What no one tells you about Celtic salt vs. Himalayan salt

Salt is a fundamental ingredient in our daily lives, enhancing the flavors of our favorite dishes. Yet, not all salts are created equal.

In recent years, two salt varieties have gained popularity for their unique characteristics: Celtic salt and Himalayan salt.

While both promise distinct flavors and potential health benefits, there’s more to these salts than meets the eye.

Let’s uncover the secrets behind Celtic salt and Himalayan salt. We’ll explore where they come from, how they’re made, what minerals they contain, and what they taste like.

But that’s not everything – we’ll also look into the health benefits people talk about and clear up any misunderstandings that might have slipped by unnoticed.

What is special about Celtic salt?

Celtic salt has an interesting history and unique qualities. It comes from coastal areas, where seawater is evaporated to leave behind the salt [1]. It’s been around for centuries and is famous for being less processed than table salt.

When it comes to health, Celtic salt is praised for its mineral content. Some believe it may have health benefits because of the minerals it contains, like magnesium and potassium. These minerals are important for our bodies to function properly.

Benefits of Celtic salt

Celtic salt isn’t just about adding flavor to your meals; it might also offer some health perks [2], [3]. Here’s a closer look at the potential benefits:

  • Mineral richness: Celtic salt is known for retaining more of its natural minerals due to its minimal processing. These minerals include magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which all help maintain good health. 
  • Electrolyte balance: The minerals in Celtic salt can contribute to maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance in the body. Electrolytes are essential for proper hydration, nerve function, and muscle contractions. 
  • Digestive health: Some people believe that Celtic salt, with its trace minerals, can aid in digestion. It’s thought to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which can improve the absorption of nutrients from the foods you eat.
  • Reduced sodium intake: Celtic salt is often praised for its coarser texture, which can make it easier to pinch and sprinkle. Because of this, people tend to use less Celtic salt compared to fine table salt to achieve the same level of saltiness in their dishes. 
  • Lower environmental impact: Celtic salt production methods, such as solar evaporation, are considered more environmentally friendly compared to some other salt production processes, which may involve heavy machinery and energy consumption.
What no one tells you about Celtic salt vs. Himalayan salt

Flavor profile and culinary uses

Celtic salt, with its unique flavor profile, is a favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts. It is celebrated for its mild and slightly briny taste.

Unlike table salt, which can have a harsh or metallic flavor due to extensive processing, Celtic salt retains its natural minerals and elements. This imparts a more complex and nuanced flavor to the salt.

Some even describe it as having a subtle earthiness or oceanic essence. Its delicate taste makes it an excellent choice for enhancing dishes without overwhelming them with a sharp saltiness.

  • Seasoning: Celtic salt’s fine crystals and gentle flavor make it an ideal seasoning salt. It can be sprinkled over a wide range of dishes, from salads and grilled vegetables to meats and seafood. 
  • Baking: Bakers appreciate Celtic salt for its ability to distribute evenly in dough and batter. It can elevate the taste of bread, cookies, and pastries. 
  • Brining: Due to its mild flavor, Celtic salt is an excellent choice for brining meats and poultry. It helps to impart flavor, retain moisture, and tenderize the meat during the brining process.
  • Pickling: Some pickle enthusiasts prefer Celtic salt for its natural and less processed nature when making pickles. It can add depth of flavor to pickled vegetables without overwhelming their inherent taste.

What is special about Himalayan salt?

Himalayan salt, as the name suggests, is sourced from the Himalayan mountain range, primarily in Pakistan [4].

It is believed to have formed millions of years ago when ancient sea beds dried up, leaving behind salt deposits deep within the earth.

The salt is carefully extracted from mines, often by hand, and then meticulously processed to maintain its purity.

One of the most distinctive features of Himalayan salt is its pink color, which is attributed to the presence of trace minerals, particularly iron.

Benefits of Himalayan salt

Himalayan salt has garnered attention not only for its culinary appeal but also for the potential health benefits attributed to its mineral-rich composition [5].

While more research is needed to confirm these claims definitively, here are some of the health claims and potential advantages associated with Himalayan salt:

  • Balanced mineral content: Himalayan salt contains a variety of essential minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium, in addition to sodium chloride. 
  • Blood pressure control: While too much sodium can raise blood pressure, Himalayan salt’s lower sodium content per gram compared to table salt may be seen as a potential advantage.
  • Respiratory health: Some proponents claim that inhaling salt air from Himalayan salt caves or using salt inhalers may have a beneficial effect on respiratory health. 
  • Detoxification: Himalayan salt is sometimes used in detoxification rituals, such as salt baths or foot soaks. The theory is that the minerals in the salt can help draw out impurities from the body, although more research is needed to substantiate these claims.

Flavor profile and culinary uses

Himalayan salt is often described as having a mild, less assertive, and more nuanced flavor compared to table salt.

Its delicate saltiness is accompanied by subtle mineral undertones, which can enhance the overall taste of dishes without overpowering them. 

  • Seasoning: Like any other salt, Himalayan salt serves as an excellent seasoning agent. It complements both savory and sweet dishes, adding a gentle saltiness that enhances the natural taste of ingredients.
  • Grilling and roasting: Himalayan salt blocks or plates are often used for grilling and roasting. When heated, these blocks impart a subtle saltiness to meats, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Curing and pickling: Some culinary enthusiasts use Himalayan salt for curing or pickling. Its mild flavor allows it to preserve foods like salmon or cucumbers while adding a unique taste.
  • Salt slabs: Himalayan salt slabs can be used as both cooking and serving surfaces. They can be chilled to serve sushi and sashimi or used to cook thinly sliced meats and vegetables on the grill.
What no one tells you about Celtic salt vs. Himalayan salt

Which is better, Himalayan salt or Celtic salt?

Celtic salt and Himalayan salt are two unique salts with different qualities. Let’s compare them:

1. Mineral content

Celtic salt comes from evaporated seawater and retains minerals like magnesium and potassium. It’s slightly moist and has a grayish color due to its mineral content.

Himalayan salt, found in the Himalayan mountains, is pink due to its iron content. It contains various minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium, giving it its pink hue [6].

2. Flavor and usage

Celtic salt has a mild and slightly briny taste. It’s great for everyday cooking and seasoning a wide range of dishes without overwhelming their flavors.

Himalayan salt has a milder flavor than regular table salt, with a subtle saltiness and hints of minerals. It’s versatile and can be used in cooking, grilling, or as a finishing touch.

3. Nutritional aspects

Celtic salt’s mineral content may offer potential health benefits, such as electrolyte balance and digestion support. Using it in moderation can be a part of a balanced diet.

Himalayan salt is also rich in minerals, and some people believe it’s a healthier alternative to table salt due to its balanced mineral profile.

4. Environmental considerations

Celtic salt is produced through solar evaporation, which is considered eco-friendly and sustainable [7].

Himalayan salt mining methods vary, and some can have environmental impacts. It’s essential to choose sustainably sourced options.

Both Celtic and Himalayan salts offer unique flavors and potential health benefits. The choice between them depends on your taste preferences and dietary needs. Remember that using any salt in moderation is key to maintaining a healthy diet.

How do you healthily use salt?

When it comes to choosing between Himalayan salt and Celtic salt for your diet, making informed decisions is essential for your health and culinary enjoyment. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Know your needs: Consider your specific health needs. If you have dietary restrictions or medical conditions, consult a healthcare professional or dietitian for personalized advice on salt choices.
  2. Understand salt types: Recognize that Celtic salt is less processed and may retain more minerals [8]. It has a mild, slightly briny flavor. Know that Himalayan salt has a balanced mineral profile, a pink hue, and a mild taste. It’s versatile in the kitchen.
  3. Practice moderation: Use salt sparingly. A little goes a long way, and you can achieve the desired saltiness with less if you season carefully.
  4. Balance with fresh ingredients: Enhance your dishes with fresh herbs, spices, and natural flavors to reduce your reliance on salt.
  5.  Experiment and explore: Try different salts to discover their unique flavors and textures. Experiment with Celtic and Himalayan salts to find your favorites.
  6. Seek professionals: Seek advice from healthcare professionals or dietitians to make salt choices that align with your health goals.

Final verdict

The choice between Celtic salt and Himalayan salt comes down to your taste preferences and nutritional needs. 

Ultimately, both salts can be part of a healthy diet when used in moderation. Remember that the key to salt consumption is balance – a pinch of either salt can elevate the flavors of your meals.

Make informed choices based on your individual health requirements, taste experiments, and a commitment to sustainability.

Whether you’re drawn to the coastal essence of Celtic salt or Himalayan salt, both have a place in the diverse world of flavor. So, let your taste buds be your guide and enjoy the delightful journey of culinary exploration.

FAQs

Is Celtic salt better than Himalayan salt?

Whether Celtic salt is better than Himalayan salt depends on your taste preferences and dietary needs; both salts have unique characteristics.

What are the pros and cons of Celtic salt?

The pros of Celtic salt include its mineral richness and mild flavor, while potential cons may include its slightly higher cost compared to table salt.

Which salt is healthiest?

The healthiest salt depends on individual dietary requirements; Himalayan salt and Celtic salt are often considered healthier alternatives to highly processed table salt due to their mineral content.

Can Celtic salt help kidneys?

There is no direct evidence to suggest that Celtic salt can specifically help kidneys, but a balanced diet and hydration are essential for overall kidney health.

[1] https://pharmeasy.in/blog/celtic-salt-benefits-uncovering-unique-health-advantages-in-research/ 
[2] https://mcpress.mayoclinic.org/nutrition-fitness/the-health-benefits-of-celtic-sea-salt/ 
[3] https://www.bhg.com/celtic-salt-hydration-7501095 
[4] https://medium.com/@abbassharifi83/the-wonders-of-himalayan-salt-451266724791   
[5] https://www.webmd.com/diet/himalayan-salt-good-for-you 
[6] https://www.seasaltsuperstore.com/blogs/what-is-salt/health-benefits-himalayan-pink-salt 
[7] https://slate.com/technology/2010/03/are-some-kinds-of-salt-better-for-the-planet-than-others.html 
[8] https://www.eatingwell.com/article/8077166/what-is-celtic-sea-salt/

The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.