Ask Gerda: Is It Okay to Cook with Salt?

Ask Gerda: Is It Okay to Cook with Salt?

Ask Gerda:
Is It Okay to Cook
with Salt?

gerda profile

Gerda Endemann, our senior director of science and research, has a BS in nutrition from UC Berkeley, a PhD in nutritional biochemistry from MIT, and a passion for cherry-picking from our wellness shop. She spends a lot of her time interpreting research—established and emerging. And our wellness routines thank her for this. (Yours will, too. Send us your own questions for Gerda: [email protected].)

Dear goop, My boyfriend doesn’t use salt when he cooks. He’s afraid of high blood pressure. But I think food tastes bland without it. Is salt unhealthy?
—Jewel E.

Hi Jewel, Adding a little salt to the soup—I’m not giving free rein here—isn’t what most of us need to worry about. The real salt comes from eating out and buying salty precooked meals.

And in general, when you mix in a little salt earlier while you’re cooking, you’re less likely to reach for the salt shaker when you’re at the table—because your food already tastes good. So you end up eating less salt overall.

We do tend to eat too much salt, and there are many people who would be healthier if they cut back. If high blood pressure runs in your boyfriend’s family or he’s already on the high side of normal, he’s right to be careful. Everyone should check their blood pressure at least every two years.

  1. CAP Beauty
    CAP Beauty
    goop, $22

Anyway, when you do use salt, why not enjoy a beautiful pink Himalayan one? I keep a little bowl of CAP Beauty’s The Pink Mountain Salt on the counter. It’s so pretty—its color comes from traces of minerals other than sodium chloride, which lets you know that it’s not as refined as most salt.

The Pink Mountain Salt is also good for those who like to drink warm salt water in the morning as a cleansing protocol. The gut reacts to the salt by flushing it out, and this helps bring on a bowel movement. Just be sure to run this by your medical practitioner before you start a routine.

If you’re wondering about iodized salt: There’s no iodine added to The Pink Mountain Salt. If you are already getting iodine from seafood, seaweed, or supplements, The Pink Mountain Salt may be a good option for you. We want just the right amount of iodine for thyroid health—not too much or too little. The recommended dietary allowance for iodine is 150 micrograms for adults, with higher needs during pregnancy (220 micrograms) and lactation (290 micrograms).

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.