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The Difference between Sea Salt and Iodized Salt

Updated on February 16, 2012

Can you tell the difference?

Sea salt versus iodized salt.
Sea salt versus iodized salt. | Source

Sea Salt and Iodized Salt

There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding which salt is better for you, sea salt or iodized salt. One is marketed as being healthier and more natural for you while the other is just a little shaker that we do not know much about. And there does not seem to be anyone jumping at the opportunity to let you know the difference between the two either. So I am going to write about the differences between sea salt and iodized salt. And after giving you the facts, I want you to be comfortable making the decision which one is better for you.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is simply the salt left from evaporating sea water. This means that the minerals and elements may be slightly different because of different areas from which the salt water is taken. The color of sea salt may be slightly different because of these minerals and elements as well. Sea salt is generally not processed too much besides changing the coarseness of the salt.

The major downfall of sea salt is that it is not iodized but sea salt does have trace amounts of iodine. And this can be a problem if you are not eating enough foods that have iodine in them. Iodine is an essential element that assist the human endocrine system, but there are plenty of foods that have iodine. An iodine deficiency is one reason that people get a goiter. The mid-west United States is known to have a major issue with iodine deficiency, a very good possibility of why some salt is iodized.

Overall, sea salt is processed less, is not iodized, may taste slightly different because of the mineral and element differences, the texture may be different from table salt, and the color may vary slightly.

Iodized Salt

Iodized salt is what general-everyday table salt is. Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits and processed to be a fine texture. During the processing, the salt is iodized as well as preservatives to keep it from clumping as readily. The process is pretty standardized and the taste will be the same, the texture the same, and the color the same.

Iodized salt and sea salt start off pretty much the same with the exception of the trace elements and minerals in them. These differences are not significant though. The differences between the two comes into play with iodized salt being processed more than sea salt. If your diet lacks foods that naturally contain iodine then iodized salt may be the best choice for you. If your intake of iodine is sufficient then why not try something that does not contain any preservatives?

Need salt?

Celtic Sea Salt Fine Grnd Pou
Celtic Sea Salt Fine Grnd Pou

Sea salt is processed less than regular table salt and is more trace elements and minerals. Give it a try.


The difference

So overall, there is not much of a difference between the two salts. Sea salt is more of a naturalist salt wanting more trace elements and minerals while not having iodine concerns. The other more processed, but has been iodized to remedy an iodine deficiency. If you are truly concerned there is another product that is a hybrid between the two. And that is iodized sea salt. Out of all of them regular table salt will be the lowest price per ounce. I personally would highly suggest iodized sea salt though. It offers the best of both worlds and does not have the bad of either world.


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    • profile image

      padney seemane 2 years ago

      I ve just started using sea salt in my kitchen ,i ve realized that my hypertension is lower than when i was using iodated table salt. I can now sleep during the night, no more sweating. Thanks for theinformation. Stay blessed

    • CJ Andrews profile image

      Chris Andrews 6 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      Laurice, I am sorry you feel this way. If you wanted to talk about aluminum in salt that would be a topic unto itself and not in a simple comparison of the two types. There are disagreements between how much matters in the first place. But if you wanted to go to extremes you can talk about how it lessens ribosomal RNA at a cellular level. I am glad that you mentioned it, but that is a very complex and in-depth discussion. Write a hub on it, I would enjoy reading it.

    • profile image

      Laurice 6 years ago

      You failed to explain that the iodine causes the salt to cake, so manufacturers add a form of aluminum to stop the caking. THAT is the ingredient that is harmful and can cause high blood pressure, etc.

    • CJ Andrews profile image

      Chris Andrews 6 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      I had Graves Disease - maybe I still have it (not sure how it works since I don't have a thyroid anymore). So I have found out how important it is. Especially if you live in the midwest USA. Very little iodine in the soil so a lot of our fruits and veg's do not have iodine.

      There was a huge issue with goiters in the midwest mid-century. One way to avoid it is iodine.

      Thanks for the comment Marisa.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 6 years ago from Sydney

      Great Hub. I just bought iodized sea salt in my local supermarket last week - I didn't even know it existed!

      It does worry me that so many mothers are buying sea salt thinking it's good for their kids, not realizing how important iodine is and that they're potentially depriving their children of a vital nutrient. Iodine was added to salt to prevent the very common childhood disease of ricketts - let's not go back to those bad old days!

    • CJ Andrews profile image

      Chris Andrews 6 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      Thanks PWalker! I prefer sea salt over table salt as well. Although, I am not the best at taking my multi-vitamin every day. A work in progress for me there.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 6 years ago

      Very informative, CJ. Thanks for sharing this info about the difference between the two salts. I've used sea salt for a while now and prefer it to table salt. And like Giselle, I take a multivitamin, so not too worried about iodine deficiency. Rated up and useful.

    • CJ Andrews profile image

      Chris Andrews 6 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      You are correct, the flavor is from the trace minerals and elements in sea salt. There is also Alaskan sea salt and Hawaiian sea salts that are pretty popular. I like sea salt more as well.

    • Auntie D profile image

      Auntie D 6 years ago from California

      Hi CJ, you've written a good informative article. I've been using sea salt made in New Zealand for over a year. Don't use much since I'm one of many who have problems with salt and retaining water. Sea salt seems to have a bit more flavor and I won't be going back to regular salt.

    • CJ Andrews profile image

      Chris Andrews 6 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      Thanks! I keep reading about the benefits of sea salt all over and figured I would look into it. It means more to me now that I do not have a thyroid, I had RAI a couple years ago and it is no longer a part of me :).

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 6 years ago

      Fantastic hub, well reasearched too. It's great to get a good, scientifically accurate take on sea salt vs iodized salt. As you say, both have their own pros and cons.

      I have tried to give up putting salt in our cooking but am aware of the problem of iodine deficiency... so to counteract that I get a multivitamin that has iodine in it (not all do, so it's worth reading labels carefully).

      Anyhow, just wanted to say I was very impressed with how well your hub was written and with the research that has so obviously gone into it.

    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 6 years ago

      Good piece of beneficial information. Well done and voted up!