Not all salt is created equal! Here’s the lowdown on the most commonly used types of salt and which ones are healthiest to include in your diet and cooking.
People LOVE salt. It’s a great way to season food and enhance the flavor of dishes you’re cooking.
However, the sodium in salt is not the healthiest for you and needs to be eaten in moderation. Did you know that there is over 2000 mg of sodium in 1 tsp of salt?! That’s over the recommended dietary allowance and a tsp is WAY less than most people use on their food throughout the day.
I am not saying to eliminate salt from your diet, sodium is an important electrolyte after all! But there are ways to be smarter about how much you’re intaking and which type of salt you’re using.
Today I am highlighting the 4 most commonly used salts and comparing them to tell you which ones are healthier than the others.
First up, good ol’ table salt. Probably the most commonly used, widely known, and readily available type of salt on the market. It’s also the cheapest, making it more appealing from a cost standpoint. But in terms of health, it’s the most highly refined and ground. This means most of its trace minerals are removed and that anti-caking agents are added to stop it from clumping. Its only redeeming quality is that it usually has iodine added to it as a result of a successful public health initiative to prevent iron deficiency and hypothyroidism.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan Pink Salt is mined in Pakistan in the second largest salt mine in the world! It’s pink color comes from the trace amounts of iron oxide it contains. It's also a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, which makes it slightly lower in sodium than regular table salt.
Aside from being used in Jewish culinary tradition and having a larger flake size than regular table salt, which is ground, there aren’t very many differences between the two. Kosher salt will have a slightly different texture and taste because of its flake structure; but if you allow the salt to dissolve in the food, there really isn't any difference compared to regular table salt in terms of taste or nutrition.
The only plus to using kosher salt is that it’s less likely to contain additives like anti-caking agents and iodine if those are things you’re trying to avoid.
Sea salt is created by evaporating sea water. Unlike table salt, it is rich in trace minerals like potassium, iron, and zinc. The darker the color of the sea salt, the higher its concentration of trace nutrients. Also, because it is less refined than table salt, it has a coarser texture and distinct mouthfeel. Instead of adding to your food during the cooking process, sprinkle it on your food afterwards. The larger granules have a more potent flavor burst than refined salt and thus you don’t have to use as much.
Professional chefs and foodies usually choose their salt based on taste, texture, color, and convenience. But if you’re looking for a salt recommendation based on health….your best bet is to just go EASY on whatever salt you choose.
Bottom line is: ALL salt contain only trace amounts of minerals. As a result, choosing one type of salt over another is not going to affect your health in any drastic ways! Just use salt minimally and rely on fresh ingredients to give your food lots of flavor.
Maybe in the future I’ll share some of my go-to healthy flavor enhancers for food! 😉
Tell me in the comments: What type of salt do you use in your own kitchen?