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Table Salt Or Sea Salt? What Is The Difference And Which Is Healthier?

It can be a tad bit confusing to know the difference between table salt and sea salt. The two are primarily different in their taste, texture and processing. Sea salt is prepared by evaporating ocean water or water from saltwater lakes with a little processing. The evaporation process leaves some trace minerals and elements. These minerals add flavor and color to sea salt. Sea salt can have different coarseness levels as well. Table salt, on the other hand, is a more refined and processed version of sea salt which is typically mined from underground salt deposits. It is processed more intensely in order to eliminate some minerals and is often fortified with iodine. Iodine is an essential nutrient which helps in maintaining a healthy thyroid.
To get further clarity about the difference between sea salt and table salt, we spoke to nutritionist Dr Rupali Datta who said that “sea salt is kind of an unrefined table salt. Sea salt is refined to remove impurities and is then converted into table salt. Table salt is usually fortified with iodine. Both sea salt and table salt contain sodium chloride and both ted to have similar nutritional value.”
On being asked on which one of them was healthier, she said that the health quotient of both salts is the same. “Since they are both sodium salts, they are not to be taken freely. Their consumption should be in accordance with the requirement of the body. We can also say that table salt could be slightly better since it is fortified with iodine. Minerals in the salt remain more or less the same.”
Salt consumption is particularly to be taken care of for people with high blood pressure. Dr Rupali says that both salts are same for hypertension patients as well.
A point of difference between sea salt and table salt could be in flavour. “Unrefined sea salt might be more crystalline. Speaking from a culinary point of view, “sea salt only adds to the texture of the food,” says Dr Rupali.
Thus, the basic nutritional value of both sea salt and table salt is the same, even though sea salt is promoted to be the healthier one. Both salts contain comparable amounts of sodium and should be consumed in limited amounts only. Excess salt consumption is not good for the body. According to the World Health Organization, 5 gms is the daily recommended intake of salt. Read more to know how much salt you should consume in a day.
(Dr Rupali Datta is Consultant Nutritionist at Fortis Escorts)