A Guide to Salt Options

There’s no denying it. Most of us sprinkle salt into just about everything we cook. It keeps foods from tasting bland. But there are many different types of salt out there which might make you wonder if any one of them is better than the other.

Salt is made up of sodium and chlorine, both of them necessary elements for our survival. These elements help brain and nerve function. So, we need salt. It’s often seen as unhealthy though because it can bind to the water in your bloodstream which elevates blood pressure, however this is only when salt is used in large amounts.

Essentially, adding salt to whole foods you cook at home (as long as you don’t dump the whole container on it!) will not adversely affect your health. But if you’re eating processed foods all the time, you should phase those out.

Now, for adding salt to your food, here are some different salts you may have heard of.

Table Salt

This salt is what you’ll often find in a salt shaker on restaurant tables. It’s heavily ground up and highly refined. It clumps together so iodine is often added to it, something most people are deficient in.

Sea Salt

Made from evaporating seawater, it can vary depending on where it comes from. While it is mostly sodium chloride, it can contain minerals like iron, zinc and potassium. If it is darker in hue, it has more impurities, and with the rampant pollution in our world’s waters, sea salt can contain trace amounts of heavy metals. That’s why you should make sure you’re buying quality sea salt from a non-polluted source.

Himalayan Pink Salt

It’s pretty, but that’s thanks to trace amounts of iron oxide. You know, rust! There are also 84 minerals and trace elements in it, including little bits of potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, making most health specialists rate it higher than other salts. And this salt has slightly less sodium than regular salt.

Kosher Salt

The biggest difference between kosher salt and other salts is the flake structure. Cook with kosher salt and you’ll find it’s much easier to pinch with your fingers and sprinkle over food. The texture is different but the best part is it is less likely to contain additives for anti-caking.

Celtic Salt

This salt is popular in France. It’s a bit greyish, contains some minerals and has lower sodium than table salt. It contains water too so it seems more moist than the other salts.

So which salt is best?

Generally speaking, the less additives and anti-caking agents you ingest, the better you’ll be. That’s why you should choose your salt wisely and quality Pink Himalayan Salt seems to win the race. But keep in mind that while we need some salt in our bodies, it is primarily used as a way to bring out flavor. Knowing that and keeping from overdoing it when you’re cooking will give you the right balance of salt in your life.