Welcome back for the third installment in our “What is the Healthiest Salt?” series, where we take a closer look at the various popular types of salt, and contemplate how well they live up to their health halos. 

Last week we looked at Sea Salt, investigating the strengths and weaknesses of this popular “healthy salt alternative”. This week we’re going to talk about gray sea salt.  You may have heard the term Celtic Sea Salt. Celtic Sea Salt is not actually a “type” of salt.  It is, in fact, a trademarked brand of salt.  In this article we will be discussing the actual type of salt people are often thinking of when they refer to “Celtic Sea Salt”.  The type of sea salt we are discussing is “gray salt”.  Before that, however, let’s do a quick recap of what makes up a healthy salt.

What Makes A Salt Healthy?

The body only requires about 15 minerals, and most of those minerals also function as electrolytes. The minerals that function as electrolytes include calcium, sodium, bicarbonate, potassium, magnesium, and chloride. Keeping these electrolytes balanced in our body is very important.  The dogma that low-sodium salts are the healthiest is false.  Actually a healthy salt needs to be balanced in the key electrolytes, contaminant free, and it needs to taste good.

What Minerals are in gray sea salt?

As with Sea Salt, gray sea salt is created by evaporating sea water, and then what is left behind is the salt. However, this salt almost always comes from seawater near the town of Guérande in France.  The seawater is concentrated, first in clay silt ponds, and then in shallow pans that are formed in the native clay. This clay is what gives the salt its characteristic gray tint. 

When analyzed this salt is often found to have higher levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium than table salt.  The amounts of these mineral levels in gray Sea Salt vary. The presence of these minerals is most likely due to the clay contamination, and just like Sea Salt, other contaminants in the ocean such as microplastics, and heavy metals can also make an appearance.

Is gray sea salt healthy?

The answer is no.  As you can see on the graph below, gray salt does tend to have slightly higher levels of calcium, potassium, and magnesium than table salt. However, none of these minerals are present in amounts that would impact someone’s health.  gray salt still contains high levels of sodium relative to the other important salts, and it has even higher relative levels of chloride than the other salt alternatives we’ve seen so far.

  Sodium Chloride Magnesium Calcium Potassium Bicarbonate
Table Salt 39.10% 60.80% 0.00% 0.01% 0.09% 0.00%
Gray Sea Salt 33.80% 65.40% 0.44% 0.13% 0.23% 0.00%
Boulder Salt 22.00% 34.00% 9.00% 5.00% 9.00% 21.00%

Because Gray Sea Salt is almost entirely Sodium Chloride, offering other important minerals only in scant levels that are too low to make much of an impact on the body, we cannot recommend Gray Sea Salt as a healthy salt alternative

Be sure to check back next week, as we discover what Morton Lite Salt has to offer, and don’t miss a single episode! To subscribe to our blog, click the button to the right or fill out the “Alert Me!” form below, and you’ll be notified when the next episode is published. 

For more information or if you have any questions, contact us at Boulder Salt and our salt experts help you out today!