Why is it that whenever we hear about salt, it always has a bad reputation? Yet, it is considered one of the most important ingredients in cooking as without it, most meals would be bland and boring. But who knew there were many different types of salt? They all differ in taste and texture, and with a range of mineral content.
REGULAR TABLE SALT
The most commonly used salt is table salt, which is almost pure sodium chloride. It is highly refined as most of the impurities and trace minerals are removed. The problem with table salt is that it can clump together, so other substances are added to allow the salt to flow freely, making it less pure. However, this means that iodine is often added to table salt, which helps prevent against iodine deficiency that causes hypothyroidism, mental and health problems. If you choose to stay away from regular table salt, you should include iodine-enriched food in your diet, such as fish, dairy, eggs and seaweed. It’s considered bad for you as it is seen as a manufactured salt. A large amount of the essential minerals are lost during the process, resulting in imbalances in our bodies causing diseases and heart failure.
Like table salt, sea salt is mostly just sodium chloride but is made by evaporating sea water. However, depending on how it was processed it can contain some amount of minerals like potassium, iron and zinc. Sea salt can also contain trace amounts of heavy metals like lead due to the pollution of oceans. Sea salt has a different feel and a stronger flavour than regular salt as it is less ground. The minerals and impurities found in sea salt may affect the taste, but these may vary between brands. Overall, sea salt and table salt have almost an equal amount of minerals, making it equally as bad for your body as table salt.
Himalayan salt is harvested in Pakistan and contains trace amounts of iron oxide, which gives it its famous pink colour. It contains small amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium, and lower amounts of sodium than table salt. Himalayan salt is often used for bath products such as bath salts as they increase hydration and relaxes cramped muscles.
Kosher salt is used within the Jewish religion that requires blood to be extracted from meat before it is eaten. Kosher salt is efficient at extracting the blood due to its flaky and coarse structure. It has large flakes, which chefs find easier to pick up with their fingers to spread over food, and a different texture and flavour to regular salt and less likely to contain additives like anti-caking agents and iodine.
Celtic salt is harvested in Brittany France near the Celtic Sea and contains water, making it quite moist. It also contains trace amounts of minerals and lower in sodium than plain table salt. Celtic salt is found to be powerfully beneficial for health as it can help the body to balance blood sugars and eliminate mucus build up.
Salt is essential for human and animal life but it’s important to remember that salt isn’t used for nutrition but to add flavour to our food. Yes, there are different health benefits to each type of salt but it is best to aim for naturally processed salt, eating less than one teaspoon a day. This means you will avoid additives and prevent damage to your body whilst getting a natural intake of minerals.