When leading a healthy lifestyle, reducing salt intake is often one of the first dietary changes many people make. Many health proponents recommend switching table salt out for Himalayan salt or sea salt for better health. We set out to learn about Himalayan salt vs sea salt to see which, if either, is better for dieting. In this article, we delve into what salt means in the flavor spectrum and review the different types of salt. We conclude with the answer to the question: what's the difference between Himalayan salt vs sea salt?

What Is Salt?

mixed Himalayan Salt  Sea Salt

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Asking what salt is may seem like a silly question. Most people know what salt is and eat it regularly, but do you know what salt is specifically? Salt is a mineral substance that contains sodium ions and one of the five primary flavor categories in the taste palate. The taste palate is a collection of flavors or sensations experienced in foods. Below we summarize the five primary flavor categories.

Salt

Sweet

Bitter

Sour

Unami

What Does Salt Do?

Salt, or sodium found in salt, is a vital mineral necessary to maintain a healthy body. If one were to omit sodium from their diet completely, it would throw the body's fluid balance off while negatively impacting nerve and muscle function.


Having too much sodium in the diet is equally harmful. Consuming too much sodium increases blood pressure, makes the body retain fluid and makes the heart work overtime. There isn't an area of the body that prolonged intake of too much sodium wouldn't impact in the long run. Stroke, osteoporosis, heart disease, kidney disease, and some cancers are associated with consistently overeating salt.


What Are the Types of Salt?

When people think salt, the mind conjures an image of table salt or the white granules found in a shaker next to black pepper on nearly every dining table in the West. Table salt is but one of many types of salt found in the world. Below we've highlighted ten different types of salt.

Table Salt

Kosher Salt

Sea Salt

Black Lava Salt

Alaea Salt

Celtic Sea Salt

Fleur de Sel

Himalayan Salt

Himalayan Black Salt

Himalayan Salt vs Sea Salt

With health gurus far and wide advising us to nix table salt for another salt variety, we're curious. We want to understand the Himalayan salt vs sea salt debate. Which is better? Below we break down the differences between Himalayan salt vs sea salt.

Origin

Himalayan Salt

Himalayan salt originates in the mountains where a sea once was, but from mountains now nonetheless.


Sea Salt

Sea salt comes from saltwater found in the sea, salt lake, or ocean.

Mining

Himalayan Salt

Himalayan salt is taken from the Earth using traditional hand mining methods.


Sea Salt

Sea salt mining waits for the sun and the wind to evaporate pools of shallow saltwater until the salt is thick enough to extract. Once the salt accumulates, the salt is mined either by hand or by machine.

Color

Himalayan Salt

Himalayan salt comes in shades of pink and purple, white, and red.


Sea Salt

Sea salt comes in a wide variety of colors, including white, gray, black, and red.

Traits

Himalayan Salt

Himalayan salt has a rough-textured and dry granule that melts quickly when cooking, eating, or dissolving in water.


Sea Salt

Sea salt is coarse and ground to various sizes. The granules are moist and do not dissolve when mixed easily.

Nutrition

Himalayan Salt

When broken down, Himalayan salt contains roughly 96 percent sodium chloride, making it only marginally better than table salt's 98 to 99 percent sodium chloride count. The other four percent holds the trace minerals mentioned above. Unlike table salt, Himalayan salt usually isn't refined or mixed with anti-caking agents or iodine.


Sea Salt

Because there are so many types of sea salt, it's tough to find precise calculations for nutrition. Most sources agree that sea salt contains between 90 to 99 percent sodium chloride content. Like Himalayan salt, sea salt rarely contains iodine or anti-caking agents.

Precautions

Himalayan Salt

There is a finite amount of Himalayan salt which lends itself to a lot of speculation over the authenticity of many Himalayan salt brands.


Sea Salt

The rule goes, the darker the sea salt, the more impurities it contains. Unfortunately, the water bodies of Earth aren't the cleanest places these days. Because of marine pollution, sea salts can contain dangerous heavy metals like lead, and microplastics.

Conclusion

What we've learned in exploring Himalayan salt vs sea salt is that there is more than meets the eye (and tongue) with these salt varieties. We know that eating salt is a crucial part of keeping the body healthy, but understand that too much sodium destroys the body.


With Himalayan salt vs sea salt, there isn't that much of a difference in nutrition. The most significant differences come from where and how these salts are mined. Pure versions of both salts provide trace amounts of vital minerals that table salt does not. At the end of the day, when used in moderation, both Himalayan salt and sea salt are an excellent option to flavor food. Go with the taste, texture, and appearance that appeals to you most.

Featured Photo by Jason Tuinstra on Unsplash