Himalayan salt or Fleur de Sel: Are the luxury products healthier than table salt?

In supermarkets, the variety of special salts is getting bigger and bigger. But there are actually large differences, or salt is the same salt? FOCUS Online explains what ingredients are incorporated in different types and whether or not there really are healthier options.

Sea salt, rock salt, or luxury variants, such as Himalayan salt and black lava salt increases the diversity of the “white gold” in the super market shelves and the prices vary significantly. Anyone who buys a special and very expensive salts, hopes to have mostly a special effect or a special flavor of them. Some salts are actually healthier than others? FOCUS Online spoke with Sabine Hülsmann, a nutritionist at the consumer advice centre of Bavaria.

1. Salt

Salt or vacuum salt is obtained from underground salt deposits. Here, water is pumped into the salt chamber, and the resulting salt solution is then transported to the surface. The crystallized Lake is first chemically cleaned to remove unwanted minerals and gives the salt its pure white color. In addition to the chemical stress by the cleaning process of the salt production process is energy-intensive. The production of vacuum salt leaves a high energy balance and a large CO2 footprint.

2. Sea salt

The traditional sea salt is produced by evaporation of pure sea water from the shallow, salt-water filled pool. Through the combination of the sun and the Wind, a salt is formed on the surface of the crust. This is harvested from time to time by machine. Typical for sea salt, the naturally coarse grain structure. The main ingredients in addition to sodium and chloride, Iodine and fluorine, in small amounts.

3. Fleur de Sel

Fleur de Sel – flower of salt – is formed on the surface of the sea-salt basin. In comparison to the traditional sea salt, which is coarse-grained, hard and dry, is Fleur de Sel is delicate and mild. The salt flakes only occur on very Sunny and windy days. The salt flowers drive pool as a thin layer on the surface of the salt. There, you will be drawn in by hand with wooden spatulas to the shore. The water content of up to five percent of Fleur de Sel sticky and moist. The peculiarity of the salt is a certain crispness. The high price is mostly due to the elaborate production. But Fleur de Sel is more with plastic rear verunreinigtals conventional sea salt. Since plastic particles have a lower density than water, go for a swim mostly on the surface. Thus, it may be that the salt farmers skim off the crystals, together with the fine salt. Hülsmann explains: “There are no limits for micro-plastic, for up to now research, the level at which harm to consumers will occur. We advise the consumers to decide which salt you choose, as there are many Alternatives to Fleur de Sel.“

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4. Rock salt

By deposits from the sea water or the evaporation of mineral-rich groundwater, rock salt. It consists mainly of the Mineral halite, and is thus, chemically speaking, is nothing else than sodium chloride. Rock salt will be promoted through mining, and coal or ore in the mines to be mined. As rock salt most of the earlier sea salt, both salts of the same iodine content. The slightly grayish color comes from the mineral inclusions. Nutrition-physiologically seen, according to Hülsmann between the two salts there is no difference. The consumer explained: “The minerals make up a minimal share of that from a health point of view there is no advantage to consume rock salt instead of sea salt. The taste can distinguish between the two salts by the mineral inclusions, however.“

5. Himalayan Salt

Himalayan salt contains a small amount of iron oxide, which is known for its pink coloring, is responsible. To 97 percent, however, of sodium chloride. The proportion of the contained iron is Hülsmann, so low that no health benefits to the consumption of the pink salt occur. But not only the composition, also his Name is deceptive. Because the Name of Himalayan salt is a trade name for a pink colored rock salt. The salt comes mainly from the salt mine in Khewra in Pakistan’s province, 200 kilometers southwest of the Himalaya mountains. The consumer therefore advises to use with regard to the survivors ‘ ecological footprint, better salt from the Region.

6. Black Lava Salt

The black lava salt owes its characteristic taste to the enclosed fine volcanic rock. Often manufacturers put however normal salt with activated charcoal to obtain the black color. Here are the health benefits of activated carbon are highlighted, because the black carbon absorbs substances, and is already used since long time for digestive problems, and poisoning. With the original black lava salt this product, however, has nothing in common. Activated charcoal must be characterized according to the consumer advice centre on the package as a food additive E 153. The Original, called the Hawaiian Black Sea Salt comes from the Hawaiian island of Molokai, and contains only crystals of salt. Hülsmann refers to the long route of transport of salt up to Germany. In terms of sustainability, the black crystals are, therefore, rather questionable.

Our Conclusion

It is, therefore, no matter whether you want to buy sea salt, Fleur de Sel, stone, Himalayan and lava salt. Salt consists, according to the consumer panel from a minimum of 97 percent sodium chloride. The remaining portion, usually a percentage, minerals and trace elements. The minerals contained in special salts are in the ratio so low that you can have according to Hülsmann no positive effect on the health.

Much more than the type of salt, the amount consumed is crucial for the health. The world health organization (WHO) recommends a maximum of five grams of salt per day. This corresponds to a little less than a teaspoon. In the global section of people, however, double the amount, as Figures from the 2014 show.

Who exceed the Five-grams-brand risk according to the WHO, high blood pressure, and increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. The salt consumption would drop worldwide on the recommended quantity could be annually, 2.5 million deaths prevented, estimates the organization. Since many processed foods like ready meals or sausages salt, don’t be fear of under-supply.

The German nutrition society (DGE) recommends a similar recommendation. You are advised to consume a maximum of six grams of salt per day.