Sea Salt vs Table Salt

by Dr. Sharleen Hawco ND January 12, 2009

Many ask if there is a difference between sea salt and table salt - and the answer is Yes. The main difference is in their mineral composition. Sea salt, in its pure form, contains 92 trace minerals, versus table salt is refined to the point of containing only two minerals (three if you count the iodine that is put back in) – sodium and chloride.

This is the reason that sea salt, an unrefined salt, has a characteristic color – grey, beige, pink, red, even black – but never stark white. Different mineral make-ups give different color spectrums, but the pristine white of table salt (showing its purity), should set off alarm bells that this is not fit for consumption.

The purity of table salt is exactly its problem. While with unrefined salts you are getting a host of different minerals in a particular ratio, a ratio that closely resembles the mineral makeup of human blood. With table salt you are getting an unbalanced ratio of just sodium and chloride. These two minerals, while in balance are vitally important to bodily functioning, out of balance over extended periods of time can cause many issues including phosphorous deficiency, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart failure, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Ultimately, unrefined sea salt contains vital minerals in a beneficial ratio. Thus, we do not need to lower our salt intake if the right kind of salt is being used. However, do not be fooled by grocery store “sea salt", because while it does come from the sea, this coarser salt has still been refined of all its mineral content as you can tell by its bright white color. Unrefined sea salt can usually only be found in high-end grocery stores, gourmet specialty food emporiums or health food stores.

Dr. Sharleen Hawco ND
Dr. Sharleen Hawco ND


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