Before people knew about sea salt, Himalayan salt, black salt, and Celtic sea salt, salt was just salt. It remained unchanged for centuries, but there are numerous salts in the spice aisle of the grocery store nowadays. The primary salt battle exists between sea salt and regular table salt. To the untrained palate, there is no difference between them, but one is much healthier than the other.
Sea salt comes from evaporating seawater (the ocean), whereas manufacturers mine table salt from salt deposits and process it into fine crystals. Table salt is fortified with iodine, which happened as a result of iodine deficiencies in the United States in in the early 1900s. Manufacturers use chemical additives in table salt to prevent clumping, whereas sea salt comes from direct evaporation of seawater. It is not processed and therefore retains trace minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients.
What Is Table Salt?
Table salt is called table salt for a reason: it is on every table in restaurants or homes. It is found in high quantities in almost every processed food item or fast food meal. This is one of the primary reasons that Americans consume more sodium than they should, which has led to increased rates of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and water retention.
Table salt is heavily refined and heated, so all of the inherent nutrients are gone before you season your food with it. Finally, some manufacturers add fluoride, bleaching compounds, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) to table salt. The final product is filled with harmful ingredients, which is why nutritionists look down on it, but natural sea salt is a different story.
What Is Sea Salt?
Table salt is highly processed and refined, whereas natural salt like sea salt is not heated or manipulated. Because the chemical structure is unaltered, it retains the naturally occurring minerals. In fact, sea salt can contain as many as 60 different trace minerals, some of which include zinc, boron, iron, magnesium, silicon, calcium, and copper.
Some sea salt varieties have larger crystals, but this depends on where they are sourced. The source of sea salt can also increase the mineral content. For example, sel gri (gray sea salt) comes from salt beds that contain clay, and it has over 100 different minerals. Finally, it is lower in sodium than most other salts, including sea salt.
Don’t Pass The Salt…Switch To Natural Sea Salt
You don’t need to view salt in a negative light. Natural salts like sea salt or Himalayan pink salt have alkalizing properties and minerals that the body needs to function optimally. Avoid the chemically processed and altered table salt because there are no benefits. But this doesn’t mean you should season the heck out of your food with sea salt. When consumed in excess, sea salt can be detrimental to your health. Use sea salt in moderation and it will benefit your overall health. When you over-salt your food, you increase your risk of cardiovascular health complications.