Why Salt is Actually Good for You

three wooden spoons with different types of salt

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Salt has earned a bad reputation in some circles, so it may comes as a surprise to hear this ancient seasoning, consumed unrefined and in moderation, is actually vital for good health. There is no credible evidence for recommending low-salt diets to the general population, and in fact, it might even be harmful. Here’s the shakedown on salt…

A Grain of Salt

The differences between refined, processed salt (also known as “table salt”) and unrefined natural salt are as great as the differences between white, granulated sugar and freshly cut and dried sugar cane. These differences affect not only taste and nutrition, but also expose you to toxic additives which have a great impact on the environment and your health.

The typical modern, refined table salt can be compared to refined sugar or refined flour—it used to be a healthful, whole food, but our industrial food system stripped and processed it to death for ease of mass consumption.

Most major salt producing companies mine unpalatable and impure rock salt from the earth, then dry it in huge, fossil-fuel-guzzling kilns with temperatures reaching 1200 degrees F. This changes the salt’s chemical structure into 99.7% pure sodium chloride. This is so the salt company can sell it to chemical companies for the production of plastic and other chemicals.

Then, to also reach the consumer market, they then put in additives like fluoride, synthetic iodine, and anti-caking agents and ship it off to your grocery store shelf. These anti-caking agents include:

  • E535 Sodium ferrocyanide
  • E536 Potassium ferrocyanide
  • E538 Calcium ferrocyanide
  • E554 Sodium aluminosilicate
  • E555 Potassium aluminium silicate
  • E556 Calcium aluminosilicate

The most commonly used anti-caking agent for salt in the U.S. is E554 sodium aluminosilicate. Aluminum derivatives have been implicated in a number of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

All these additives can cause discoloration in refined salt, so bleaching agents are then used to restore the desirable white color.

So to summarize, while sea salt and table salt share the same amount of sodium, refined table salt has been stripped of all its natural trace minerals, which are replaced with synthetic iodine, fluoride, anti-caking additives, and bleaching residues. What was a natural, whole food is processed into a highly industrial, pseudo-food Americans have come to think of as “salt.”

If you value a whole food diet, and avoid processed food and industrial food additives as a general rule, why choose a processed, additive-laden salt?

Salt of the Earth

Unlike refined salt which contains only 2 or 3 elements, natural whole salt contains about 80 mineral elements, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, and more. These trace minerals matter not only to taste, but to health as well, because they are essential for the proper functioning of your digestive, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems.

Most sea salt is naturally harvested from the ocean and sun dried, so it gets its wealth of trace minerals and electrolytes from seawater. Some sea salt is mined from ancient dry sea beds, and still contains the natural trace minerals from prehistoric seawater.

Compared to meat, fruit and vegetables, natural sea salt is not a major source of dietary minerals. However, like any whole food, sea salt has a natural balance of nutrients and a lack of toxic additives, so we are actually nourished by it, and our bodies can benefit from its incorporation into our diet.

According to Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, The Essence of Life,

“These mineral sea salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life originated… Mineral salts are healthy because they give your body the variety of mineral ions needed to balance its functions, remain healthy and heal.”

—Dr. Barbara Handel

The Salt Hypothesis is Bunk

For 4,000 years, we have known that salt intake can temporarily raise blood pressure. We also know that a small minority of the population is sensitive to salt, and restricting dietary salt can help lower chronic high blood pressure a little bit in this group.

And we know that elevated blood pressure, also called “chronic hypertension,” is a well-documented risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. We also know that reducing high blood pressure can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke–depending on how it’s done.

Some have suggested that since salt intake is related to blood pressure, and since cardiovascular risks are also related to blood pressure, that, surely, salt intake levels are related to cardiovascular risk. The idea is known as the “salt hypothesis.”

The problem with this hypothesis is that it has never been proven. In fact, it has been disproven again and again.

According to Dr. James DiNicolantonio in The Salt Fix, there is no credible evidence that a salt-restricted diet resolves hypertension in the vast majority of people, nor does it prevent heart disease or stroke. In fact, salt restriction seems to predispose us to such conditions as insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, abnormal workloads on the heart, and kidney disease.

For example, an eight-year study of a New York City hypertensive population found those on low-salt diets had more than four times as many heart attacks as those on normal-sodium diets—the exact opposite of what the “salt hypothesis” would have predicted.

And a 2011 meta-analysis of over 6,250 patients found there was no link between salt intake, high blood pressure and risk of heart disease.

In fact over 17 different studies worldwide have found NO direct relation between moderate salt intake and the incidence of stroke or heart attack.

Most people are not very sensitive to salt and, unless you are one of the few who are salt-sensitive, or you eat a lot of processed foods that contain too much added sodium, you probably don’t need to worry about your salt intake.

So, since there is no proven benefit from sodium restriction for a majority of the population, why ask 250 million Americans to do something that isn’t easy, and may not help most of them? 

Watch the Hidden Salt

The consumption of salt around the world for the last 200 years has remained in the range of 1.5 to three teaspoons, which appears to hold the lowest risk for disease. This amount of salt in the diet seems to be universally preferred for taste as well.

In contrast, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that Americans get no more than about one teaspoon of table salt (1500–2300mg of sodium) per day—though many healthy experts around the world feel the AHA standard is both too low and too hard to maintain.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers found that a moderate sodium intake of between 3000mg and 7000mg (1.5 to 3 teaspoons of salt) to be associated with the lowest risk of cardiovascular events, whereas consuming less than 3000mg sodium (1.5 teaspoons of salt) per day—like the AHA recommends—was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death and hospitalization for congestive heart failure.

The study also found that high intake of more than 7000mg sodium (or three teaspoons of salt) per day, was associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular events.

Although the AHA’s extremely low sodium recommendation is not supported by a wide body of evidence, the organization does have reason to be concerned for Americans’ heart health, because refined, processed salt is added to almost every preserved, packaged and processed product that we eat. Unless you diligently read every package label, it’s very easy to get way too much sodium. This is important since over 60% of the average Western diet today is typically made up of processed, packaged foods.

To avoid too much refined salt—and the additives in it—avoid prepared, processed foods as much as possible, and be careful to check the labels of the foods you do buy. Even if you don’t care to follow the AHA’s low-salt guidelines, it’s important not to totally overdo the salt too often. Moderation is key in all things.

A Salt Worth its Salt

Natural whole salt has been used as a primary medicine for thousands of years. With just adequate natural salt and pure water alone, conditions like muscle cramps, hyponatremia, water retention and edema can disappear.

But did you know that…

  • Sea salt has been shown to be very helpful in treating adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome where blood pressure issues are common. A big pinch of sea salt into every glass of water you drink can makes a huge difference for adrenal fatigue!
  • An 8-ounce glass of water with a half teaspoon of natural sea salt and a half teaspoon of sugar or honey can prevent or stop children’s febrile convulsions by restoring electrolyte homeostasis in the body.
  • Breathing salty air can greatly relieve bronchitis, asthma, and COPD. There is even a class of asthma inhalers that deliver aerosolized salt water in lieu of pharmaceutical drugs! In Wieliczka, Poland, there is a world-famous wellness clinic built into a salt mine there that specializes in treating lung disorders. Patients there are treated in part by spending their days breathing the saline air in the center’s salt caves.
  • Salt stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and digestive enzymes in the mouth and intestines, which are necessary for the body to utilize nutrients from the foods we eat. Salt also greatly reduces the taste of bitter compounds in food, so a little salt can make the difference between willingly eating vegetables because they are tasty, and avoiding or suffering through them. (Parents take note!)
  • Natural salts are vital for maintaining muscle tone and strength throughout the body. For example, ongoing low-salt diets can affect bladder control in those who have urinary incontinence, and can slow down peristalsis (muscular contractions) in your intestines, leading to sluggish digestion. Adequate salt is also vital to performance and recovery if you do any sort of regular exercise.
  • Salt is essential for nerve conduction and preserving melatonin and serotonin levels in the brain, so it can help with high stress, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. A pinch of salt in a glass of water before bed can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Finally, a number of medical studies have begun to prove what people have known anecdotally for millennia: Soaking in natural salt baths rich in sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium may be beneficial in the treatment of various disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis. In fact, the National Eczema Foundation recommends adding 1 cup of sea salt to bathwater to help relieve irritation from eczema.

Just like you might choose to nutritionally upgrade from white flour to whole grain or coconut flour, or from white sugar to raw honey, it makes good sense to upgrade from refined salt to natural salts which contain magnesium and other essential minerals in a form our bodies can readily use. Not only do natural salts contribute to a healthy diet in a way refined salts cannot, they also just taste better.

Avoid Microplastics in Your Salt

Unrefined, natural salts are not white and dry; they are typically colored by the trace minerals in them, and often feel damp. Some natural salts are pink, grey, yellowish or even black to reflect the diverse mineral sources they come from. Each type of natural salt has its own unique flavor to experiment with.

But just as you don’t want to eat anti-caking agents, bleaching residues and fluoride in your salt, you don’t want to consume microplastics either.

Unfortunately, we’ve polluted our land and oceans with so much plastic, it is hard to find salt—refined or natural—that doesn’t have microscopic bits of plastic in it. In fact, multiple studies show there are microplastics in 90 percent of all the table salt brands sampled worldwide, Microplastic levels were highest in sea salt, followed by lake salt and then rock salt.

Redmond real salt salt shaker

It’s so bad, researchers estimate that the average adult consumes approximately 2,000 microplastics per year—just through salt!

As a result of consumer concern about this problem, a lot of salt companies are testing their salts for microplastics, and are making efforts to filter their salt and assure customers of the quality of their products. Look for brands that mention their microplastic filtering and testing efforts on their labels or websites, and choose safer salt products accordingly.

My favorite low-plastic and additive-free natural salt is Redmond Real Salt, which is from an ancient seabed in Utah that has tested very low in microplastics. Spice Lab Himalayan Salt, Colima Salt and Jacobsen Salt have also been tested to have very low or zero microplastics.

Beneath the Salt

By following a healthy, whole foods diet and eliminating processed foods, you will drastically reduce excess sodium in your diet. Therefore you can confidently follow your own natural taste for salt when preparing your food. In other words, there are few good reasons to deprive yourself of salt—especially if you use a natural, additive-free salt that contains the minerals we need for good health!

Like many dietary recommendations that were changed once we had better data, our beliefs surrounding salt need to be re-examined. So, pass the shaker, and enjoy it without worry!

Updated September 22, 2021

60 thoughts on “Why Salt is Actually Good for You”

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  1. No criticism here, thanks for enlightening me and carry on. In the words of the Iron City House Rockers “Don’t let them push you around!”

  2. As I read this article I accept it as opinion rather than fact. Many of the claims in this article are contrary to my own life experiences . I would caution readers to get their information from reputable sources such as doctors, colleges, research institutions and the like. Credible sources for sure. Keep in mind that one of the goals of this article is to expose you and I to advertising. It is my opinion that this article does more harm than good. I am a 64 year old, with a mother and a wife in the medical profession. I am however, not an expert on salt.

    1. I always encourage my readers to use primary sources for their information; I am just a reporter, which is why I have quoted several doctors and linked to studies and books throughout the article. I merely quote the opinions of experts who, in this case, have evidence and professional opinions that go contrary to conventional wisdom and mainstream processed food propaganda, which is one of the purposes of this site.

      Advertising is how websites like this one (and also the Washington Post, NY Times, Huffington Post, etc.) are able to provide the news that they do. I wish that weren’t the case, but high-traffic websites and newsjournals are expensive to run, and very few people can make a living working for free. The purpose of the article is NOT to expose you to advertising. The purpose of the advertising is to make it possible to expose you to this article. Have a good day, sir.

    2. Erik Trelstad

      Not one spot in your comment did you add any sort of value or critical thought that looked to improve our societies’ understanding of the different types of salt and their effects on the human body. The logic you used to make your case was entirely faulty and only suggested that you had trouble reading the article itself; discounting it as opinion purely on the basis that it challenges conventional wisdom you hold near and dear to your heart. If you are going to speak in an intelligible manner with the aims of helping others, rather than merely talking to validate your own beliefs, please put forth the same amount of consideration and thought for the issue as the author has done. Please do not take this as a personal attack but instead a gentle and caring reminder to think before you speak while also being mindful of your intentions regarding communication with others. This sort of attitude will only help us figure out what is causing the spectrum of health problems that so many individuals are experiencing today in the western world.

      1. Thank you kindly good sir, for expressing the same thoughts that I myself have. Unfortunately far too many people are doing ‘research’ that subjectively isolates the views that sufficiently express their own opinions and not fact. It is becoming quite exhausting to wade through such articles, hoping that I will find some semblance of unbiased, objective information, sadly, it is the case that nearly every article I have found on alternative foods, medicine and the like, have done just that, subjected their readers to false information, or worse yet, unhealthy information… Glad there are other willing to call out this sort of behavior.

  3. One other thing – although sea salt is mostly about 85% sodium chloride, Himalayan rock salt is 97.3% sodium chloride. That’s even purer NaCl that refined table salt! You really need to check the details before you publish. It’s too easy to just go with what you want to believe.

  4. What a big pile of unsubstantiated BS. Sea salt made from seawater almost without any purification contains all the pollutants from air and water like microplastic pollution, heavy metals etc. Salt from mines was laid down there from ancient lakes and seas when they evaporated at time where there were no humans and our pollutants so it’s much cleaner actually. Eat what you want but do your research and don’t just parrot what you hear from marketing campaigns.

    1. Wow! You have missed the point of the article, almost entirely. Most mined salt available at the average grocery store is refined, and trace minerals are stripped away, and replaced with additives such as aluminum and anti-caking agents. This is the salt that is harmful.

      If you are worried about ocean pollution, (though reputable sea salt brands are moderately purified and tested thoroughly), you can get whole, natural salt from ancient sea beds too, such as Redmond Real Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt. Salt from ancient sea beds IS SEA SALT!!

      The whole premise of this article is that you want to consume whole mineral salt, not salt that has been processed to death and filled with crap.

  5. Himalayan Salt

    Oh snap, thank you very much for posting this! It is gonna aid me when I buy Himalayan Salt online! Fab!

  6. While I’ll agree that the energy used to make table salt is not earth-friendly, and the impurities in sea salt can be good for you (and tasty!), this article does some serious scare mongering with:
    “After this extremely energy-intensive drying process, toxic additives like fluoride, anti-caking agents, excessive amounts of potassium iodide and other poisons are mixed into the salt”

    Really? Poisons? These compounds are not toxic in the amounts present, considering it is SALT and you shouldn’t be adding much of it to your food anyway. NaCl, H2O, formaldehyde, potassium… all in foods we eat, and can be TOXIC if overdosed, but not toxic when we consume them at the right levels.

    http://www.senseaboutscience.org/data/images/SAS_-_Dose_Makes_The_Poison_FINAL_1.png

    1. Thank you for your comment. Since this site is about eating foods and beverages in their whole, unprocessed or traditionally-prepared states, it makes no sense to advocate ADDED fluoride, anti-caking agents and potassium iodide at any dose, all of which come from industrial sources, not natural ones. For example, we already get too much industrially-produced fluoride in everything bottled we drink, we certainly don’t need any more.

      1. Excellent article, thank you. Too bad you have so many replies from the ignorant masses who would rather believe mainstream info and keep poisoning their bodies. You deal with them pretty well though, and give some good answers.

  7. Catherine Haensen

    There is nothing I use in my kitchen but Celtic, Himalayan and Real salt, for several years now.
    It does make a huge difference for your health, and it does taste better!
    Very good article … keep up the good work!

    Catherine Haensen
    WeightLossInfopedia.com

  8. Great info! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you again tomorrow!
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/05/the-homeacre-hop-21.html

    1. Watch this video about Salt and how 2 put it in to you body, amen 2 the right Salt
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqsMaDJRWqc

  9. April @ The 21st Century Housewife

    I found this post so interesting. I am definitely going to replace table salts with healthier salts. Funnily enough, my son was urging me to buy pink Himalayan sea salt the other day. I bought some for his kitchen, but next time I’ll get some for mine too 🙂

    1. Kosher salt is less processed than table salt, and typically has fewer additives. It’s kind of a middle ground between unrefined natural salts and ultra-refined table salt.

  10. I have always craved salt and use it liberally on my food. My husband & I use sea salt now. If the modern medical theories regarding salt were true I should be a walking health disaster, but am still pretty healthy even though I am nearing my 6th decade of life. It does seem moderation is the key in all things, and if you prefer salty foods, sea salt should be the salt of choice!

  11. I love sea salt– it has a much different (better) flavor than table salt. It actually adds to the food rather than just adding a saltiness.

    Thanks for sharing on our Healthy Tuesdays Blog Hop.
    Kerry from Country Living On A Hill

  12. Nancy@livininthegreen

    Thanks for the article and also for mentioning iodine. This is my only problem with a full sea salt diet, lack of information about iodine and even if it’s small amounts; people are still getting at least some. Thanks for mentioning this as well! 🙂

  13. Hey,
    After showing this article to my daughter in college, she decided to switch to sea salt as well. However when she went to the store she came home with Hain iodized sea salt. It looks just like regular salt and has calcium silicate and sodium bicarbinate as well as Iodine. It simply says it is made from the waters of the pacific. It is snow white. Am I right to be suspicious? Is this masquerading as a healthy salt?

    1. You raise a great question! Most table salt is made from land salts excavated from the ground, which, because of poor taste and quality, usually need to be refined. They then add iodine, anti-caking agents, and other additives to make a fully processed, white, uniform, industrial product.

      In contrast, most sea salt is harvested from evaporated ocean water that comes from protected natural pools. Because it comes from the sea and not the soil, sea salt tends to be of purer quality and have better flavor naturally, and typically doesn’t need heavy refining to be palatable. Unlike sea salt, most land salt has to be industrially refined to be palatable, which is why sea salt has become popular as a whole food alternative.

      But whether the salt was excavated from the ground or evaporated from the sea, there two things can happen to any salt after it is harvested: It can be minimally processed, packaged and shipped as a whole food (like Celtic Sea Salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, etc.) OR it can be highly processed using industrial refining kilns and chemical additives. (like Hain’s iodized sea salt or Morton’s table salt).

      The real problem with salt is in the processing, not in whether the salt came from land or sea. (For example, though land-based salts that are edible without refining are rare, Himalayan Pink Salt and Real Salt are two examples of land-based, whole food salts that are pure and tasty enough on their own to need little processing.) Whether from the land or the sea, you want a minimally processed, whole food salt that contains trace minerals, not a refined industrial product like Hain’s.

      1. Hey Dawn,
        Thanks, that’s what I was afraid of. Still searching for a local store that carries the salts mentioned or comparable. May have to take a trip into the city.

        1. Savory Spice Shop on line is a great source for sea salts they carry at least 12 different types that is where I get mine from. I Love this article what a great wealth of information, I shared it on facebook.

      2. Kathy @ Mind Body and Sole

        There’s an easy way to tell. Real salt is NOT white! If it’s white, then it’s been refined. Basically ALL salt is sea salt, so just labeling it “sea salt” is basically a marketing ploy. There are three brands that you can trust: Himilayan – pink, smokey flavored, and from Pakistan so pricey; Redmond Real Salt – flecks of orange, salty-sweet flavored, and from Redmond Utah so affordable; Celtic – not sure the color or flavor since I don’t use this one. Himilayan and Redmond are mined from ancient sea beds, Celtic is evaporated from modern sea bed.

  14. Brilliantly written! Have you heard of the sea-salt test that when you put salt in room-temp water and stir it should dissolve? – That’s supposedly how you know it will dissolve in your body rather than not dissolve and cause problems. Not sure if this is fact or fiction.

  15. This sort of article needs to be headlines in the mainstream press. Why are we still so ignorant about our food? Since learning some of these salt facts a few years ago I refuse to allow myself or my children use anything but Cornish Sea Salt, which I understand to be one of the purist. More science is emerging all the time, such as sea salts anti inflammatory properties which makes it one of the best reliefs for arthritis. I know members of the natural health community who also swear by pure sea salt to aid wound healing.

  16. Perhaps you can enlighten me and help me with a problem I am having. I have recently changed my eating habits for the better by eliminating sugar and choosing the good sea salts among many other things. After 3 months I had my blood work done. For the first time in my life my thyroid was off balance and so was my sugar!! The doctor asked me if I had done anything unusual and of course I had by eliminating iodized salt. She felt I should get back on the iodized salt and let’s see what 3 months would bring before more blood tests. I am using the only iodized sea salt I can find which of course is Morton’s. Any suggestions?

    1. Thyroid issues and blood sugar irregularities go hand in hand. If your thyroid is off, your blood sugar will follow, so addressing the thyroid is key. I am not a doctor, nor have I seen your labs, but it could be that you do not get enough iodine in your diet to make up for what you used to get in your iodized, refined salt.

      Iodine is an essential thyroid nutrient that the body does not store and needs to get every day. But it is hard to get, which is why we started iodizing salt in the first place. Unfortunately, iodized salt also contains anti-caking agents, aluminum and other nasties you want to avoid. The best way to get enough iodine to support your thyroid is not through industrially refined salt, but through eating whole foods that are high in iodine like seaweeds, shellfish, and eggs every day.

      It is also possible that your thyroid issues have nothing to do with your dietary changes, and are simply coincidental. To find out, put the Morton’s back into your diet and see if things improve. If they do, then you know it was the lack of iodine, and you can choose to get it from food or from a reliable supplement like Lugol’s, instead of from refined salt if you wish. If things don’t improve, then your dietary changes are simply coincidental to your change in labs. Either way, it sounds like a reliable source of iodine could really help you out.

      Wishing you the best of health!

      1. I needed this comment from you, now I know why my Doctor tells me not to use sea salt, non-iodized salt and salt substitutes. (I need the iodine) To funny, I see something with sea salt and I say “I can’t have that!” I will have to check out other sources for my iodine and maybe what Pam said for the Kelp tablets.

        1. Iodine is very important, but the trace amount of chemical iodine in iodized salt is not enough for optimal health. Seafood, kelp/seaweed or a kelp tablet will provide you with more optimal amounts from better sources.

  17. Debi @ Adorned From Above

    Hi Dawn,
    Great information. It’s a good thing that I love sea salt. Thanks so much for linking at Adorned From Above’s Link Party last week. This weeks party is opened.
    Debi @ Adorned From Above
    www.adornedfromabove.com

  18. Amanda @Natural Living Mamma

    This is a great post! I always talk about this but never give details! I will definitely share it. Thanks for posting on Natural Living Monday. I can’t Wait to see what you have to share this week! http://wp.me/p2pBvv-AQ

  19. Jill @ the Prairie Homestead

    Great post! In fact, I liked it so much that I chose it as my pick for featured post in tomorrow’s Barn Hop. Keep up the great work!! 😉

  20. I came upon this post through the Backyard Farming Hop #3 and am so glad I did! I just switched to Celtic sea salt myself and have noticed a difference, certainly in richness of flavor, but also in how the meal sits with me. I’m glad to read all of the benefits and am very glad to have switched! Thanks for the excellently written and researched article. I’m going to check out the rest of the blog!

    1. So glad you found us, Heather! Isn’t Celtic sea salt just yummy? I hope you’ll stick around and join us on Small Footprint Fridays with your sustainable living posts!

  21. Hey, I’ve just discovered this website and am very interested. I have resisted the sea salt idea based on salt is salt, but now I am having second thoughts. I do have a question however, since I have hypothyroidism I’ve been told iodine is an essential nutrient. I live in a very rural area where a lot of the items you speak of are not available. I didn’t see iodine mentioned in the mineral or contensts of sea salt. What is your opinion of this?

    1. Iodine is an essential nutrient, but neither iodized salt nor sea salt provide enough of it by a long shot. The tiny traces of iodine in iodized salt are only high enough to keep people from getting a goiter—which is a major deficiency. The actual recommended amount of iodine that everyone needs to be healthy is substantially higher than what is available in iodized salt, and most people get enough by eating a diverse whole food diet that includes lots of sea vegetables, seafood, and whole milk yogurt, eggs, and strawberries. If you have a health condition that might require a more reliable measure of iodine, your best bet is to add a good quality iodine supplement like Lugol’s or Iodoral. I take Lugol’s iodine to support my own thyroid, along with plenty of sea salt for the other essential trace minerals and electrolytes.

  22. Aubrey @ Homegrown & Healthy

    Lovely article. I’ll be passing this along to my not-so-healthy-eating friends! We started using pink Himalayan salt and it blew my husband’s mind that it was so good for you!

  23. You are speaking my language. I have been trying to get people to accept this truth for a few years now. I even had a conversation with a “nutrionalist” that had no clue there was a difference between table salt and sea salt. It is very frustrating to hear the war on salt when that is not the issue. The human body actually needs a lot of salt, just not bad salt. Thanks so much for the post.

  24. homegrown(Montessori)

    LOVE IT! Have you read Salted by Mark Bitterman. It’s a huge, and beautiful book. It’s a perfect coffee table book. I loved looking at all the photos of salt. I switched over to “sea salt” over 10 years ago, but about 3 years ago found out that even that can be refined with added iodine. I needed pure sea salt so I am testing out a ton of various kinds and love it. Buying salt has become a new hobby. I usually get mine from the Asian stores and get the Korean brand. I was excited to get the orange stuff from Hawaii. Costco randomly has a great sampler pack.
    Here’s the link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Salted-Manifesto-Essential-Mineral-Recipes/dp/1580082629

  25. I must this is very informative post about salt. I never thought we can use other than white salt in our food which can be healthy as well as with good taste. After reading your post , now I can figure out which salt to buy for staying healthy and which to avoid.

  26. I love Himalayan sea salt and get mine from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com as I love their products and business ethics.

  27. Very thorough post, thank you for doing the research and taking the time to compile it. I’ve just started making the changes for my family and it can be very overwhelming at times! I appreciate your help.

  28. What a great, great, great post! 🙂 You have clearly done your research and did a fantastic job of distilling it into a concise post. Thanks!

    I personally really like RealSalt but think I may branch out and get some other sea salt varieties as well. I think good salt is one of the few things it is 100% OK to import into your food system (some spices being another).

    Have you ever read the book Salt by Mark Kurlansky? I think you’d love it! It’s non-fiction but very story driven. It’s the world history of salt! Really, really neat book.

    1. Small Footprint Mama

      Thanks Alyss! I use RealSalt in cooking sometimes, but really prefer the Celtic Sea Salt for table usage. Sea salts from different areas have different flavors that, like honey or wine varietals, are fun to experiment with.

      I haven’t read Salt, but I will have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!!

  29. Pamela@Seeds of Nutrition

    Very good write up on Salt. We made the switch on salts over a year ago. Using Redmond’s Real Salt. We get a nice balance using it whether in food or a shaker. What I found with the change is we don’t have that craving for more and more salt as we did using commercialized salts such as Morton or any of the generic brands. Now when I eat food that is prepared for others that haven’t changed I notice the difference big time. Their food is over salted even if it’s the exact same amount of food of salt added to the recipe. There’s a vast difference between 1 tsp. of commercialized salt and REAL SALT whether it be Redmond’s, Sea Salt or Celtic, etc…

    1. Small Footprint Mama

      Thanks Pamela! I’ve had a similar experience with table salt since making the switch. There is something kind of chemical-tasting about refined salt to me now. Hopefully that means my Real Food palate has been refined, instead of my food!

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