What is Kosher Salt?
Kosher salt is the most common ingredient available in the kitchen cabinet. It is highly versatile, has a unique taste and coarse texture. It is named Kosher, as its large grains are used for koshering which is a process involving the removal of blood from meat or poultry before preparing.(1) Having larger flakes makes it easier to pick them up and sprinkle them on food. Kosher salt is purely sodium chloride and unlike other types of salt, it does not contain additive or iodine.(2)
Kosher Salts Comparison With Other Salt Types
Other than kosher salt, there are many other types of salt available. All of them vary in appearance, composition, and culinary uses. Kosher salt is mined from salt deposits and is not iodized. It is white in color and has large coarse flakes. It is used for seasoning dishes, after cooking, smoking meat, for brining, and pickling.
Himalayan salt is known to be obtained from the Khewra salt mine in Pakistan. It is composed of sodium chloride and trace minerals and is not iodized. It has a pinkish tint and large flakes. It is used for seasoning dishes during or after cooking and for baking.(3)
Table salt is another variety that is mined from salt deposits. It is composed of sodium chloride and an anti-clumping agent and is typically iodized. It is white in color and has fine even flakes. It is used for seasoning dishes and can be used before as well as after cooking. It can also be an ingredient used for baking purposes.
Sea salt is made by evaporating seawater.(4) It is composed of sodium chloride and trace minerals and is not iodized. It has uneven flakes and is used for seasoning dishes after cooking and curing meat.
Benefits of Kosher Salt
Kosher salt can be used for cooking purposes. It has large grains that make it easy to sprinkle on dishes. As it is less refined, it is preferred by most people. Also, it does not contain any additive like anti-clumping or anti-caking agents. Its pure taste is liked by people.
It is a highly versatile salt type and has a wide range of culinary uses. It is used for seasoning dishes, brining meat, and pickling purposes. It is a good source of sodium and its intake should be monitored. Sodium is known to play a role in nerve and muscle function and for maintaining fluid balance in the body.(5) Kosher salt is also used for soothing bee stings, defrosting car windows, and exfoliation of dead skin cells.
Taste and Mineral Content of Kosher Salt
Kosher salt varies a little bit in taste from other salt types as it is purely sodium chloride. It does not contain iodine, therefore, does not leave a bitter aftertaste.
As kosher salt is purely sodium chloride, it does not contain any trace minerals, iodine, anti-clumping anti-caking agents.
Comparatively, iodized salt contains iodine, a mineral that is essential for thyroid health and hormone production.(6)
Himalayan salt and sea salt also contains small amounts of minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium.
Which Salt Type is Healthiest?
The salt varieties do not differ much from each other in taste, appearance, and mineral content.
However, iodized salt may be required by those people who have lesser iodine intake in the diet. Foods rich in iodine are fish and dairy products.(7) Iodine deficiency may lead to goiter, hyperthyroidism and neurological abnormalities in infants and children.(8)
If you think you lack sodium in your diet, speak with your doctor and consider including iodine-rich foods in your diet.
Kosher salt is a salt type that has large flakes and is a good option for koshering process. It is not iodized and is purely sodium chloride. No salt is good or bad, you can make a choice based totally on the purpose you are using it for and your personal health needs.
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