Diet & Nutrition
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Diet & Nutrition

Sea salt vs Table salt: What’s the right pick for you?

Salt is the most essential of all the electrolytes that are required by the body. Not that others like magnesium and phosphorus are not, but salt is somewhat like the king of all the electrolytes! In the history of salt, it was so important, that it was even used as an article of the trade! And yes, it drove tribes to war too. Historically it has been as important as petrol is now!

There are a lot of variations of salt if we just talk about salt per se. But, if we speak about in terms of their usage, table salt, and sea salt are widely used. Table salt mainly comprises sodium and chloride while sea salt’s composition can totally vary.

How is sea salt different from table salt?

Sea salt and Table salt vary widely in their taste, texture, and processing. Sea salt is produced when water from the sea’s, salt lakes is evaporated. Not much processing is required. The other minerals present in such waters are also left behind while evaporation and hence lend a distinct color and somewhat taste to it. While on the other hand table salt is mined from underground salt deposits. It’s much more heavily processed and contains certain additives that help in maintaining the texture and consistency that you normally see (to avoid clumping). Also, the table salt we buy now is iodized as well as iron-fortified, to prevent goiter and anemia in people of all age groups and all sections.

Both the salts have a different sort of taste and mouthfeel, sea salt being coarser. It is not important to see if one is consuming sea salt or table salt, both are almost the same in terms of nutritional value, which is much more important!! So it is important that the salt that we consume, is consumed in moderation, excess of which could lead to an imbalance in the electrolyte system of the body.

How does the amount of sodium in sea salt compare to table salt?

Table salt and most sea salts all contain about 40 percent sodium by weight.

Kosher salt and some sea salts may have larger crystal sizes than table salt, so they may have less sodium by volume (e.g., by teaspoon or tablespoon). A teaspoon of table salt has about 2,300 mg of sodium, but a teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt may have less sodium simply because fewer crystals fit on the spoon.

Is there a health advantage to eating sea salt?

Most sea salts don’t offer any real health advantages. The minute amounts of trace minerals found in sea salt are easily obtained from other healthy foods. Sea salt also generally contains less iodine (added to prevent goiter) than table salt.

Benefits of consuming sodium

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 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.

Health risks of consuming sodium

Too much salt can contribute to several health conditions, including:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • heart attacks

Despite this fact, people need the correct amount of salt in their diet to maintain good health.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the average amount of sodium in the American diet is about 3,440 mg per day, which is much too high. The American Health Association (AHA) recommend eating less than half of this quantity, or 1,500 mg per day.

When people reduce the amount of sodium in their diet, they reduce their risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. Countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) have agreed to help reduce the global population’s sodium intake by 30% by 2025.

The majority of salt people eat does not come from adding salt to their home cooked meals, however. Instead, the AHA state that more than 75% of the sodium in people’s diets comes from processed foods.

In addition to processed and packaged foods, people should be aware of the high salt content in poultry, cheese, and bread.

Manufacturers may include additives in table salt to prevent clumping. These additives are called anticaking agents and may include:

  • potassium ferrocyanide
  • calcium silicate
  • silicon dioxide
  • yellow prussiate of soda
  • iron ammonium citrate

You can usually let your taste buds choose between sea salt and table salt. They all contain almost about the same amount of sodium. Just because sea salt is natural, does not mean it is better for people’s health. Many people believe that sea salt is a healthful alternative to table salt, but eating too much of any salt is harmful.

References-

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/is-sea-salt-healthier-than-table-salt

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/sea-salt/faq-20058512

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/sea-salt-vs-table-salt

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