Since starting to follow a real, whole food template, I’ve switched up my preferred salt from regular table salt to sea salt, which I find sooooo much better! But, I’ve been asked why it’s better tasting and better for you, so today, I’m taking the opportunity to explain!
On a side note, I do want to emphasize that salt isn’t necessary bad to add to your food, especially when you are cooking with real, whole foods (like vegetables), instead of packaged and processed foods (like canned sauces, condiments, or pasta). Real foods taste so much better with a little bit of sea salt on them – don’t think that you have to eat plain steamed broccoli forever!
When you cut the packaged garbage from your lifestyle, your sodium intake will drop dramatically, which is just as much of a problem as eating too much sodium. The daily recommendation is 2,300 mg of sodium per day, and many people are eating over 3,000 mg per day thanks to processed food. Take a look at a packaged food label – it’s probably at least a quarter of that per serving!
Now, consider the sodium content of broccoli or kale – it’s probably negligible. So, don’t be scared – salt your culinary creations when they are made from real food ingredients; your taste buds will be delighted!
On last note before we move on – please don’t buy the “lite” salt products. They often contain even more chemicals than we would imagine. Sometimes, they even contain sugar! Turn over the bottle, read your label, and stick to real salt, not the fake stuff!
Alright – let’s move onto the differences between table salt and sea salt:
First, regular table salt is made from heavily processed seawater, devoid of trace minerals, and usually contains additives like sodium silicoaluminate or sodium ferrocyanide, which are anti-caking agents. Doesn’t sound too exciting, right?!
On the other hand, sea salt and other natural salts are made through the evaporation of seawater, are minimally processed, and have higher trace mineral contents, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, zinc, and iron. Now, obviously, sea salt isn’t going to contain huge amounts of these minerals. However, these smaller amounts of minerals should be preferred to chemical additives!
I also want to point out that the sodium content itself is comparable between table salt and sea salt. What changes is the extras!
Now before you dump table salt 100% out of your life, you also need to consider the iodine issue. Table salt routinely has iodine added to it. If you cut table salt out of your diet (which I do recommend), make sure that you are still eating adequate amounts of iodine from your food. Sources of iodine include fish, seafood, egg yolks, and seaweed. Get creative!
There you have it – the differences between the two salts varieties. Like I said above, the sodium content is basically the same. What changes is the chemical additives or naturally occurring trace minerals. Next time you are in the grocery store, take a look at the store shelf, and maybe consider giving sea salt a try! You won’t be disappointed.
P.S. Here's a link to the sea salt I buy. I can find it in Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and Fresh Thyme Markets, but look around and see if you can find it or something similar anywhere else!