I live in a region where sea salt is the go-to salt in so many different forms, it can take ages to choose one from the shelf. The salt choices are all so neatly packaged and range in granular size and shades of color from white to rose. That level of pretty packaging is also reflected in the (sometimes hefty) price.
We have a belief that exotic salts like sea salts, Bolivian rose and Himalayan pink are better for us than traditional table salt because they contain less sodium, but the truth is, that’s not necessarily so. Himalayan salt, for example, is very comparable to regular table salt in that it contains 98 percent sodium chloride.
So, which salt is best for you?
Traditional table salt, which comes from underground salt deposits, contains an average of 40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride, the same as sea salt. The difference in the salts is not necessarily the health benefits so much as the processing and difference in taste.
Each type of salt has varying mineral components that gives it a distinctive color and flavor. Himalayan salt is pink due to the natural minerals found in its region. Bolovian salt also has its own unique flavor and rose color due to regional minerals, while sea salts are from a seawater evaporation process that, when done, also has its own flavor, but still contains a comparable level of sodium to other salts.
That said, sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value. Due to the lack of processing, the sea salt granules are left large, unlike table salt that is processed to produce a much finer product for your salt shaker (as opposed to your salt grinder).
What are the benefits of sea salt? Which salt is best for you? According to the American Heart Association, most sea salts don’t offer any real health advantages.
The biggest difference between the salts truly is processing. Table salt is the most processed. It contains additives to prevent clumping and loses most of its minerals. Sea salt, on the other hand, is the least processed and contains most of its trace minerals and elements, but when it comes down to sodium count, they’re all comparability the same.