The Simple Self Care Lifestyle with mo

Sea Salt or Iodized Salt? Brown, Black, Pink…

Sea salt vs iodized salt? Brown salt, black salt, pink salt…

Q: mo, What do you think about salt? Is it better to eliminate it all together or is one salt better than another? What about lead in salt? Plus what salt do you use? Thanks– F.M.

A: F.M. Thanks for your salt questions. Let’s see what we can fit into today’s post.

5 lines of salt on a white surface. Each a different color(type) of salt. Words: Salt is one better?

First addressing if you should just eliminate salt all together’.

Our Body Needs Sodium:

Our body needs sodium, right down to our cells.

“The human body requires a small amount of sodium to conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals. It is estimated that we need about 500 mg* (a bit less than 1/4 teaspoon) of sodium daily for these vital functions.” (1)(bold and * added) *.

Todays Simple Self Care Tip
illustrations of cell, muscles,nerves, vascular system all need sodium. Small teaspoons on bottom half with different sizes of salt granules

According to the Mayo Clinic:

1 teaspoon of table salt, which is a combination of sodium and chloride, has 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium(3)(bold added)


It works out that we ‘need’ less than a 1/4 teaspoon to meet the recommended daily requirement.

Most of us easily exceed that and are asked to stay under 2,300mg per day. (approx. 1 teaspoon per day)

For those trying to reduce blood pressure the typical recommendation is to stay under 1500mg per day.

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Harvard provides this chart of a variety of popular salts. Sodium amount per teaspoon. (1)

Salt and sodium. The Nutrition Source. Harvard School of Public Health
Salt and sodium. The Nutrition Source. Harvard School of Public Health

“Sodium is the most abundant electrolyte ion found in the body.”(4)

Both Sodium and Chloride (which make up the majority of all salt) are electrolytes our body needs.

An electrolyte is: a chemical that conducts electricity.

The ‘electrical’ charge is how the electrolytes regulate our:

  • nerves
  • muscle contractions.
  • ability to rebuild damaged tissue

They also balance our:

  • hydration
  • blood acidity
  • and blood pressure…
Sodium and Chloride Electrolytes. Salt provides us with.

There are six very important electrolytes:

  • sodium,
  • potassium,
  • chloride,
  • bicarbonate,
  • calcium, and
  • phosphate. (5)

Salt provides 2 of them.

If Salt is Too Low and Especially If It Is Chronically Too Low it can Negatively Impact:

Bodily Functions Creating:(15)

  • Confusion
  • Loss of energy
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
  • Seizures
  • Coma


Researchers found that very low-salt diets may contribute to sleeping issues. (11)


Salt activates an enzyme in the mouth called salivary amylase. An important enzyme that helps us break down carbohydrates into smaller molecules.

4 spoons with salt. White flake salt, Pink Coarse Salt, White fine salt, black lava salt

Salting Meat Before Cooking Can Help it be Easier to Digest.

Protein that has been salted prior to cooking can help make it easier to digest.

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Cooking With Salt Can Also Help Maintain and Bring Out More Nutrition in Whole Foods.

For example dissolving (a small amount) of salt in water before cooking your vegetables can help it retain its nutrients. (20)

And OFTEN you can eliminate the need to salt your food after.

Using salt – before you cook or when you cook can add:

  • Flavor
  • Nutrition
  • Vibrance and
  • Texture

to your cooked foods.

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

While Sodium benefits are often well known the Chloride in salt also offers a multitude of benefits.

chloride supports and the illustrations show a cell, muscles, nerves, vascular digestion and blood cells
Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Which brings us to yet another very important function of salt- it supports (when in balanced amounts) our stomach acid.

The right amount of sodium and chloride improves digestion. (9)

Post: #1 Cause of Indigestion

Bottom Line Our Body Makes Good Use of Salt

And like sugar, too ‘little’ it is not typically an issue.

On the contrary the majority of people exceed the recommended daily amount.

It is important to know that our body makes good use of salt. That we need ‘some’ and that too little or total avoidance could mean we do not have enough of the sodium and chloride electrolytes which could negatively impact multiple systems.

To the question “is it better to eliminate salt all together? “– I believe working with your practitioner to find the amount that works for your body is best.

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Balancing the amount YOUR body needs is the key:

“There’s a breaking point where above a point you start seeing harm and below a point you also start seeing harm,”

says Dr. Andreas Kalogeropoulos, an assistant professor of medicine in Emory University School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology,...” (6)


Sea Salts – Table Salts: Is One Better?

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Sea Salt is better but not because of major nutritional differences.

In general salts: sea salt or table salt are mostly sodium and chloride. (2)

Sea Salt can be the better choice IF you have the option to choose a brand that has open access to its sourcing information, processing methods and independent testing results.

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

The health impact differences between Table/Sea Salts stem from:

  • where they are sourced
  • the processing methods
  • what is deleted/added

which impacts the

  • mineral content in the salt
  • lead/metals found in the salt
  • micro plastics found in the salt

Previous Post: Micro plastics in your teabags

Let’s start with where salts are sourced ‘in general’ and then focus on the ‘best’ of those sources I have found.

Brands that have the minerals/trace minerals we’d like in our salt without the additives of table salt, the lead and micro plastics that can be found in both table and sea salts.

This way we can attain the

  • sodium
  • chloride and
  • trace minerals

while protecting ourselves and family from the:

  • additives
  • lead and
  • micro plastics.
Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Where Salts Come From (In General) by Type

Sea Salts and Table Salt both come from natural sources.

Sea salts are sourced from saltwater lakes/bays/ocean water.

Table Salt (Iodized salt) is typically mined from underground deposits.

‘Typical’ Manufacturing Process for Each.

Sea salts comes from the evaporation of seawater/saltwater lake/bay and have minimal to no processing.

Table Salts come from brines created from extracted mined salt.

They are striped of ‘other’ minerals then have anti-caking agents and iodine added.

Anti-caking additives that may be used in salt include but are not limited to: (13)

  • Calcium silicate
  • Sodium ferrocyanide
  • Potassium ferrocyanide
  • Calcium ferrocyanide
  • Talc
  • Aluminium silicate
  • Iron Ammonium Citrate
  • Yellow prussiate of soda

Iodine is added to table salt to help prevent iodine deficiency. This industry standard has been around since the 1980s in an effort to have universal salt iodization. (14)

That’s a whole different topic.

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Sea Water to Salt Process Example Specific to Saltwerk Sea Salt

Here is a direct description of how Saltwerk processes their salts from the sea:

“We pump the sea-water to open pans where we pre-heat it until it becomes a strong brine, a salinity level of 17-20%.

Then we boil the brine until white crystals appear on the surface and slowly fall to the bottom of the pan.

We draw the pan and drain any remaining liquid.

It is dried and put into packaging.”

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Bay Water to Sea Salt Process Example

Specific to Jacobsen Bay Water Sea Salt

Here is a direct description of how Jacobsen processes their salts from bays:

“Seawater is pumped from Netarts Bay, filtered and then transferred into our reverse osmosis machine, where it’s further filtered and reduced to a concentrated salt water, which is called prebrine.

Prebrine is pumped into large boil tanks where excess minerals are removed and the prebrine continues to reduce down to brine.

Brine is then pumped into custom-made evaporation pans and carefully heated, creating beautiful sea salt…

The salt is gently scooped from the pans, rinsed, and put onto racks in a dehydrator for drying…

Once dry, every flake of salt is graded, sifted and sorted.

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Underground Mining Table Salt Process Example

Iodized Table Salt is typically mined from underground deposits, processed to remove other minerals,(1) it is enriched with iodine* and anti-caking agents are added.

*The process to iodize involves adding a small amount of potassium iodide to the salt crystals as they form.

A Direct Description of Table Salt Process

hydraulic mining (or solution mining) of salt involves pumping water below the earth’s surface to dissolve salt deposits and create a salt brine.

This brine is then pumped to the surface and evaporated to create salt.

The salty brine may be treated prior to evaporation to reduce mineral content, yielding a nearly pure sodium chloride crystal.

This method is inexpensive, has a high yield, and produces a very clean salt”….”depending on the type of salt it will be, iodine and an anti-clumping agents are added to the salt. Most table salt is produced this way..”(3)(7)(8)(bold added)

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Are There Nutritional Differences?

Yes. There are differences when it comes to minerals and trace minerals of the different salts.

But research indicates there is NOT a big difference.

Here is what current research provides us.


They All Have Sodium and Chloride the Small Remainder Varies Greatly


The content of all salts is mostly sodium and chloride.

The charts at the beginning of the post show that each type of salt fulfills our sodium need with less than a 1/4 teaspoon.*

In the past and now when writing this post I have scoured for actual research listing the nutritional differences of table salt and sea salts.

We know table salt has sodium, chloride and no additional minerals or trace minerals, zero, nada because it has been striped in the processing. That is the industry standard. (Iodine is added plus anti-caking agent(s).

So we know the mineral content in Table Salt.

TO compare sea salts the BEST analysis I have found to date is in: An Analysis of the Mineral Composition of Pink Salt Available in Australia. Foods. (Linked for you in references and resources section)

In this research they compare data that includes mineral /heavy metal composition as well as nutrient data of multiple pink Himalayan salt brands, You can take that data and then compare it to Table Salt data and individual salt producers.

The best conclusion I have been able to deduce over the years is that Sea Salts definitely have more minerals and trace minerals but the amount is small (better than none but small).

And the amount of minerals and trace minerals is dependent on the region, processing…

So the NUTRITIONAL differences are not what I am basing my decision on when it comes to deciding whether I consume Sea Salts or Table Salt.



It is true we can say Sea Salts are a bit healthier with their minerals and trace minerals but it isn’t a ‘big’ nutritional difference that can definitively make sea salt the healthier choice.

Instead it is what ISN’T in Sea Salt that makes it a ‘healthier’ choice for our bodies.


Anti-Caking Agents

Anti-caking chemicals are not added to Sea Salts as an industry standard.

And since our cells are not in need of anti-caking chemicals for it to thrive it adds one more ‘thing’ for our body to ‘take care of’ and eliminate.


Heavy Metals Like Lead & Micro Plastics

Next there is the question of how much lead/heavy metals and Micro Plastics are in your salt.


F.M. also asked about lead (and I’m adding micro plastics to the mix).


Both Table Salt and Sea Salts are routinely tested to have lead/heavy metals, and plastics in them.

This is why I say Sea Salt is the better choice with a caveat.

(For more on protecting your self from micro plastics 🔗 Plastics in you tea bags. Billions per cup)

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Sea Salt Is Better With The Caveat That It Is NOT Laden With MicroPlastics and or Lead/Heavy Metals

Whether You Choose Table salt or Sea Salt KNOW Your Brand.

Lead and Salt

Salt has lead in it. Table Salt and Sea Salt.

Our bodies and brains do not need us to consume any amount of lead.

This is why when researching the salts for my family (and previous clients) I always asked for lead/metal values that were tested by a third party.

Lead is a HUGE topic.

I will simply say see if you can reduce your exposure in your salt by choosing one of the brands below.

When I began updating the research and resources for this post I came upon a blog by Tamara Rubin. She has done a ton of research on the topic of lead and has collaborated with many others for brands of salt.

I was pleased to see that the two salts I use and will list for you today are on her:

Group 1 Salts BEST CHOICES list that she considers 100% acceptable.

If you want more on lead I have listed and linked Tamara’s post in the resources and references list for you.

Todays Simple Self Care Tip

Sea Salt/Himalayan Sea Salt

Sea salt does contain small amounts of naturally occurring minerals/trace minerals. but its been demonstrated–


… that sea salts harvested from different parts of the world have different mineral content (10)(11)

And that although these minerals and trace minerals can and do contribute to well being, the wide variance in the amounts, combined with the tendency to have higher heavy metal content, it can be very difficult to fetter out the best salt for our health and the health of our family. (10)

The sea salts I use have the lowest levels on the market.

To dig deep into the salt content/metals…#10 on the Reference list is filled with data.

Micro Plastics

Table Salts have micro plastics

Now, new research shows microplastics in 90 percent of the table salt brands sampled worldwide.” (16)(18)(24)(bold added)



Sea Salts can have micro plastics

“The most common microplastics identified in the edible salts were polyethylene, polyester, and polyvinyl chloride derived from marine and salt-processing units.(25)(bold added)


We Have a Micro Plastic Problem.

Everywhere we turn these days we learn more and more how micro plastics are being consumed by us.


The simplest way to protect ourselves and family is to focus on the items we consume the most of then find the brands with the least amount of micro plastics.

Salt is one of those items.

🔗Post micro plastics in our tea bags. Billions of them!

Salt has micro plastics. We use a lot of salt. Day in and day out.

Here is the answer to the BIG salt question we started with.

Is one salt better than another?

Yes, Sea Salt that is plastic free and the lowest in lead/heavy metals is the BEST Salt!

What Salt I Use:

Those of you who have known me for years/even decades, know my goal is to always research, contact, and vet products that support the body and reduce/eliminate exposure to toxins for myself, family, and now you my subscribers 💌 (and Youtube followers) 😌

So Let’s RE-CAP & Introduce You To The Salts I Use


  • Our body has a need for salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon is typically enough to fill that need * unless there’s a bio-individual need for less or more.
  • Balancing the amount YOUR body needs is the key.
  • Table Salt and Sea Salts are from natural sources
  • Sea Salt comes from Sea/Bay/Salt lakes
  • Table Salt is typically in mined from underground deposits, striped of minerals and has iodine and anti-caking agents added.
  • Sea Salt is the better choice IF it is Lower in Lead/Metals than your Table Salt and
  • Your Sea Salt is without Micro plastics.

Now the salts I use and recommend when asked.

I use Jacobsen Sea Salt and Saltwerk Sea Salt


The Specific Salts I Use From Each and Why


Jacobsen Salt Co


For Jacobsen I specifically use ‘their’ salt. Harvested and processed directly from them. Not their imported partner salts.


The reason: it was their recommendation when I initially spoke with them. I wanted microplastic free and lead not detected.

They now have the lead and plastics info on their blog/facts page .

Direct quote from their facts page for you:


Our last analytical data for our Oregon Sea Salts, dated September 16th, 2022, from OMIC USA Inc. reported Lead was not detected to an LOQ of 20 ppb.

Our Fine Italian Sea Salt is from Trapani, Italy and is harvested in centuries old tradition. As such, there are trace amounts of lead detected, 100 ppb in testing to an LOQ of 20 ppb. Our most recent laboratory analysis was performed by OMIC USA Inc. on February 5, 2021.

Our Pink Himalayan Salt is mined from ancient ocean beds and has a higher mineral content than any other salt we offer. Testing from our suppliers shows this salt to have a lead count average of less than 500ppb. If you are concerned about lead levels, we suggest using our Sea Salt / Kosher Sea Salt as a substitute. (I added bold)


Sadly, microplastics are present in our oceans. The filtered sea water we use is tested semi-annually by Polyhedron Laboratories. The last test was performed on June 1, 2021 and no microplastics were detected. All of our incoming sea water is filtered through a 0.5 micron filter (equivalent to 0.0005mm).

Potential Radioactive Isotopes:

In the wake of the devastating Fukushima nuclear disaster we have had concerns of the lasting impact on our oceans.

We sent samples of our salt to the Center for Health Protection, Radiation Protection Services of the Oregon Health Authority. A low level gamma spectrometry analysis reported no radioactive isotopes were present to an LOQ of 5 becquerels per kilogram.

Most recent testing for radiation was performed in October 2020.”

They now offer their salts it through Amazon.

Jacobsen Salt on Amazon.


I use and gift a lot of Saltwerk. Last year I paid to have a bunch shipped over from Iceland for myself and gifts.

A month later I found out they too are on Amazon!

Link to SaltWerk on Amazon.

The ‘safe’ recommendation for lead is to be below 100 ppb for daily consumption. Saltwerk lead is below 30ppb

I personally choose to have salts 30ppb and below.

Having access to Jacobsen and Saltwerk makes it a possibility. 😁

Thanks for your email F.M.!

🧂Do you have an ultra clean sea salt that you’d like to share or

❓a different salt question?

I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me via email: 💌


A few related posts you may like and then References & Resources for today’s post below.

🌿 References/Resources for you

1. Salt and sodium. The Nutrition Source. Harvard School of Public Health. (2022, September 15). Retrieved January 30, 2023,

2. Under the microscope: Sea Salt vs table salt. Office for Science and Society. McGill (2019, March 7). Retrieved January 30, 2023

3. Katherine Zeratsky, R. D. (2021, September 14). Is sea salt healthier than table salt? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 30, 2023.

4. Electrolytes: Types, purpose & normal levels. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2023,

5. Shrimanker I, Bhattarai S. Electrolytes. [Updated 2022 Jul 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan

6. 6 reasons you may need to eat more salt – US news & world report. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2023,

7. Moncel, B. (2019, June 26). How salt gets to your dinner table. The Spruce Eats. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from

8. Freeman, S. (2022, August 12). How salt works. HowStuffWorks Science. Retrieved January 31, 2023,

9. Kiela PR, Ghishan FK. Physiology of Intestinal Absorption and Secretion. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2016 Apr;30(2):145-59. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2016.02.007. Epub 2016 Feb 10. PMID: 27086882; PMCID: PMC4956471.

10 Fayet-Moore F, Wibisono C, Carr P, Duve E, Petocz P, Lancaster G, McMillan J, Marshall S, Blumfield M. An Analysis of the Mineral Composition of Pink Salt Available in Australia. Foods. 2020 Oct 19;9(10):1490. doi: 10.3390/foods9101490. PMID: 33086585; PMCID: PMC7603209.

11. Comparison of salty taste and time intensity of … – Wiley Online Library. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2023

12 Vitiello MV, Prinz PN, Halter JB. Sodium-restricted diet increases nighttime plasma norepinephrine and impairs sleep patterns in man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1983 Mar;56(3):553-6. doi: 10.1210/jcem-56-3-553. PMID: 6822653.

13. Walle, G. V. D., & About Gavin Van De WalleGavin Van De Walle. (2021, December 3). Anti-caking agents – function and form. Prospector Knowledge Center. Retrieved January 31, 2023

14. Buddies, S. (2013, November 21). Salty science: Is there iodine in your salt? Scientific American. Retrieved January 31, 2023

15. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, May 17). Hyponatremia. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 31, 2023

16. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2018, 52, 21, 12819–12828 Publication Date:October 4, 2018 © 2018 American Chemical Society

17. Mo. (2022, July 21). Plastic in tea bags. Billions of micro and nanoparticles per cup! The Simple Self Care Lifestyle. Retrieved January 31, 2023

18. Diogo Peixotoa Person Envelope Carlos Pinheiroa João Amorima Luís Oliva-•Microplastics in salts might pose a threat to human food safety and health.•(2019, February 10). Microplastic pollution in commercial salt for human consumption: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.

18. Blog: Tamara. (2021, December 26). How much lead is in salt? which salt is safest to use for cooking? is Himalayan salt safe? Lead Safe Mama. Retrieved January 31, 2023

19. Blog: How Jacobsen Salt Co.’s Water Filtration Prevents Microplastics

20. Book: NOSRAT, S. A. M. I. N. (2019). Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. CROWN Books. Nosrat, S., MacNaughton, W., Pollan, M., & Blind, S. (2019). Salz, Fett, säure, Hitze: Die vier elemente guten kochens. Kunstmann.

21. Ujjaman Nur AA, Hossain MB, Banik P, Choudhury TR, Liba SI, Umamaheswari S, Albeshr MF, Senapathi V, Arai T, Yu J. Microplastic contamination in processed and unprocessed sea salts from a developing country and potential risk assessment. Chemosphere. 2022 Dec;308(Pt 2):136395. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.136395. Epub 2022 Sep 9. PMID: 36096307.

22. Di Fiore C, Sammartino MP, Giannattasio C, Avino P, Visco G. Microplastic contamination in commercial salt: An issue for their sampling and quantification. Food Chem. 2023 Mar 15;404(Pt B):134682. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2022.134682. Epub 2022 Oct 20. PMID: 36279784.

23. A Review of Microplastics in Table Salt, Drinking Water, and Air: Direct Human ExposureQun Zhang, Elvis Genbo Xu, Jiana Li, Qiqing Chen, Liping Ma, Eddy Y. Zeng, and Huahong ShiEnvironmental Science & Technology 2020 54 (7), 3740-3751 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b04535

24 Lee, H., Kunz, A., Shim, W.J. et al. Microplastic contamination of table salts from Taiwan, including a global review. Sci Rep 9, 10145 (2019).

25. Vidyasakar A, Krishnakumar S, Kumar KS, Neelavannan K, Anbalagan S, Kasilingam K, Srinivasalu S, Saravanan P, Kamaraj S, Magesh NS. Microplastic contamination in edible sea salt from the largest salt-producing states of India. Mar Pollut Bull. 2021 Oct;171:112728. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112728. Epub 2021 Jul 22. PMID: 34303058.

* unless you are sweating a lot, exercising a lot, sick,…

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