The most familiar use of salt undoubtedly is as a vital element to the cooking and preparing of great-tasting food.
We keep salt within reach in the kitchen and at the table as a flavor enhancer.
Salt accents the flavor of meat, brings out the individuality of vegetables, puts “oomph” into bland starches, deepens the flavor of delicate desserts, and develops the flavor of melons and certain other fruits.
No other seasoning has yet been found that can satisfactorily take the place of salt.
Beside making food delicious.
it’s believed there are more than 14,000 uses for salt, and our grandmothers were probably familiar with most of them.
A number of these uses were for simple things around the home before the advent of modern chemicals and cleaners.
Many of these salt uses are still valid today and can be much cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than more sophisticated products.
Although we make no guarantee about the results we know most of these salt uses have already stood the test of time
Most people probably think of salt as simply a white granular food seasoning.
In fact, only 6% of all salt manufactured goes into food.
Apparently we use salt in more than 14,000 different ways from the making of products as varied as plastic, paper, glass, polyester, rubber and fertilisers to household bleach, soaps, detergents and dyes.
Everyone uses salt, directly or indirectly.
Water is considered hard when it contains calcium & magnesium (hardness ions).
Replacing them with ‘soft’ sodium ions softens the water avoiding scale build-up on hot water appliances.
The greatest single use for salt is as a feedstock for the production of industrial chemicals and in total accounts for 68% of all the salt manufactured.
All animals, humans included, require both sodium and chloride for life and health.
Since the body cannot manufacture either, it is important these ‘essential’ nutrients form part of our daily diet.
Salt is the most effective, readily available, and economical highway deicer in use today and accounts for 8% of all salt productio.
In paper making salt is used to manufacture caustic soda and chlorine.
Caustic soda is used to process wood fibres and chlorine is used to bleach the pulp.
Livestock, poultry and other animals need salt supplements as part of a nutritionally balanced diet to remain healthy and disease free.
Salt is crucial for many industries.
Its compounds make it one of the most important materials in the chemical industry, since more than 50% of the chemical products depend on it at a stage of their manufacture.
It is also used in the manufacturing of thousands of other commodities including glass, paper, rubber, and textiles as well as in water softening systems for industry and domestic use.
Furthermore, it is used as a de-icing agent and as most commonly known food ingredient.
For more detailed information of the different uses of salt, please see the section below
Salt puts up our blood pressure.
Raised blood pressure (hypertension) is the major factor which causes strokes, heart failure and heart attacks, the leading causes of death and disability in the UK.
There is also increasing evidence of a link between high salt intake and stomach cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, kidney stones, kidney disease and vascular dementia and water retention.
Salt can also exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, Ménière’s disease and diabetes
Blood pressure is the amount of pressure that blood puts on your blood vessel walls as it is pumped around the body.
Certain factors such as being overweight, lack of exercise and, in particular, a high salt diet can raise your blood pressure, leading to heart attacks and strokes.
A third of adults have high blood pressure, defined as 140/90 mmHg, and many don’t even know they have it as it has no symptoms:
your GP will be able to check your blood pressure for you.
The risk of disease starts within the normal range of blood pressure, well below 140/90 mmHg, so most people will benefit from lowering theirs.
It’s a myth that developing high blood pressure is inevitable as you grow older, keeping your salt intake down, watching what you eat and taking exercise will keep it under control.
A stroke usually occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, reducing the flow of oxygen to the brain, causing cells to die.
There are two main types of stroke; ischemic strokes, when a blood vessel becomes blocked,
and haemorrhagic strokes ,
when a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into the brain.
Stroke is the third biggest killer in the UK and a leading cause of severe adult disability.
High blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for stroke and salt is the major factor that raises blood pressure.
salt is therefore responsible for many of these strokes.
Stroke is not an inevitable part of aging and many can be prevented by keeping blood pressure under control ,
through salt reduction, exercise and healthy eating.
A high salt diet increases the risk of stomach cancer. A quarter of the 7000 new cases each year can be attributed to salt.
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the major risk factor for stomach cancer as it can lead to inflammation of the stomach which can in turn lead to stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.
in the stomach will not necessarily cause damage ,
however salt can damage the lining of the stomach, making it more vulnerable to the effects of H.pylori ,
and salt may also increase the growth and action of the bacterium making it more likely to cause damage.
Men are at a higher risk than women .
there are other important risk factors for stomach cancer explained in the fact sheet.