Without salt, most meals taste bland and flavorless. However, too much of it can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. Over the years, it has gotten a bad rep and many people are on a low salt diet these days. But did you know that too little salt can lead to death as well?
Salt, or a crystalline mineral made from sodium and chlorine, is essential for all life on Earth. Our bodies need salt to retain water, balance fluids in our brain, regulate blood sugar, and maintain a healthy thyroid.
ALSO READ: Discover The Best Foods for Thyroid Health
Not All Salt Is Created Equally
Most salt used in our Western diet comes from processed food, and that’s why it is such a controversial ingredient. Many people get the wrong kind of salt and too much of it. Most whole foods contain sodium. So if you eat a well-balanced whole food diet. Eating a whole, unprocessed clean diet is important.there should be no need to add some more…
There are many types of salt available. They all differ in taste, texture, and mineral and sodium content. So let’s take a look at the most common forms of salt and discover which kind of salt is the healthiest, in moderation of course 😉
Know Your Salts
1. Refined Salt (or regular table salt)
Refined table salt consists out of sodium and chlorine and is usually mined from rock salt or sea water. It is highly processed, bleached, and stripped from naturally occurring minerals. Synthetic iodine and anti-caking agents are added to make up for the minerals that are taken out and to prevent water absorption and clumping.
2. Sea Salt
Sea salt is very similar to table salt. It is made by evaporating sea water. The only difference, it is less processed and still contains traces of minerals like potassium, iron, and zinc. The darker the salt the more trace minerals it contains.
Although sea salt is a bit more nutritious and flavorful compared to refined table salt, due to pollution of the seas and oceans, sea salt often contains traces of heavy metals.
3. Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan Pink salt is mined from one of the largest salt mines in Pakistan. It contains iron oxide, which gives it a pink color. It is less processed and still contains small amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium and has lower sodium levels than regular table salt.
4. Kosher Salt
Kosher salt is quite similar to table salt and was originally used to extract blood from meat. It has a different texture and has a large flake size compared to regular salt. Although kosher salt is quite similar to table salt, it is less likely to be spiked with anti-caking agents or synthetic iodine.
5. Celtic Salt
Celtic salt has a grayish color and is made of seawater. It still contains a bit of moist and contains trace minerals, and like Himalayan salt, it is lower in sodium compared to regular table salt.
Scroll down to discover which salt is the healthiest.
Which Salt Is The Healthiest?
They all have a different taste, texture, and color and many chefs pick their type of salt based on these features. Bigger flakes will have a stronger flavor, and pink salt looks great when sprinkled on a dish. But which one is are the healthiest?
I found one study that compares different types of salt and their mineral content.
If we take a closer look at the data we see that Celtic salt contains the least sodium and has the most calcium, magnesium, and iron. Himalayan pink scores better for potassium. But all these numbers are very small and comparable to each other. It is actually impossible to get your daily requirement of any of these trace minerals through eating salt.
So to answer the question which is the healthiest… they are all more or less the same, but choosing more natural types like high-quality sea salt, Celtic salt or Himalayan pink is the better option as they don’t contain additives or anti-caking agents.
Salt is salt and we should use it in moderation to add flavor and sodium to our food… but it is definitely not going to aid you in meeting your daily need of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium or other trace minerals…. Because this would mean that you have to add over 100 grams to eat your daily need.
Daily recommendations of sodium:
- Healthy adult: limit sodium intake to 2300 mg a day
- People with high blood pressure: restrict sodium intake to 1500 mg a day
FYI: foods that are high in sodium and OK to eat
Sodium occurs naturally in most foods. Eating a whole, unprocessed, clean diet is important. So if you eat a clean diet and live a healthy lifestyle, there will be no need to add extra salt to your dishes. Salt is used to add some flavor but is definitely not going to provide more nutritious meals.
- Organic meat
- Fish and shellfish
We use high-quality sea salt or sometimes Himalayan pink. What about you? What is your favorite type of salt? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.