Looking for salt at the grocery store has become much more than just grabbing one off the shelf.  There are so many options, pink Himalayan, sea salt, iodized salt, or other culinary salts.  It can be hard to distinguish what may be the best salt. 

Salt, or sodium is important in the body.  It helps control blood pressure.  It also aids in nerve, muscle, and normal cell function.  Sodium also helps maintain acid balance of the blood.


Iodized Salt or Table Salt

Iodized salt, or what most people know as table salt.  Is a salt that is mined from underground deposits.  Iodized salt is processed, with iodine added into the salt.  Iodine is important in your overall thyroid health.  Too little iodine in the body can lead to hypothyroidism, where too much can cause hyperthyroidism.

Iodine is also important in fetal development.  Iodine aids in brain development.  During pregnancy if there is a slight deficiency of iodine in the mother it can cause poor growth, or cognitive disorders in the child once born. 

Table salt can sometimes be the only source of iodine for some people.  Iodine deficiencies can cause a number of health issues such as goiter.  


Sea Salt

Sea salt is thought to be healthier because it is more natural.  Sea salt is obtained from the salt that is left over from evaporated oceans or salt water lakes.  Sea salt is less processed so it usually contains traces of magnesium, calcium, and potassium.  These traces of these minerals are so small that the health benefits of them aren’t usually beneficial. 

Sea salt can be found in fine grain form, or in larger crystals.  It is favored by chefs for its coarse and crunchy texture.  It is also a favorite of some because of the stronger taste that it provides.


The nutritional value of table salt or sea salt is relatively the same.  The amount of sodium is the same when measured in weight.  Which some like to argue means sea salt has less sodium because the crystals are larger.  Fewer crystals being weighed equals a much larger amount of finely granulated table salt.  

Salt is important for our overall health.  When there is an overconsumption of sodium is when there are negative effects.  Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, or heart attacks. 

The daily recommended amount of sodium is about 1500 mg per day.  On average in the United States the daily intake is about 3440 mg per day.  This is much too high and can cause severe medical risks.  Usually this huge amount of sodium intake is not even from adding salt at the table or while cooking. 

Large amounts of sodium are found in processed and prepackaged foods.  Poultry, cheese, and breads sometimes have lots of added sodium in them as well.  Decreasing your daily intake of sodium can help lower your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. 



What salt you use may come down to preference.  Some people like the large crystals of sea salt, and the more powerful flavor.  Others like the coarse ground iodized salt.  The benefit of iodized salt is it can be sometimes the only intake of iodine a person gets.  Iodine is important for thyroid health and your body does not produce it on its own.  Any salt can be enjoyed in moderation.  




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