Tricky Tuesday #12: Salt 101

SALT
Image from Food Navigator

Three days ago, I was preparing eggs to be scrambled. I took the salt (in a salt shaker) and put some on the eggs. Unfortunately, I have not closed the lid properly and I got an instant 1/2 cup of salt on my beaten eggs. What a mess! That day, I was really messed up – failed baking, kitchen utensils kept on falling down… and the salt. Ugh!  So when the salt was all over the beaten eggs, it did asked me “Hey, when are you going to talk about me on your blog?” And I replied back – “Okay! I will talk about you, but please… don’t do this again.” The salt did not promise, though. 

So for today’s post, since I wanted to talk about salt for quite some time now, I guess this is the right time. 

According to one of the cooking shows (I forgot the what is was – Master Chef Australia?), one of the judges said that “Salt is the most important ingredients in the kitchen.” I definitely agree. Whenever I cook, I always thought that important ingredients are missed – you know, some important ingredients. I really never put too much salt when I cook. I don’t know – maybe I am just afraid to overdo the salt. Whatever. 

Anyway, I realized that salt indeed is the most important ingredients in the kitchen. When you feel that there aren’t enough taste, put salt. But do we know the benefits/uses of salt and what can salt do to out bodies when we overdo them? Well, I belong to the people who doesn’t know anything about salt except that it gives taste to the food we cook. 

Some benefits of Salt

  • Salt is necessary to retain hydration, the reason why salt is in things like Gatorade and other electrolyte drinks doctors use to treat patients suffering from dehydration, diarrhea, etc.
  • Salt is key to carrying babies to term
  • Salt regulates blood sugar, important for diabetics not to have low salt intake
  • Salt contributes to a healthy thyroid because of iodine
  • Salt acts as an antihistamine
  • It’s even a sleep aid! A few grains in a glass of water before bed helps you sleep more soundly.

Excessive/Insufficient Use of Salt

The recommended intake of salt per day is 1500 mg to 2300 mg – that makes about 3/4 tsp to 1 tsp per day. Studies claim that excessive intake of salt is not good with people with Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, so they are often advised to take a low-sodium diet. 

The more sodium we have in our bloodstream, the more water it binds. For this reason, sodium is thought to increase blood pressure (which it does, but only mildly). 

If blood pressure is elevated, the heart has to work harder to push the blood throughout the body and there is increased strain on the arteries and various organs.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for many serious diseases, like heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.” – Authority Nutrition

When it comes to excessive use of salt, it doesn’t only means the actual salt itself. Salty foods like the instant noodles, processed/canned foods and fastfoods can also harm our health. 

On the other side, insufficient intake of salt is also not good in our bodies. Studies claim that low intake of salt may lead to Insulin resistance which is a leading cause to obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It is also dangerous for athletes to be low in salt as they lose salt in their bodies while on practice or on the run, which may lead to Hyponatremia. 

As sodium intake drops, blood levels of cholesterol and fat can increase, escalating cardiovascular issues.” – Huffington Post

See, the point is – everything should be balanced. That is why we have what we called balanced diet – everything should be taken moderately. If not, excessive or insufficient intake of anything can harm our health. 

Furthermore, salt can be used not only in cooking, but in other stuffs as well. 

Other uses of Salt

  • Test egg freshness: add 2 teaspoon to a cup of water and put an egg in it. A fresh egg will sink, while an old egg will float.
  • Removes sweat stains: Add 3-4 tbsp of salt to a quart of hot water, then use the solution on the stain until it fades.
  • Relieves sore throat: Mix salt and warm water, gargle 2-3 minutes every 2-3 hours until throat is healed. (Salt kills strep bacteria!)
  • Ant Control: Sprinkle wherever you want to “protect’ from ants. Ants will not walk over salt.
  • Fridge deodorizer: Mix equal parts salt and baking soda, place in the fridge.
  • Extinguish a grease fire: Throw salt on the fire.  (Never use water in a grease fire! – Why? I don’t know. Somebody tell me.)
  • Restore a sponge: Soak sponge or mops them overnight in a solution of about 1/4 cup salt per quart (liter) of water.
  • Relieve stings, bites, and poison ivy. Salt works well to lessen the pain of bee stings, bug bites, and poison ivy:Stung by a bee? Immediately wet the sting and cover with salt. It will lessen the pain and reduce the swelling. Of course, if you are allergic to bee stings, you should get immediate medical attention. For relief from the itching of mosquito and chigger bites, soak the area in salt water, then apply a coating of lard or vegetable oil. When poison ivy erupts, relieve the itching by soaking in hot salt water. If the case is very unfortunate, you might want to immerse yourself in a tub full of salt water.
  • Scrub off burned milk: Burned milk is one of the toughest stains to remove, but salt makes it a lot easier. Wet the burned pan and sprinkle it with salt. Wait about 10 minutes, then scrub the pan. The salt absorbs that burned-milk odor too.
  • Erase tea and coffee stains: Tea and coffee leave stains on cups and in pots. You can easily scrub away these unattractive rings by sprinkling salt onto a sponge and rubbing in little circles across the ring. If the stain persists, mix white vinegar with salt in equal proportions and rub with the sponge.
  • Speed up cooking time: In a hurry? Add a pinch or two of salt to the water you are boiling food in. This makes the water boil at a higher temperature so the food you are cooking will require less time on the stovetop. Keep in mind: Salt does not make the water boil faster.
  • Revive wrinkled apples: Do your apples need a face-lift? Soak them in mildly salted water to make the skin smooth again.
  • Use to whip cream and beat eggs: The next time you whip cream or beat eggs, add a pinch of salt first. The cream will whip up lighter. The eggs will beat faster and higher, and they’ll firm up better when you cook them.

Sources : Huffington Post | Authority Nutrition | Kitchen Stewardship | Reader’s Digest

I hope you find these information useful. Feel free to share this and help somebody today. 🙂 Thank you! 

 

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28 thoughts on “Tricky Tuesday #12: Salt 101

  1. Oh I’ve had salt incidents before as well! It’s so disappointing when pesky salt bursts out of the container and ruins your meal! Glad that it resulted in an informative little post, though 🙂

    1. I am more careful now, Gab. 😀 I almost put a tape around. The worst thing is when you put it directly on your batter when you bake. You know, sometimes we don’t measure a pinch of salt. Ha! I hope that will not happen. So glad to have you, Gab. ❤ Hugs to Norman. 😉

  2. Hi Jhuls – great post! It shows how it is so important to get the balance right which can be so difficult when there is salt added to staples like bread and cereal, for instance. I had to look up grease fires after I saw your comment. Grease fires are what you get when a pot of oil goes from hot to smoking to catching fire. It needs oxygen to burn so if you clamp the lid on the pot, then once the oxygen is used up, it will burn out. If you throw water on it, the oil will splash out and spread the fire as it carries on burning. Lesson – never leave a pot of hot oil, unattended!!

    1. You are amazing, Selma. I never looked for that – maybe I was hoping that somebody will explain it to me. 😀 Thank you.

      I remember one time I was using a thin pot and forgot that it was thin, so when I put oil, I got flames over the pot. My aunt was startled. 😀 Glad I did not burn anything.

    1. Thanks, Kloe. Yeah, it’s been a while. I am trying my best to include the two series on my weekend duty. 😀 I really love that you stopped by, Kloe. ❤

  3. Very interesting! I always remember a quote that I heard on another Masterchef, someone said: the difference between a professional chef and a home cook is seasoning; home cooks don’t season enough. It’s always stayed with me. I think I heard the same quote as you on Masterchef Australia recently too – it’s currently showing in the UK xx

  4. Thanks for the interesting facts, I remember when I would diet I would try to eliminate salt which made me feel less bloated…while elimination is definitely not healthy I do believe less salt is better, I especially feel outside food is oversalted!

    1. When I am on diet, I make sure not to eat foods from outside and yes, I cut on processed foods and everything I know that contains salt. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by. So glad to hear from you.

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