A dash of salt is something few chefs could live without
As health organisations around the world find more links between excessive sodium intake and our risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke, they’re advising consumers to watch how much of it they consume.
Some organisations are even recommending that people eat out less often, but for many, that is not a realistic solution. Instead, we should find a way to give consumers what they want, without excess salt. It's also important that chefs are equipped with the skills and knowledge to use less salt without compromising on the overall quality of the final dish.
Is sea salt healthier than other salts?
Although we know that all salts can have the same ill effects on our blood pressure, some people believe that sea salt gives a stronger flavour than table salt. This means that you may be able to add less when cooking without impacting the taste. Why not experiment by using less sea salt next time?
Did you know? Salt is a biological necessity for both animals and humans, with a long and illustrious history in both cultural and culinary terms.
Striking a balance
As consumers become more aware of sodium, it could change the way they want to eat. A recent CASH (Consensus Action on Salt and Health) survey reported that 70% of people asked thought chefs should be responsible for helping them to eat less salt1.
That doesn’t mean we should eliminate salt altogether. In Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, With Recipes, author Mark Bitterman says knowing how to use salt effectively is “probably the single most important skill a chef has”. While adding salt is often a quick, easy way to enhance taste, it’s even more fun to add flavour to a dish through other ingredients.
In fact, artisanal and specialty salts are becoming more prominent in today’s ingredient-driven kitchens. Many chefs enjoy using kosher or sea salt in cooking, or flaky salt as a finishing touch that’s rich in taste and texture. Salt is even being paired with sweetness in desserts like salted caramel ice cream or chocolate covered pretzels.
The takeaway? There’s plenty of reason to keep salt in your toolkit. The key is to use it thoughtfully by balancing flavour and texture and considering the overall sodium level of foods.
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