Should you use sea salt or table salt? This has been the subject of debate for years. While it’s often a matter of personal preference, we recommend sea salt. Here’s why.
Sodium Levels: Sea Salt vs. Table Salt
Regardless of the choice you make, sea salt and table salt are comprised of the minerals sodium and chloride. However, if you look beyond this similarity, there are some distinct differences between the two.
With all the harsh warnings regarding consuming too much salt, you may think that sodium is bad for you. This is simply not true. Too much sodium is bad for you.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most Americans ingest twice as much their daily recommended sodium requirement. Adults need 1,500 mg. per day to maintain good health. Canned goods and restaurant foods are the big sodium culprits, adding unhealthy levels of sodium to our diets.
Many people think that sea salt has less sodium than table salt. This is a misconception. By weight, both salts contain approximately 40 percent sodium. The difference, however, is in the crystal size.
Because sea salt crystals are often larger than table salt, you’ll get fewer crystals on the spoon. When you measure a spoonful of sea salt and compare it to table salt, you’ll find less sodium in sea salt because there are fewer crystals. A teaspoon of table salt contains 2,300 mg. of sodium, whereas a teaspoon of sea salt may contain 1,840 mg. of sodium.
Processing: Sea Salt vs. Table Salt
Sea salt is not heavily processed. It is produced by evaporating sea water. Because there is very little processing involved, trace elements that are essential to good health are left untouched. Sea salt also comes in a variety of textures and colors.
Table salt is heavily processed and mined from underground salt deposits. The processing depletes the minerals; therefore, iodine is often added. To add iodine, the manufacturers must add sugar – often corn syrup – to keep the iodine stable and to prevent oxidation.
Aluminum calcium silicate is added to table salt to prevent caking. Aluminum calcium silicate may contain a cancer-causing material – crystalline silica. Other ingredients, such as sodium ferrocyanide, silicon dioxide, sodium aluminosilicate, and dicalcium phosphate may be added, as well.
Rule of thumb: If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, it’s best to avoid them.
Taste: Sea Salt vs. Table Salt
Many people prefer sea salt because it has a stronger flavor. Some say that table salt has a metallic taste, due to the addition of iodine.
Texture: Sea Salt vs. Table Salt
Sea salt is coarse and crunchy. Since it is less refined than table salt, it provides a crispy texture to food. The larger the grain, the stronger the taste.
Table salt is fine and free flowing. Remember the Morton Salt “When It Rains, It Pours” campaign? It originated with the Morton Salt Company to promote its free-flowing salt.
Best Choices in Sea Salt
People often choose sea salt because it is the most natural option. However, with the varieties and types available, the choice may be confusing to the average consumer.
Dr. Richard DiCenso, Co-Founder of Optimal Wellness Labs, recommends these sea salts as best choices: Aztec, Himalayan, and Celtic. These salts promote optimal health and have healing benefits.
Next week we’ll discuss the different types of sea salt and their benefits. Once you know the differences, you can make an informed decision that works best for you and your family.