I’m often asked questions about salt. There are many different varieties these days including Kosher salt, table salt, Himalayan salt and sea salt? What are the differences and which ones are best to use?
I’ve always preferred Himalayan salt, but I wanted to do a little research on the subject to see what the experts have to say. Most of what I’ve found came from Dr. Mercola’s website and the Mayo Clinic. I’ve outlined the basics below for those who don’t have time to do their own research! Hope this answers from questions for you.
The main differences between these salts includes the texture, the source, and how they are processed.
Table Salt comes from underground salt deposits. It is highly processed when it is extracted which destroys almost all of the minerals except for sodium chloride. Table salt is actually 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents, and iodine. Dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt. Because it is so processed, it has a very fine texture that dissolves quickly which is why it is most commonly used in baking. Table salt causes excess fluid in your body tissue which can contribute to cellulite and health issues such as rhuematism, arthritis, gout, kidney and gall bladder stones.
Sea Salt comes from evaporated sea water and receives little or no processing. Because of this, it has larger crystals than table salt and retains a few more trace minerals which contribute to it’s enhanced flavor and color. It is still comprised of mostly sodium chloride, however, and should, therefore, be used in moderation. Also, due to the fact that our oceans and seas are becoming so polluted, there are large amounts of heavy metals that can contaminate the waters where sea salt is extracted.
Kosher Salt can come from either underground sources or seawaters. There are no additives, and it has been certified as Kosher by an authorized organization or rabbi. Because of its large crystals, Kosher salt was originally used to draw the blood out of meat so that it could meet the dietary standards set by Jewish law. This process is called koshering and is how the salt got it’s name. It has a similar mineral content as both table salt and sea salt, which is mostly sodium chloride. Keep in mind that sodium is used as a perservative in almost all packaged foods, so you are already getting an abundance of it if you are consuming packaged products.
Himalayan Salt is argued to be the purest, most mineral rich salt available. It is harvested from the Himalayas which is a pure, unpolluted source. It also has large crystals and is said to contain all of the 84 elements found in the human body.
In addition, Dr. Mercola gives the following list of other health benefits from Himalayan Salt:
- Regulating the water content throughout your body.
- Promoting a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells.
- Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.
- Assisting in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body.
- Absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract.
- Supporting respiratory health.
- Promoting sinus health.
- Prevention of muscle cramps.
- Promoting bone strength.
- Regulating your sleep — it naturally promotes sleep.
- Supporting your libido.
- Promoting vascular health.
- In conjunction with water it is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure.