Is Sea Salt Really Better Than Table Salt?

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Is Sea Salt Really Better Than Table Salt?

Well, that depends on various factors the first of which being:  is the sea salt really unrefined and unprocessed sea salt?  And if so, does it really have sufficient amounts of iodine or only the trace amounts allowed by the USDA?  But first of all, let’s see just what is salt.

A Salt Breakdown

The chemical compound NaCI, or sodium chloride known to us as common salt, occurs world-wide as the mineral halite and as mixed evaporites in salt lakes; however, the best sources of salt are found in seawater.  Chemically speaking, salt is 60.663% chlorine (Cl) and 39.337% sodium (Na).

The structure of salt is cubic in form and extremely crystalline. It has some differences in color and ranges from colorless, white, gray, pink or brown which is typical of rock salt found in Hawaii.

“Salt” and “sodium” are terms many times used interchangeably but are technically incorrect. “Salt” is sodium chloride which is 40% sodium and 60% chloride. “Sodium”, is an essential body nutrient which cannot be manufactured by the body but is vitally essential for good health.                   R. Illus. Lavae Hawaiian Salt

Underground salt deposits are found in sedimentary layers and deposits as well as on the Martian surface.  Many scientist have thought that life on this planet maybe plausible as salt samples have been taken from Mars and outer space through the years of space exploration.

Well, Is Sea Salt Better?

Of course, there is no doubt that sea salt is better health wise than the traditional white table salt.  However, it must be established if the sea salt has been processed or is really unprocessed sea salt.                                                                                                                                                                                    R. Illus. Course Sea Salt

And it further must be established if one is referring to unprocessed sea salt has it had naturally occurring iodine removed from it or it is left intact. It doesn’t matter if it is sea salt or not if it has had the iodine extracted…if this is the case, then keep buying Morton’s Iodized Salt as it only has the trace amount allowed under Federal guidelines.

Most of the “sea salt” being sold today commercially has had this most essential of elements removed from it although it has been medically determined that it is a vital necessity for quality health, yet most consumers are under the assumption that if it is sea salt then it must be healthy.  Not really, if the iodine is gone so is the most essential of its ingredients.  If there is one essential element which the body needs to stay healthy and function it is the iodine which is primarily found in sea food and sea vegetables. The thyroid gland virtually cannot function well without an ample supply of iodine. 

In the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s,  it was determined by the medical establishment that iodine was essential to a healthy body thus precipitating the Federally mandated use of iodine in table salt.

Unfortunately, over the years the U.S. Federal government has neglected to emphasize, seemingly, the use of adequate amounts of iodine in table salt opting to reduce iodine to an ineffective level.  Today it is a bit of a challenge to find salt with sufficient amounts of iodine. While actually still sold in grocery stores, the allowable trace amount of iodine in the salt sold is negligible as every individual body requirement is of course different.

United States Recommendations – The Institute of Medicine has set the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iodine in adult men and women at 150 mcg per day. Whereas one teaspoon of iodized salt has about 400 mcg iodine, many multivitamins have the minimum150 mcg iodine; however, only half of the multivitamins sold in the U.S. contain iodine.  Individuals desiring higher levels of iodine must opt for eating iodine-rich foods and taking iodine supplements.

How To Compensate For Lack of Unrefined Sea Salt

* Be certain to eat iodine-rich food such as noted in a fine, indepth article by my collegue, Ron Siojo.

* Also, if necessary, a good idea would be to take additional iodine supplements as found in real health food stores.   R. Himalayan Salt

* The use of Himalayan salt, also originating from sea beds ionized millions of years ago, is also another good alternative as many experts believe Himalayan salt to be the purest form found on the planet.  Pink in color, it is hand-mined deep within the Himalayan mountains and is loaded with additional minerals not found in some oceans.

* Be certain to read the ingredients of salt containers as most only have the trace allowable amount of iodine and the rest have completely removed it.

Today, additional caution needs to be taken as to the actual sea waters the salt has been mined from as is presently the case with radiation levels coming forth from around the Japanese nation due to the recent and ongoing Fukushima disaster.Needless to say, the waters from the sea travel and can with time contaminate the other waters as well so special caution needs to be taken.

If sea salt is actually better than white table salt, it depends on whether it is unprocessed or not and if not; moreover, has the iodine amount been replaced or reduced to the RDA standard. In this writer’s opinion, anytime a natural occurring element has had some element replaced or subtracted, then it’s been processed no matter what the government standards or food industry say.

Update: March 31, 2011

Because of possible questions concerning safe levels of (iodine with potassium iodide) the very substances and potency needed to combat the type of radiation fallout resulting from a Fukushima-type of disaster, have been determined by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) to be 130 mg. of potassium iodide every 24 hrs upon direct exposure. 

*A good healthy dosage of iodine would be 5 mg. iodine and  7.5 mg. iodide as potassium salt for a combined dosage of 12.5 mg. daily or 8333% value.

**The above dosage amounts are for information purposes only and not to be considered medical advice.

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Written by Beverly Anne Sanchez, March 30, 2011

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