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Stiftung Warentest: Exotic salts are no better than simple salt
Salt is not just salt. Thanks to different extraction and production processes and various additives, numerous types of salt are stacked on the supermarket shelves - from simple household salt to fleur de sel to high-priced Himalayan salt. Stiftung Warentest checked the content of 36 salts and came to the conclusion that gourmet salt is in some cases significantly more expensive but not necessarily qualitatively better than simple table salt.
Simple salt usually scores “good” in the test. Consumer advocates tested a total of 36 products, including eight rock salts and seven fleur de sel. Although the examined salts differed only slightly chemically from each other - all consisted of 93 to 99.9 percent table salt - the quality differed in part greatly. In addition to table salt, the salts consist mainly of poorly soluble compounds of calcium and magnesium.
As Stiftung Warentest reports in its magazine "test" (issue 10/2013), consumer protection groups were able to award the grade "good" for 15 of the 21 simple boiling and sea salts examined. Of the 15 gourmet salts, this was only the case for four products. Some even failed the test with a grade of “poor”. In a blue salt advertised as "absolutely natural", the testers even detected the dye "Berliner Blau", which, according to the Stiftung Warentest, is not suitable for food. The blue or pink color of some salts usually results from changes in the crystal lattice and not from added dyes .
According to the testers, the particularly inexpensive daily salts of Aldi Süd, Lidl, Penny and Edeka enriched with iodine and fluoride are recommended. For 100 grams, consumers pay 4 cents. The iodine salt "Rapunzel sea salt with iodine-containing algae" performed best for 46 cents. "Byodo Atlantik sea salt" does without any additives for 20 cents. According to Stiftung Warentest, expensive gourmet salts are particularly suitable as secondary salts.
Consuming no more than six grams of salt Salt is an important part of our diet. It not only serves as a flavoring for food, but also acts as a mineral source in our body. However, it is important not to consume too much salt for health reasons. According to the recommendation of the German Nutrition Society (DGE), adults and children from the age of 11 should not consume more than six grams of table salt per day. According to the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia, the average amount of salt for men in Germany is 9 grams on average and for women 6.5 grams per day. The values are even higher for people who often eat finished products and fast food.
Increased salt consumption poses considerable health risks. Too much salt promotes high blood pressure, which can damage important organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys and blood vessels in the long term and can cause life-threatening diseases such as heart attacks or strokes.
Although the body needs a certain salt concentration, the more salt gets into the body to increase the amount of liquid in order to restore balance. Due to the higher volume, however, greater pressure is then exerted on the vessels. The blood vessels also contract, causing the blood pressure to rise as well. Some people are more sensitive to salt than others. Experts recommend that anyone who knows about their sensitivity to salt should reduce their salt consumption. (ag)
Image: GG-Berlin / pixelio.de