There really is not much of a difference between unrefined sea salt and regular table salt, as both of them contain high amounts of sodium and chloride. However, the differences are enough to cause many health conscious individuals to make the switch to sea salt. Thus sea salt is gaining popularity among raw foodists as well as with chefs in many restaurants, as it is a healthier choice.
Both salts are primarily made up of sodium and chloride, however, table salt contains slightly more sodium and chloride than sea salt. In addition, table salt also contains unnatural ingredients that are harmful to the body. These ingredients include anti-caking agents and sugars.
Anti-caking agents are what prevent the salt from sticking together in the carton or salt shaker. Thus the salt remains dry and free running, which is of convenience to many people. However these agents contain aluminum, which is naturally bitter, and thus glucose is often added to help neutralize the bitterness.
Iodine is also added, which is actually good for you. However, it is added in the form of potassium iodide, which needs to be stabilized with a form of sugar or baking soda to prevent it from breaking down into iodine before it is ingested.
Sea salt on the other hand contains a natural form of iodine, as well as many other minerals that are essential for optimum health.
How are the Salts Obtained
Table salt is either obtained from salt mines or from sea water, but sea salt is only obtained from sea water. What makes them different is the way they are processed.
Table salt is stripped of all of its natural minerals. It is heated at high temperatures and as already mentioned, contains harmful ingredients.
Sea salt is natural, as it is obtained naturally by allowing the wind and sun to evaporate the sea waters. As the water evaporates, the salt and minerals are left behind. The salt is purified, but unrefined sea salt does not go through any type of processing.
There are some sea salts however, that are processed to a certain degree, and may also contain similar ingredients as regular table salt. Thus it is important that you read the label before making your purchase.
There is also a slight difference in the taste between the two salts. Sea salt tends to have a slightly sweeter taste, and thus those who are used to the sweetness enjoy the taste of sea salt more than that of regular table salt.