Sea salt and table salt are the most common types of salt that individuals use. But do you know their differences in terms of their origin, uses, nutritional value, and pricing and is sea salt healthier for you?
Regular table salt is obtained from salt deposits and processed into fine crystals, whereas sea salt is obtained from evaporating seawater. Fortified table salt contains iodine, while sea salt comes enriched with other minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
These are just a few differences between regular table salt and sea salt, but there are more! Here, we explore the major differences between both salts, their health benefits, uses (especially in cooking and the fudge-making process), and how they differ in price range.
At a glance: Sea Salt
Let’s take a close look at what sea salt is and its basic nutritional values.
Sea salt, also known as salt from the sea or ocean salt, is a type of evaporated seawater that has been harvested for consumption. It can be refined into various salts of different tastes and textures.
Most sea salts vary in texture, depending on their minerals’ saturation and crystal size. The larger, less-saturated crystals are generally more crunchy than smaller, more highly saturated crystals.
Sea salt is a very useful ingredient to have in your pantry. Here are a couple of the most common uses:
Cooking – This salt is often used as to create a slightly different taste in cooking, with chefs adding a pinch to enhance the flavor of dishes.
For confectioners, it can be used in making chocolates, sweets and fudge. In our recipes typically we’ll used salted butter as it contains the perfect amount of salt to flavor.
However, in some specific fudge recipes, you can get plain or flavored sea salt. For some inspiration, check out our dark chocolate and sea salt fudge recipe.
Cleaning – Sea salt is also used to help cleanse the skin and can be found in many beauty products, including soaps, face masks, scrubs, and moisturizers.
Sea salt provides several health benefits to the body, including:
Maintaining hydration in the body – Sea salt helps in maintaining hydration in the body. Drinking water is very important for health, but mixing sea salt with it, balances the minerals and makes your body rehydrated and healthy.
Blood pressure regulation – Although sea salt contains less sodium, it helps control blood circulation and regulates fluid balance in the body.
Digestion – Sea salt contains anti-oxidants and nutrients that assist in improving digestion. It is an excellent source of iodine, essential for thyroid function and enhances metabolism.
Heart and muscle strength – Sea salt is a great source of iodine, essential for thyroid function. The iodine present in the salt also enhances metabolism.
It also contains essential minerals that help maintain the proper function of the heart, bones, muscles, etc.
Sea salt prices range from $0.5 to $50, depending on type and quantity.
At a glance: Table salt
Regular table salt is probably the most used salt and is a staple condiment for most kitchens.
The table salt we consume every day is often thought to have originated from rock salt, which makes its appearance in different places worldwide.
Salt is naturally found on earth and has been used since prehistoric times for cooking and preserving meat.
The texture of table salt ranges from fine ground to coarse kosher salt with large granules. Fine textured table salt (finishing salt) is a type of salt with finely ground grains that are easy for your mouth to taste.
Kosher salt has large, irregularly shaped granules that provide a slightly crunchy texture. Coarse kosher salt and table salt are the size of granules, which are larger than table salt, with irregular shapes.
Just like sea salt, table salt can be used for a variety of reasons:
Cooking – In cooking, table salt is used as a finely textured seasoning in batters, soups, savory pies, and custards. Additionally, table salt will help prevent food from sticking to the pan by adding water-soluble iodine to the water in which food is cooked or boiled.
Metabolism – Table salt contains iodine, which is an important mineral in healthy thyroid function. As such, taking iodized salt can help produce thyroid hormones, improving metabolism and is often used as a supplement for those with iodine deficiencies.
Horticulture – The salt content of table salt helps plants absorb nutrients from soil and air into their leaves and roots, improving plant growth overall.
Table salt has many essential nutrient benefits which can help regular high blood pressure and assist with muscle repair. You should always consult with a doctor on dietary guidelines before making any changes to your salt intake.
Controlling Blood Pressure – The sodium in table salt helps to regulate blood flow by increasing the amount of water in the bloodstream. This prevents the blood from becoming too thick and viscous, which can cause hypertension.
Also, the sodium found in table salt can help keep your blood pressure normal and protect against heart disease.
According to the American Health Association, individuals should not take more than 2,300 milligrams a day for those without pre-existing health conditions. They recommend this because the extra sodium in the salt can lead to hypertension for those who are not on enough fluids.
The American Heart Association also advises individuals with pre-existing health conditions to consume a maximum of 1,500 mg.
Promoting Muscle Building – Table salt is an important dietary supplement for preventing muscle cramps, helping to promote muscle-building and repair following exercise, and aiding with wound healing.
Table salt contains minerals such as potassium and chloride that are vital for maintaining bone density and enhancing muscle building.
Table salt prices in the US range from about $0.10 to $15 per pound. The price may increase depending on the type of salt.
Are sea salts all the same?
Sea salts are not all the same, despite their similarity and the fact that some contain the same basic nutritional value.
Which is better sea salt or table salt?
While not always the most cost-effective choice, sea salt is the most natural option.
In addition to being unprocessed and free from additives, it contains healthy trace minerals. However, the American Heart Association contends that it does not offer any superior health benefits.
On the other hand, table salt is highly processed to remove these beneficial minerals and add in some for good measure – iodine, for example.
Although sea salt has more trace minerals compared to iodized salt, both have the same basic nutritional value as they have an almost similar amounts of sodium.
Is cooking salt the same as sea salt?
Cooking salt is not the same as sea salt. Most people use regular table salt for cooking. That’s because cooking salt is a little finer than sea salt and dissolves more easily in liquids.
Which salt should be used for fudge making?
When making fudge, sea salt is the best. Its large sea salt crystals make it great for sprinkling on various baked foods, such as fudge.
Sea salt is an unrefined, natural sea mineral product made from evaporated seawater containing many trace minerals and vitamins.
Table salt is the primary ingredient in most processed foods (all packaged food). It is made from sodium chloride. Sea salt contains less sodium compared to table salt.
Sea salt is also used in cooking because it provides a chewy texture to baked goods.On the other hand, table salt is best used for cooking as it is finer and dissolves faster.
Both salts are essential for their health benefits, including maintaining blood pressure and creating mineral balance in the body. Sea salt contains trace minerals such as calcium, while table salt contains iodine, both of which are important in the body.
However, the American Health Association recommends that people should take salt in moderation to reduce the risks of heart disease and other related issues.
Interested on reading more about other fudge ingredients? Check out these: