Sea Salt vs Table Salt: Which One Is Better for You?

Let's talk about sea salt vs table salt. You may have heard the minerals in sea salt make it healthy. But is that true?

You’ve probably given some thought to the type of salt you use at home—particularly, whether you choose sea salt or good old-fashioned table salt. Less processed than traditional table salt, both sea salt and Himalayan salt retain more of their original mineral content, such as magnesium and potassium. But do the trace minerals and elements mean sea salt is healthy?

It turns out—maybe not.

Sea Salt vs. Table Salt

Lots of people think sea salt is better because of its minerals—but sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value, according to the Mayo Clinic. Both sea salt and table salt also have a similar amount of sodium by weight.

According to a study published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal, sea salt has more than trace minerals, too. In many cases, there’s also plastic leeched onto sea salt. Yes, plastic! The problem is, thanks to the plastic bags and other debris in waterways, most sea salt brands contain plastic microparticles.

What About the Iodine in Table Salt?

Produced in salt mines, traditional table salt is more processed than sea salt. This means it’s mostly devoid of natural minerals, which might be where a lot of table salt’s bad press comes from. It’s worth noting, however, that since the 1920s, producers have added iodine to processed salt. It’s an important mineral for keeping your thyroid happy.

Here’s the Bottom Line

When it comes to salt intake, your best bet is moderation. No one type of salt is better for you, so you can’t go wrong by lowering your intake. For inspiration, check out our roundup of low-sodium recipes that are kind to your heart. You can also find easy ways to reduce sodium in your diet here.

Low-Sodium Recipes That Are Tasty—and Good for Your Heart
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Shanna Mallon
Shanna has been writing about food since 2008. She sold the first food blog she founded, and then started her current one, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Outside of recipe development and her own blog, Shanna has also written about health and wellness and general curiosity pieces for Taste of Home. Other brands she’s written for include Just a Pinch, Vitamix, Larabar, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kroger and Aldi. Shanna co-wrote a cookbook with her husband called "The Einkorn Cookbook," published in 2014. When she’s not writing, you can find Shanna making sourdough bread and exploring Nashville.