reduce the risk of related health problems.

5 Forms of Meditation for Heart Health 

(source)

  • Samatha meditation –

Samatha meditation is the process of calming the mind by engaging in mindful concentration while focusing solely on breathing, a picture, or an object.

  • Vipassana meditation – 

Vipassana places a strong emphasis on breath awareness, tuning into the air as it enters and exits the nose. It lets you categorise your thoughts and sensations as they come to the mind, making mental notes as you follow things that catch your attention.

  • Kriya Yoga – 

It is a method of concentration that helps you settle down and focus on one thing. Mantras, breathing exercises, and meditation on the chakras and spinal cord focus points are all included.

  • Transcendental Meditation –

It takes an approach where each practitioner receives a unique mantra that they can use to help focus their thoughts inward. It is advisable to practice it twice for 20 minutes each to reap its benefits.

  • Relaxation response –

This technique involves many facets, including breath monitoring and tracking, repeating a word, positive affirmations, or a prayer.  

A Guide for Beginners-

Choosing one form of meditation can be overwhelming. You can try this 20-minute meditation routine to begin with- 

  • In a quiet environment, take a seat, close your eyes and start to breathe gradually.
  • Starting with your feet, legs, and thighs, start to let the muscles of your body loose.
  • Roll your neck to the left, then to the right, and shrug your shoulders.
  • Say the word “peace” aloud or any words of affirmation to yourself after each breath.
  • Don’t give up when your thoughts stray. Return to the pattern’s repetition.
  • Continue for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Don’t Give Up



As a beginner, you might feel a rush of incoming thoughts, feel like zoning out now and then, or you might find it hard to visualise or feel some sensations in your body. But keep in mind that it could take some time to get into a habit and start experiencing the health benefits of meditation, you’ll soon be on your way to lead a better and more peaceful life.

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Maximise Your Heart Health With These Mufa And Pufa Rich Foods

Are you looking for delicious ways to boost your heart health? Incorporating foods rich in monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids can help improve overall health including heart health.

In this blog, we’ll introduce nutritious foods and oils that are loaded with these healthy fatty acids, and show you how to easily incorporate them into your daily diet. From creamy avocados, and crunchy nuts to healthy non-tropical oils, you’ll find plenty of inspiration to help you maximise your heart health with these MUFA and PUFA-rich foods. So, let’s dive in and get started!

What are MUFA and PUFA?

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are types of unsaturated fatty acids that are beneficial for several functions and especially heart health. MUFAs and PUFAs help lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL- C) in the blood, reduce inflammation, and improve blood vessel function. Including foods and oils in your diet which are rich in MUFAs and PUFAs benefits you by helping lower the risk of heart disease and help maintain cardiovascular health. According to ICMR/NIN, 2020, replacing saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids followed by monounsaturated fatty acids is beneficial for heart health.

Maintaining a healthy heart is essential for leading a long and active life. While balanced diets and adequate exercise are crucial factors in heart health, the type of fats we consume can also play a significant role. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are known for their heart-healthy benefits, and incorporating foods and oils rich in these fats into your diet can help manage and improve heart health.

5 MUFA and PUFA-Rich Foods:

Here are 5 MUFA and PUFA-rich foods that you can include in your diet to maximise your heart health:

  • Nuts

Plain nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, are rich in MUFAs and PUFAs, making them heart-healthy snack options. Nuts are also rich in fibre, which on regular consumption, helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Almonds are rich in healthy unsaturated fatty acids and exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, hence benefitting the heart and overall health. Pistachios contain protein and antioxidants such as Vitamin E, regulating cholesterol levels. Raisins offer fibre and iron, supporting digestion and oxygen circulation in the blood. You can enjoy them as plain snacks, in salads, smoothies, or baked goods for added nutrition. 

However, keep in mind that nuts are also high in calories, so be mindful of portion sizes. Consuming merely a handful of nuts early in the morning is beneficial. Soaked raisins and almonds help destroy compounds that lower the absorption of nutrients.   30 grams of nuts a day is good enough to ensure adequate protein. (ICMR NIN, 2020 (source)

  • Seeds

Seeds, such as flaxseeds, and chia seeds are rich in omega 3 PUFAs, making them a great addition to your diet to support heart health. They are also rich in fibre and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from damage. Seeds such as chia and flaxseed are not only rich in essential nutrients but also contain natural antioxidants. These antioxidants, including polyphenols and lignans, contribute to their heart-healthy properties.  (source)

  • Soybeans

Soybeans are a rich source of MUFAs and PUFAs, making them heart-healthy food. Soybeans are a particularly good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) have been associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, improving brain function, and supporting overall well-being. 

Write about the Benefit of omega 3. 

Soybeans, whether in their whole form, as soya nuggets, tofu, or soy milk are also rich in protein, fibre, and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from damage. Soybeans are a plant source of protein, being naturally free of cholesterol. Tofu is naturally low in saturated fat which makes it an amazing ingredient to include in your diet to lower any risk of heart disease. This nutrient-rich food is a good source of fibre too and helps you keep your diet in check and gives you a healthy gut. Add soybeans to your salads, stir-fries, or soups to maximise your heart health.

 

4. Fatty fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of PUFA. Omega-3s are known to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease. Aim to eat fatty fish at least twice a week to maximise your heart health.

5. Avocado

Avocado is a rich source of MUFAs, making it a great addition to your diet to support heart health. It is also rich in fibre, potassium, and antioxidants, which help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and protect your cells from damage. Add avocado to your salads, sandwiches, or smoothies to maximise your heart health.

Unlock the Heart-Healthy Power of MUFA and PUFA with These 5 Oils

 

  • Peanut oil:

 Indulge in the goodness of peanut oil, abundant in heart-friendly MUFAs. With a high smoke point, it’s perfect for frying, and its vitamin E content adds an extra layer of heart protection. (source)

 

  • Flaxseed oil: 

Packed with PUFA and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), flaxseed oil works wonders in reducing cholesterol levels. Give your heart a boost with this essential fatty acid powerhouse.

 

  • Sesame seed oil: 

Elevate your dishes with sesame seed oil, rich in both MUFA and PUFA. Its delightful nutty flavour makes it a perfect addition to salads and stir-fries while nourishing your heart.

 

  • Soybean oil: 

Opt for soybean oil, low in saturated fat and is high in PUFAs, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Enjoy the benefits of this versatile oil while cooking, knowing you’re making a smart choice for your heart.

 

5. Safflower oil: 

It comes in two forms, one high in Oleic Acid and the other high in Linoleic acid. The Oleic Acid variety is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, making it ideal for deep frying. On the other hand, the Linoleic variety is more suitable for dressings. Research suggests that consuming eight grams of Safflower Oil daily can have positive effects on health. 

 

  1. Rice Bran oil

It is an excellent source of poly- and mono-unsaturated fats, also known as the “good fats”. It has a good balance of MUFA & PUFA with natural antioxidants including oryzanol, tocopherol and tocotrienol that helps improve immunity. Rice bran oil can be used as a cooking oil for deep-frying or stir-frying.

 

Saffola Gold – For a Good Balance of MUFA and PUFA  

Saffola Gold is a remarkable choice to achieve a balanced intake of MUFAs and PUFAs. This unique blend of sunflower and rice bran oil combines the goodness of both oils, ensuring a favourable balance of fatty acids for optimal heart health. Thanks to Saffola Gold‘s dual-seed technology, you can enjoy the benefits of MUFA and PUFA in one oil, promoting better nutrition through healthy fats. Make Saffola Gold a part of your balanced diet to support your heart and overall well-being.

 

The Takeaway

While these MUFA and PUFA-rich foods can provide health benefits, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Indians, NIN-ICMR recommends SFA must not be more than 10% of total calories/day, PUFA must be 8-10% of total calories/day and MUFA can be consumed by difference usually 10%/calories/day. 

A diet rich in healthy fats, along with whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can help promote overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Would like to learn more about MUFA and PUFA? Read on to What is MUFA and PUFA? Meaning, difference and importance.

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What Foods Can Help Lower The Risk of Heart Disease?

In a fast-paced world like our own, it comes as no surprise that most people sometimes forget about their health amidst all their other tasks. Unhealthy processed foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium are more commonly chosen over fruits, vegetables and whole grains. However, it is important to make a note of the various foods that can help you maintain your heart health and live a healthy and happy life. 

 

Let us take a look at the various fruits, vegetables and whole grains that act as foods that are better for your heart health and are good for you and your body, helping you from the risk of diseases in the long run.

 

Which foods help lower the risk of heart disease?

 

The food you consume does so much more than just keep your stomach happy—it plays key roles in providing nutrients that your body requires for body functions and may also offer you various health benefits. 

Let’s look at some heart-friendly food options below: 

 

  • Berries

can be your heart’s best friend because they contain a number of antioxidants like anthocyanin and resveratrol that protect your heart against inflammation. According to a study,  blueberries contain anthocyanins that help in reducing biomarkers against non-communicable diseases by having a positive impact on plasma lipid levels and modulation of glucose metabolism. Consuming about 1/3rd cup of blueberries has shown beneficial effects.  Consumption of berries can also help you maintain systolic and diastolic blood pressure. (Source)

 

  • Walnuts

are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid that has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. Including walnuts in your diet can help lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and improve overall heart health.  (source)

 

  • Salmon

is a fatty fish that is a good source of omega-3. This healthy fat has various antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can work wonders for your heart and is one among many foods that can help lower the risk of heart disease. Toss it in a pan with a few veggies and add some Saffola Gold to cook it for the perfect heart-healthy meal.

 

  • Tofu –

is a nutritious plant-based protein that can make a great addition to your meals, especially if you’re looking to support heart health. Made from soybeans, tofu is rich in protein, fibre, and minerals that can help protect your heart from disease. Diets high in plant-based proteins like tofu can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. (source)

 

  • Garlic

can also work wonders for your heart. It helps in reducing blood pressure and has a compound named allicin that is known to have therapeutic effects. 

 

Food Habits That Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Ailments

 

Maintaining good health is all about adopting the right food habits. Here are a few food habits that can take care of your heart. 

 

  • Never skip the first meal of the day aka breakfast.  A filling breakfast like oats topped with fruits and peanut butter, omelettes and chapati or dosa is a good way to start the day. A nutritious breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Combine unsweetened Greek yoghurt with a sprinkle of chia seeds, a handful of mixed berries, and a drizzle of honey for a nutritious and satisfying morning meal packed with protein, fibre, and antioxidants.

 

  • Add more nuts to your diet because they are a good source of healthy fats and fibre hence, may be beneficial for the heart. However, consume them in moderation because they are high in calories.  

 

  • Try various salt alternatives: High salt intake increases blood pressure and can increase the risk of heart disease. Use less salt in foods in cooking and preferably no salt at the table, control the consumption of processed foods high in salt, choose low-sodium salt alternatives and season your food with herbs, citrus and spices instead. 

 

  • Hydrate regularly with water. Water helps regulate blood pressure and prevent dehydration, which can stress your heart. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses (2L) of water a day and limit your intake of sugary drinks.

What is the best natural food remedy for your heart?

There isn’t just one thing that can take care of your heart, but rather a mix of multiple things that will help you with good health. Ginger is known for promoting heart health as it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help in preventing blood clots and improve blood circulation. Controlled (2 cups per day) consumption of green tea also has a number of benefits for your heart, right from weight loss to healthy blood vessels. Chia, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds are good for heart health as they are all rich in heart-healthy nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals.  Just as you’ve been told since childhood, leafy vegetables have a number of minerals and fibres that can protect you from the risk of several diseases. 

Are eggs part of a heart-healthy diet?

Eggs are a versatile and nutritious food that can offer many benefits when consumed in moderation. With a high protein content and a good quality of protein, they can provide a balanced breakfast option that supports overall heart health. Therefore,  if you’re looking to support your heart health, incorporating eggs or egg whites into your diet in moderation can be a great option.

 

4 Ayurvedic foods that can help lower the risk of heart disease:

  • Ashwagandha: 

This adaptogenic herb helps reduce stress and anxiety, which may help with better heart health. Ashwagandha has been shown to support heart health by lowering cortisol levels and improving overall cardiovascular function. (source)

 

  • Arjuna:

Arjuna is a powerful Ayurvedic herb known for its cardiovascular benefits. It helps strengthen the heart muscles, improve circulation, and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. (source)

 

  • Ghee: 

Clarified butter, or ghee, is a staple in Ayurvedic cooking. It is believed to improve digestion and nutrient absorption, which indirectly benefits the heart. Make sure to consume in moderation. (source)

 

  • Triphala: 

Triphala, a combination of three fruits – Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki – is revered in Ayurveda for its cleansing and rejuvenating properties. It aids in digestion, detoxification, and maintaining overall cardiovascular wellness. (source)

Conclusion

There isn’t one food or lifestyle habit that opens the door to a healthy heart. Your heart health depends on numerous factors—the quality and quantity of food you consume, the habits associated with your eating and mindful exercise. All three act in tandem while determining your heart health. Daily fruit servings can undoubtedly have a number of benefits for your heart. 

 

Consume healthy oils like Saffola Gold to get a good balance of MUFA and PUFA in your daily nutrition. Saffola Total has been clinically shown to reduce cholesterol levels and keep your heart safe and sound. Last but not least, consume everything in moderation and your heart will thank you for the care years later.

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5 Simple Cooking Techniques to Keep Your Heart Healthy and Happy

It’s no secret that the food we eat plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being. When it comes to our hearts, we need to be extra cautious about our lifestyle choices. However, that doesn’t mean we have to compromise on the taste of the food we eat or spend hours meal prepping in the kitchen. In fact, with just a few simple techniques, you can whip up delicious and nutritious meals that are good for your heart and your taste buds. 

 

In this blog, we’ll discuss five simple cooking techniques that will keep your heart healthy and happy. So whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, let’s get cooking!

 

5 heart-healthy cooking techniques

  1. Sauté/Stir-frying

For quick and tasty meals stir frying or sautéing vegetables is a quick and productive option. Throw your veggies in a frying pan or wok on medium heat, you can use a splash of Saffola Total, which contains oryzanol and other natural antioxidants that are proven to help manage blood cholesterol levels. Including green leafy vegetables in our diet is important, they contain fat-soluble vitamins. Try cooking them with a drizzle of oil to improve the absorption of these fat-soluble vitamins. 

  1. Steaming

It is a healthy cooking technique that involves cooking food over boiling water. Steaming is particularly suitable for vegetables, seafood, and poultry, and is one of the healthiest cooking techniques as it preserves the food’s nutrients and flavour. Steaming vegetables helps retain the Vitamin C and minerals that may be lost through other cooking methods such as boiling or frying.

  1. Baking

Contrary to popular belief, baking is considerably more versatile than just bread and cakes. Baking is a healthy cooking choice since the amount of fat involved is kept under control. It is a dry cooking method that uses a high temperature and helps in cooking the food uniformly. Baking is a time-saving alternative way of cooking as it enables you to prepare several dishes in one go.

Healthy Cooking Tips For Healthy Lifestyle

  1. Grilling

Cooking meals on a grill includes using an open flame or an oven. It is an excellent approach if you want to use less oil and fat while still maintaining the food’s flavour while cooking. According to research, lean meats and vegetables lower the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses if cooked on the grill. It is necessary to take appropriate safety measures when grilling-For instance, watch the temperature when grilling food to prevent the dish from charring.

 

  1. Microwaving

There is much more to microwaving than just heating food. It is one of the go-to methods if you want to preserve the Vitamin C in your food. However, this only works if you don’t microwave your food for longer than 30 to 60 seconds at a time or heat it in a plastic container. Most of the nutrients are kept because microwave heating takes place over a shorter period of time. It’s risky to heat food in plastic containers because chemicals and other unidentified contaminants could leech onto the food.

 

Cooking techniques have a significant impact on the nutritional content of our food. While each cooking method has its benefits and limitations, here are some tips for healthy cooking that are worth remembering for optimal heart health.

 

Things to keep in mind while cooking

 

  • Most of the time, we unknowingly tend to overcook our food. The cooking time should be kept to a minimum, as overcooking the food can destroy its nutrients and alter the colour and texture of the food. 
  • Pressure cooking and microwaving are methods that you can opt for if you are looking to reduce your cooking time.
  • Using minimal water while cooking can prevent the loss of water-soluble nutrients from your food. 

The Takeaway 

Eating healthy to keep your heart fit does not have to be bland and boring. By incorporating colourful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean protein, along with healthy fats and oils, you can create a fulfilling and flavourful heart-healthy diet that’s also Instagram-worthy. So, get creative in the kitchen and prepare delicious meals using these simple cooking techniques to start your heart-healthy lifestyle journey.

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The Impact of Salt Choice on Cooking and on Health

Common/Table salt is a mineral composed of 40% sodium and 60% chloride. It is obtained from seawater and is used to impart taste to our foods. Sodium, in smaller quantities, is needed for certain body functions.  ICMR recommends the consumption of not more than 2000 mg/day of sodium and 5g of salt/day. Additionally, there are now types of salts available that differ from the traditional sea salt. Rock salt is not a mineral, but a rock obtained from salt mines which have chemicals with a salty taste. From table salt to rock salt, and everything in between, it’s important to understand the different types of salt and how they can affect our health. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the various types of salt and why it’s crucial to choose the right one for our overall health including the heart. Whether you’re a health-conscious individual or simply looking to improve your overall well-being, this blog will provide valuable insights and tips on how to make the best choice for your heart.

First, it is important to understand the different types of salt available for cooking. The most common types of salt include table salt, kosher salt, sea salt, and Himalayan pink salt. Each of these types of salt has its unique characteristics and uses.

 

Types of salt are:-

 

  1. Table salt

is the most commonly used and is typically the cheapest option. It is finely ground and is fortified with iodine, which is an important mineral required for regulating thyroid hormones. Double fortified salts are also available that contain both, added iodine as well as iron. Table salt is often used in cooking, baking and as a finishing salt.

  1. Kosher salt-

is a coarse-grained salt that is mined from salt deposits. It receives its name since it is primarily used for the koshering process. In simple terms, it is primarily in the preparation of meat, as it helps to extract blood and impurities from the meat. Owing to its large size it is also commonly used as a finishing salt.

 

  1. Sea salt

is made from evaporated seawater and is available in a variety of coarseness levels. It is often used as a finishing salt and is popular in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. Sea salt is minimally processed by evaporation of seawater and hence is also rich in minerals and has a unique flavour that sets it apart from other types of salt.

 

  1. Himalayan pink salt

is a type of rock salt that is mined from the Himalayan Mountains. It is known for its unique pink hue colour, which typically occurs due to the small amounts of iron oxide in it. Pink salt does not go through a rigorous refinement process, so the crystals seem larger than table salt and are made up of a certain amount of minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. Owing to the large crystals, it is often used as a finishing salt. 

 

Now that we have a basic understanding of the different types of salt available, let’s discuss

Why it is important to choose the right type of salt for cooking

 

  • Affects your heart health 

Did you know salt plays an important role in your body? Salt typically contains sodium and chloride. Sodium is an essential nutrient that helps maintain normal cell function, fluid and electrolyte balance, and maintenance of optimal blood volume among a few functions.  Owing to its functions, it is important to consume adequate amounts of sodium. A high sodium diet of more than recommended amounts of 2000 mg/day or 5g/day of salt can lead to imbalance. The body uses sodium to control blood pressure, and managing sodium intake can reduce the risk of blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, etc. 

 

  • Affects the taste of your dish 

One of the main reasons why it is important to choose the right type of salt for cooking is because salt can greatly affect the taste of your dishes. Different types of salt have different flavour profiles, and using the right salt can positively impact the dish, adding to a tastier meal. For example, using table salt in a dish that calls for sea salt can result in a dish that is too salty and lacks the unique flavour of sea salt.

Additionally, some types of salt have higher mineral content than others. Himalayan pink salt, for example, is known for its high mineral content and contains almost 50-80 trace minerals like calcium, potassium, iodine, iron, copper, zinc, and more, which can add unique flavour and health benefits to your dishes. Whereas, refined table salt does not contain all these natural minerals. The minerals are wiped out during the process of refining.

Using salt with a high mineral content can also make a difference in the overall nutritional value of your food.

 

6 Popular Salt Alternatives for Better Heart Health

Excessive salt consumption can add to high blood pressure and heart disease. Fortunately, various salt alternatives can be used to add flavour to your food while promoting better heart health.

 

  • Herbs and spices:

 Using herbs and spices instead of salt can be beneficial for heart health, as a high salt intake has been linked to an increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

 

  • Vinegar:

 Vinegar can be a great substitute for salt as it adds flavour without increasing sodium intake. Consuming high amounts of sodium can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues, so adding vinegar to a dish can be beneficial.

 

  • Citrus juices: 

Citrus juices can add a zesty flavour to dishes. Additionally, citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, so adding citrus fruit as a garnish instead of salt to your dishes can be beneficial to your health. 

 

Miso paste can add a unique and savoury flavour to dishes without adding too much sodium. Additionally, soy products like miso have high levels of plant-based protein and antioxidants adding to overall health.

In conclusion, choosing the right type of salt for cooking is more important than you might think. By opting for salts with lower sodium content and higher mineral content, you can enhance the flavour of your meals while reducing the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease associated with excessive salt consumption.

Looking for more such healthy nutritional tips? Read on to What Makes Cooking Oil Heart Healthy

Sources: 

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/sodium-and-salt#:~:text=Eating%20less%20sodium%20can%20reduce,billion%20in%20health%20care%20savings.https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/heart-failure-and-salt-the-great-debate-2018121815563

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/sodium-and-salt

https://www.cardiovascularinstitute.com/why-is-salt-bad-for-your-heart/

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-does-salt-affect-heart-health/