Table salt and sea salt are both useful when preparing food. Manufacturers mine table salt from salt deposits and process it into a fine crystal, whereas sea salt comes from evaporating seawater.
Many people believe that sea salt is healthier than table salt because it is a natural source of sodium. Manufacturing strips table salt of other nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
However, producers fortify table salt with iodine, which is vital for thyroid hormone production.
Sodium is an essential nutrient that people get from added salt and processed foods. Doctors recommend limiting salt in the diet because too much sodium can contribute to dehydration and heart disease. High blood pressure is a significant concern.
In this article, we explore the differences between sea salt and table salt, the health benefits of salt, and which type is healthier. We also discuss how much salt we should have per day.
Table salt vs. sea salt
It is a misconception that sea salt contains less sodium than table salt.
Many people perceive sea salt as a healthful alternative to table salt.
Sea salt comes from evaporating seawater, so it is a natural source of sodium. Table salt comes from mining salt deposits. Manufacturers then process it into a fine crystal that is easy to mix in food.
Chefs use sea salt in some recipes because of its coarse and crunchy texture. Some people also prefer the stronger taste of sea salt.
Although people may perceive sea salt to be better for health, it has the same sodium content as table salt. Some people believe that sea salt has less sodium than table salt, but this is a misconception.
Table salt and most sea salts both contain 40%Trusted Source sodium by weight.
A teaspoon of table salt has 2,300 milligrams (mg)Trusted Source of sodium. The crystals of sea salt are larger, so fewer crystals can fit in 1 teaspoon.
Since less sea salt can fit in the same volume, people may believe sea salt has less sodium than table salt.
Sea salt comes from a natural source and contains other minerals, including:
Table salt does not have these additional nutrients, but it does contain iodine if fortified.
Sodium is essential for good health, so people should not eliminate it entirely from their diet. The sodium in salt helps to control blood pressure and is necessary for nerve and muscle function.
People need to eat salt for normal cell function and to maintain the acid balance of the blood.
Table salt contains iodine, which is another essential nutrient. People with iodine deficiency can develop goiter and a range of other symptoms. Learn about the signs and symptoms of an iodine deficiency here.
A lack of iodine can also cause poor growth and cognitive disorders in children. Iodine deficiencies are rare in the United States, since many products, including table salt, contain added iodine.
However, the risk of low iodine may be higher in Europe Trusted Source and other regions of the world and in people who do not eat dairy, baked goods, or table salt.
Of the two, only table salt contains iodine, as unprocessed sea salt does not contain iodine.
As this article stated earlier, although sea salt does not have iodine, it naturally contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other nutrients.
The amount of these minerals found in sea salt are minimal, and people can get them in more significant amounts from other healthful foods.
Too much salt can contribute Trusted Source to several health conditions, including:
high blood pressure
Despite this fact, people need the correct amount of salt in their diet to maintain good health.