Many of us are familiar with the two types of salt that are used for culinary purposes: sea salt and table salt. Some prefer one over the other because of texture and taste. But more than that, does it really have an effect on our health if we prefer either table salt or sea salt?
Sea salt refers to unrefined salt obtained from the simple process of evaporating water from the sea or ocean to form the salt that we now have in our kitchen. Table salt, on the other hand, is mined from salt deposits, processed and chemically treated before they are sold in the market. Sea salt is considered organic, pure and natural while table salt is refined and heavily processed.
Because sea salt does not undergo the process of refining, it has coarse, irregular and larger grains which add a little bit of crunch when sprinkled to food. Table salt is known for its fine granules which can dissolved quickly when added to dishes or baking products. This is the type of salt most preferred by bakers.
Some people say that there’s really no difference between the two when it comes to taste. But those who are really expert in food can tell the difference. Table salt is considered more salty but sea salt is more flavored because of its mineral contents. Additionally, because table salt has very fine grains, one teaspoon of table salt has more salt than a teaspoon of sea salt.
Because sea salt undergoes minimal processes, it still contains traces or minerals like sulfur, iron, and magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate and fluoride apart from sodium and chloride. These minerals are very important in maintaining a balance of healthy electrolytes in the body. Table salt, on the other hand, is deprived of other minerals except sodium and chloride. The refining process it undergoes strips it of other important minerals. However, it is a better source of iodine as most table salt is iodine-fortified. Some European countries also fortify table salt with folic acid which is essential for pregnant women.
One major drawback of sea salt is that is obtained directly from sea water without undergoing boiling or any form of water treatment. If the water contains impurities, the sea salt might also contain some of these impurities. But generally, sea salt has no artificial chemical components since it is obtained through a natural process.
In processing table salt, a small amount of additive is normally added, usually silicon dioxide or calcium silicate which helps prevent caking and clumping, promoting a smoother flow of salt.
Table salt and sea salt differ in different aspects as mentioned above. It is up to you now to make a choice on which one you should use for your consumption. But regardless of what you choose, there is one thing you should always remember: too much salt can be bad for your health. Daily intake should not be more than 2,300 milligrams for those who have no health conditions. But those who have kidney problems and high blood pressure, daily consumption should just be 1,500 milligrams or less.