Know Your Salts: Different Types of Salt and Their Benefits

Salt is good. Conventional wisdom has said otherwise for years but, there have been no scientific studies conducted that back the many claims that salt is bad for your health. My preference has always been Kosher salt and I use as much of the stuff as I like – with no guilt – because, salt is good. Take a moment to learn about the many types of salt that are available and then try them, experiment and enjoy your food with salt! DQN

Salt is arguably the most important ingredient in cooking.

Without it, most meals would taste bland and unexciting.

However… not all salt is created equal and there are many “types” to choose from.

We have Himalayan Pink Salt, Kosher Salt, Sea Salt, Celtic Salt (to name a few)… and then we have plain old refined table salt.

Not only do they differ in taste and texture, but there are also some differences in mineral and sodium content.

This article explores the most popular salt types… then at the end, gives you a direct comparison of their nutritional properties to help you make the right choices.

But first, let’s take a look at what salt is and why it’s such a controversial ingredient among health experts.

What is Salt and How Does it Affect Health?

Salt is a crystalline mineral made of two elements, sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl).

Sodium and chlorine are absolutely essential for life in animals, including humans.

They serve important functions like helping the brain and nerves send electrical impulses.

Most of the world’s salt is harvested from salt mines, or by evaporating sea water or other mineral-rich waters.

Salt is used for various purposes, the most common of which is adding flavor to foods. Salt is also used as a food preservative, because bacteria have trouble growing in a salt-rich environment.

The reason salt is often perceived as unhealthy (in large amounts), is that it can bind water in the bloodstream and raise blood pressure.

But even though studies have suggested that lowering salt intake can reduce blood pressure by 1-5.4 mm/Hg, there is no evidence that lowering salt prevents heart attacks, stroke or death (1, 2).

The great majority of sodium in the Western diet comes from processed foods. If you eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods then you don’t need to worry about adding some salt to your meals.

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