A quick glance at the ingredients label on most salts might surprise you! Many salts contain anti-caking agents and even dextrose (sugar). Others have been heat processed and stripped of their natural trace minerals.
Did you know that most salt could technically be considered sea salt? Some salt is harvested from current oceans, some from dead seas, and some is mined from ancient sea beds, but the sea is (or was) ultimately the source of all salt.
Today, there are many different brands of salt and sea salt-most of which have been demineralized and chemically processed. When looking for a quality sea salt, check the label and get one that contains natural trace minerals, and has no additives
Salt mines from Ancient Seas: It is mined from an ancient dead sea and is not from a sea subjected to environmental toxins.
Evaporation Ponds from Current Oceans: Regular sea salt is spoiled from the start because much of it is harvested from current oceans exposed to environmental pollution and because it is evaporated in a potentially polluted environment.
Pollutants in the Sea
Many people have concerns about sea salt that comes from our current oceans due to the acid rain, mercury, lead, toxic waste, sewage, garbage, radiation, and oil spills.
Is Salt Really Bad for Me?
Salt is-and always has been-essential for optimal health. The human body is made up of 72% salt water and 28% mineral. We need salt and mineral to survive. It’s no wonder why, when admitted to the hospital, you are usually hooked up to an IV, which feeds saline solution (salt water) quickly into your body. So, the question is not, “Should I be eating salt?” but rather, “What kind of salt should I be eating?” Because of the additives and lack of trace minerals, most salts are not good for you.
A 2006 study published in The American Journal of Medicine, tells us that “sodium intake of less than 2300 mg (the daily recommended allowance) was associated with a 37% increase in cardiovascular disease mortality and a 28% increase of All-cause mortality.”
In other words, people who consume too little salt are likely to die than other people.
Most sea salts are refined and have additives. By simply taking a minute to read your salt label, you can quickly determine whether or not your salt has been processed and refined. The list of different additives can be confusing. Stay away from refined salt. If your salt lists one of the following common ingredients it has been refined or processed.
|Sodium Bicarnonate||Magnesium Oxide|
|Sodium Iodide||Calcium Silicate|
|Sodium Dioxide||Potassium Iodide|
|Yellow Prussiate of Soda (YPS)||Tricalcium Phosphate|
|Sodium Ferro Cyanide (E535)||Dextrose (sugar)|
|Sodium Silicoaluminate||Potassium Chloride|
|Magnesium Carbonate||Potassium Bitartrate|
|Potassium Glutamate||Adipic Acid|
|Fumaric Acid||Polyethylene Glycol 400|
Dextrose in Salt?
Many refined salts contain the additive, dextrose-a form of sugar, that is usually added to salt when potassium iodide is being used. Dextrose acts as a stabilizer for the iodide and color.
Sea salts with potassium iodide and dextrose are not natural. Check the label to make sure your salt does not contain chemical additives.
Not too long ago, the words “sea salt” carried a healthy connotation. Unfortunately, nowadays, most sea salt is nothing more than white, refined table salt. All salt originated from the sea and many companies are capitalizing on the buzz words: sea salt. Be sure to check your ingredients label. Even many of the popular sea salts in major health food stores have been refined, which means you’re missing all the good trace minerals and you’re eating additives that aren’t especially good for your body. Make sure the salt company you’re using keeps it real.
Just like minimally-processed flour is healthier than enriched, bleached, white flour. Sea salt is healthier than white salts because of the things that aren’t taken out. Sea salt is approximately 98% sodium chloride and 2% trace minerals, and it’s these 60+ trace minerals that make sea salt real. Some of these minerals don’t dissolve in water, but they are bio-available (your body can absorb and use them as nature designed) and are good for your health.
What About the Silica?
If you’re asking, you probably remember learning that silica most often appears in nature as sand. Like iron and magnesium, silica is one of those things our bodies use to stay healthy even though it seems a little strange to think of eating it.
The health and science community recognized silicia as an essential trace element im the early 1970’s, and studies since then have indicated it can perform two important tasks in our bodies: it can help calcium do its job and prevent osteoporosis, and it can prevent aluminum from contributing to Alzheimers.
Does not contain Silica
The FDA requires all salt companies that do not add potassium iodide to their product to list the foregoing statement. This Salt does contain naturally-occuring iodine, but not enough to satisfy the recommended daily allowance of 150 micrograms. So, instead of using chemically-processed, unhealthy salt in order to get iodine, add either some yogurt, eggs, strawberries, or mozzarella cheese.
Many salt and sea salt manufacturers have added chemicals to their salts for various reasons, including to control stability, color, taste, and anti-caking. Some of these additives, although they may be in small quantities, may have side effects over a long period of time. If you would like to know the potential side effects of these additives, look up the MSDS sheet. What you find might be surprising.
Celtic vs. Himalayan
Celtic or Gray Sea Salt
Celtic/Gray Salts are a good salt harvested from the current ocean. They do a nice job with their salt, harvesting it by hand and leaving it unprocessed so it contains those important trace minerals. The current ocean is exposed to many environmental challeges (mercury, lead, plastic & petroleum toxins, chemicals, etc.) that ancient seas never experienced.
Himalayan or Pink Salt
Himalayan brands are harvested from an ancient salt deposit that would have been created long before there were any modern toxins. Geologically, the Himalayan deposit has the full spectrum of minerals and is considered crystal salt. Himalayan has has earthy flavor.
Himalayan deposits are in and around Khewra, Pakistan. There are 17 different mines supplying the Himalayan brands, and some have more standards than others. Real Salt comes from Redmond, Utah, USA.
Understanding the Labels
Even leading brands of sea salt have been processed and refined. Compare the ingredients panel of a well-known commercial salt brand with a leading salt brand sold in health food stores. They are very much the same. But, the commercial brand sells for about $0.99 while the sea salt sells for $1.99. There is little difference in the products and neither one compares to an unrefined natural sea salt.