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Mar 10, 2014 11:33 AM

Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt better for you than kosher or regular sea salt?

There's a free kindle book today called Simply Raw in which the author claims the above. Well, she didn't say specifically kosher or sea salt, just "white salt." She says the white stuff is over-processed and the minerals stripped. I don't find that hard to believe about what is commonly known as "table salt" but surely this is not the case with kosher or sea salt. She goes on to say that the two salts she recommends contain 89 or so minerals and is actually good for you and won't cause health problems. I thought as far as health issues are concerned, salt is salt is salt. Any nutritionists on board who can shed light on this?

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  1. I can't imagine using enough of any of them to cause benefits or problems.

    1. Not a nutritionist, but table salt and kosher salt is mainly sodium chloride while sea salts and the other "unprocessed" salts contain other minerals... so I can see that part being true.

      The question I have is whether those other minerals are of sufficient quantity to actually provide a benefit. There's no food labeling requirement to quantify the amount in these other minerals in "unprocessed" salts.

      I see part of her argument as true while the other part is a leap of faith.

      1. The way I see it, there are benefits of using either mineral rich salts such as Celtic grey salt or processed salt like Mortons, but Kosher salt and 'Sea salt' do not share these benefits.

        As mentioned, you get lots of nutrients with artisan salts, but the amounts of minerals and types of minerals are going to vary with region and type of salt. Table salt is iodized, this is because many people do not get enough iodine through diet, so table salt can be quite beneficial.

        Kosher salt and industrial 'Sea Salt' are both very pure and are almost exclusively sodium chloride, yet they are rarely iodized. This means you are not going to get any of the nutrients or minerals that are in table or artisan salt.

        If you can get enough iodine through diet and use a grey salt that is rich in a wide array of minerals, that is probably your best bet if you are really concerned about nutrition.

        9 Replies
        1. re: bakon

          How much would you have to eat to get any benefit?

          1. re: c oliver

            Other people's comments got me interested in finding out, so I did some back of the napkin calculations.

            I got some estimates that salt weighs about 5g/tsp. I also found a popular brand of Grey Celtic salt and looked at the mineral content, found here:

            Assuming you eat about .25 tsp/serving, I calculated how much you are getting of some of the more prevalent minerals and I was surprised.

            According to my estimates, you are getting about 1.25 mg iron, about 6% daily value, 12.5 mg magnesium 3% DV, and .125mg manganese 2.5% DV. All of these are for .25 tsp servings and there are many minerals that I did not bother calculating daily values for as well.

            From these numbers, it looks like you can get significant benefits from using mineral rich salts.

            1. re: bakon

              Serious question. How much does that .25 tsp cost?

              Never mind....I see it cost $5 a pound.

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                Here's a pound for $4.50.


                So not very much is as accurate an answer as I can give :)

                1. re: c oliver

                  Thanks! I was just wondering how much all those delicious minerals cost. I'm not in the market for it since I can get all of the Gulf Blue Moon Sea salt I need for nothing.

              2. re: bakon

                Wow. That is really interesting bakon, thanks for doing that!
                Those are very significant amounts. There are mineral supplements that don't offer much more than that.

                I understand also that some of the minerals found in various salts are difficult to get elsewhere. I use a variety of mineral salts (all colors) and love them.

                1. re: sedimental

                  I also say "wow" but in a different way. I consider those amounts to be negligible. One would have to be getting an incredible amount from other sources. And I doubt that 6% (the largest one) is a make it or break it %. I'm willing to be wrong about this. Just saying.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    I don't think anyone would think you can just eat salt and get all your daily requirements. But comparative to other foods, that is impressive. Especially, when this is simply a daily seasoning.

                    There is more iron in that small amount of mineral salt, than in 3 oz of most things like chicken, turkey, crab, pork, etc. to that, I say.... wow.

                    It certainly can be a make it or break it thing for some folks, especially those that can't take iron supplements (like me). I have to do what I can, including cooking in cast iron. It all adds up.

                    It is a very tasty and easy way to supplement minerals, in a significant way. That is great, IMO.

            2. All salt is chemically identical, except for impurities (some of which may be useful minerals), and additives (usually iodine and an anti-caking agent). Kosher salt is the purest, usually containing an anti-caking agent in an amount too low to be significant for taste or nutrition, and no iodine (which most people receive from other sources).

              The minerals in sea salt are not present in controlled quantities, and the amount of salt one uses is determined by the taste of the salt, not by the additional minerals, so it seems to me to be an ineffective way of getting a mineral supplement if one is needed.

              What I do is use kosher salt, and if I need a mineral supplement I will take one in a controlled dosage.

              1. "Himalayan" salt is halite (not nearly as romantic-sounding) and because it's mined from a number of sources there's no actual consistency to mineral content. The lists that show "80+" minerals are fairly nonsensical because the majority (including the listed Uranium) are <0.1ppm:


                There's no question that you get additional mineral content; whether that makes it "better for you" is debatable.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ferret

                  "Halite" is just a salt of a halogen metal, usually referring to chlorine. "Halite" is sodium chloride, i. e. common salt. All forms of common salt are halite.