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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

What are the types of Salt and which Salt is the healthiest?


Salt is a common ingredient in many foods and recipes. It adds flavor, preserves food, and provides essential minerals for our health. But did you know that there are different types of salt and that they have different properties and effects on our body?


In chemistry, a salt is a compound that consists of positively charged ions (cations) and negatively charged ions (anions) that are held together by electrostatic forces. The most familiar salt is sodium chloride (NaCl), also known as table salt or common salt. It is composed of sodium ions (Na+) and chloride ions (Cl-).


However, there are many other salts that can be formed by combining different cations and anions. Some of these salts are used for cooking, baking, seasoning, or curing food. Others are used for industrial, medical, or cosmetic purposes.


Here are some of the 12 types of salt that you may encounter in your daily life:

  • Table salt: This is the most commonly used salt in kitchens. It is typically made from rock salt or sea salt that is mined, refined, and mixed with iodine and anti-caking agents. It has a fine texture and a uniform flavor. It can be used for baking, cooking, and seasoning food. However, it may have a metallic taste when used in large quantities and may contain additives that some people may want to avoid.

  • Sea salt: This is salt that is harvested from evaporated seawater. It has a coarse texture and a complex flavor that varies depending on where it is sourced from. It may contain trace minerals and impurities that give it different colors and aromas. It can be used for cooking, baking, and finishing dishes. However, it may not be as pure as table salt and may have varying levels of salinity.

  • Kosher salt: This is salt that is used for koshering meat by drawing out blood and moisture. It has a coarse texture and no additives or iodine. It has a mild flavor and dissolves easily. It can be used for cooking, baking, and seasoning food. However, it may not be as fine as table salt and may have different salinity levels depending on the brand.

  • Pickling salt: This is salt that is used for preserving and canning food. It has a coarse texture and no additives or iodine. It dissolves quickly and does not cloud the brine. It can be used for pickling, curing, and fermenting food. However, it may not be as readily available as table salt and may not be suitable for other purposes.

  • Pink salt: This is salt that is mined from the Himalayan mountains of Pakistan. It has a pink color and a coarse texture. It contains trace minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium that give it its color and health benefits. It can be used for cooking, baking, and finishing dishes. However, it may be more expensive than table salt and may have a strong flavor.

  • Black salt: This is salt that is mined from volcanic regions of India, Pakistan, and Nepal. It has a black color and a fine texture. It contains sulfur compounds that give it a pungent smell and taste. It can be used for seasoning food, especially in Indian cuisine. However, it may not be appealing to some people because of its odor and appearance.

  • Flake salt: This is salt that is formed by evaporating seawater or brine in shallow pools. It has a flaky texture and a delicate flavor. It can be used for finishing dishes, especially salads, seafood, and desserts. However, it may not be as easy to measure as table salt and may lose its crunch when exposed to moisture.

  • Fleur de sel: This is salt that is hand-harvested from the surface of seawater ponds in France. It has a fine texture and a subtle flavor. It can be used for finishing dishes, especially chocolate, caramel, and cheese. However, it may be very expensive and scarce.

  • Hawaiian salt: This is salt that is harvested from seawater ponds in Hawaii. It has a coarse texture and a distinctive color that ranges from red to black depending on the minerals and volcanic clay that are added to it. It can be used for cooking, baking, and seasoning food, especially meat and fish. However, it may not be widely available and may have a strong flavor.

  • Celtic salt: This is salt that is harvested from seawater ponds in Brittany, France. It has a moist texture and a gray color. It contains trace minerals and beneficial bacteria that give it its health properties. It can be used for cooking, baking, and seasoning food. However, it may not be as refined as table salt and may have a moist consistency.

  • Smoked salt: This is salt that is smoked over wood fires for several hours or days. It has a coarse texture and a smoky flavor and aroma. It can be used for seasoning food, especially meat, cheese, and eggs. However, it may not be natural and may contain artificial flavors and colors.

  • Truffle salt: This is salt that is infused with truffle oil or truffle pieces. It has a fine texture and a rich flavor and aroma. It can be used for finishing dishes, especially pasta, risotto, and popcorn. However, it may be very expensive and may not contain real truffles.


Which salt is the healthiest?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as different salts have different benefits and drawbacks depending on their source, processing, and composition. However, some general guidelines are:

  • Choose salt that is natural, unrefined, and additive-free as much as possible.

  • Choose salt that contains trace minerals and other nutrients that are beneficial for your health.

  • Choose salt that suits your taste preferences and culinary needs.

  • Use salt in moderation and according to your dietary requirements.


Salt is an essential and versatile ingredient that can enhance the flavor and quality of your food. By knowing the different types of salt and how to use them, you can make the most of this amazing mineral.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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