Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Table Salt vs. Sea Salt

Salt is awesome.  It's one of the only things you can dig out of the ground that I happily mix with the food I eat.  And it's delicious.  If I was a miner, I'd totally be mining my own salt in my off-hours.

Obviously, not all salt comes from the ground.  There's sea salt, for one.  That's from the ocean.  I find it especially satisfying to sprinkle sea salt over seafood.  I feel incredibly efficient.  Which brings us to a pretty standard topic: sea salt vs. table salt.


I use the name "table salt" to denote salt of a more terrestrial nature.  Table salt is around 99.9% sodium chloride (NaCl), while sea salt contains 98% NaCl.  Table salt is typically processed and contains added iodine (supposedly deficient in many diets), as well as some other stuff to prevent clumping, while sea salt contains various minerals -- like iron, sulfur, and magnesium -- left behind by the evaporated sea water.  Sea salt is more coarse, of course, and compliments any course.

The lack of extra minerals in table salt is its major drawback (except for the iodine), and in its processed state table salt [allegedly] contributes to high blood pressure.  Sea salt, on the other hand, may promote increased kidney and liver function and a healthier immune system.  But be warned: in order to preserve the nutritive properties of sea salt, little is done to temper the impurities found in the seawater.  While sea salt is generally more flavorful than table salt (due to the extra minerals), table salt is saltier (boasting a higher NaCl content).

If you asked me to choose between table salt and sea salt in general, it would be like asking me to choose between my children (I have none, but you get my meaning). 

I read this little bit of advice on mayoclinic.com: "[L]imit total sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day — or 1,500 milligrams if you're age 51 or older, or if you are black, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease."  Not only is this horrible advice (limiting salt intake?!), but it strikes me as somewhat racist.  As if black people weren't limited enough.  I suppose pepper is a more appropriate spice?  Phooey!

(By the way, a place called Mayo Clinic seems to me the last place you'd go for health advice.  Last time I checked, mayonnaise is bad for you.)

13 comments:

  1. Legit never thought someone would make a salt blog, but hey! I'm diggin it! Followed :D

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  2. Somebody had to do it. There's at least... one person who must have lamented, at one time or another, "If only there was a blog about salt..."

    Anyway, you'd never believe how much there is to say about the stuff.

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  3. ahahah hopefully you don't run out of content to write about with salt

    following

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  4. A blog about salt.
    This... this is actually kind of awesome, I'm curious. Following.

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  5. you got some interesting facts there. very original blog topic!

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  6. Mom keeps telling me to limit my salt intake. I eat too much like my Grandmother, everything with too much salt or sugar.

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  7. Didn't really knew that about sea salt - i thought it was just salt. Will follow ;)

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  8. I had no idea salt was so interesting...

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to prove that you're worth your salt.