A man's hand holding salt
Health

Is Celtic Sea Salt a Fad or Superfood?

Pink Himalayan salt, prepare to be dethroned.

30-Second Takeaway

Celtic salt has gone viral on TikTok for its alleged benefits, including better hydration and gut health. Nutrition experts push back and say the benefits of Celtic salt are nearly identical to those of other salts.

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ellness influencers and chefs have raved about Celtic salt on social media, touting benefits like increased hydration and restored electrolyte balance. Other biohackers claim that Celtic salt is a silver bullet for reducing inflammation, promoting better sleep, and improving gut health. 

But, is there science to back the benefits? We tapped a registered dietitian and a nutritional immunologist to see if Celtic salt is something you should sprinkle into your diet, or if it’s just another underwhelming health fad (think: Oatzempic). 

About the Experts:

Megan Meyer, Ph.D., is a nutritional immunologist and a science communication consultant.

Megan Hilbert, M.S., R.D.N., is a registered dietitian with Top Nutrition Coaching. She specializes in gut health, IBS, intuitive eating, and the gut-brain axis.

What Is Celtic Salt?

Despite the name, Celtic salt isn’t sourced from the cliffs of Ireland. This salt is made from evaporated seawater from the Celtic Sea, just off the coast of France. But how is Celtic salt different from other buzzy sea salts, such as Himalayan pink or Hawaiian red salt?

“Its main distinction from other salts is its gray coloring, which is tied to its mineral content,” explains nutritional immunologist Megan Meyer, Ph.D.

Celtic salt contains 34 minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium. These, trace minerals are removed from table salt during processing, explains registered dietitian Megan Hilbert, R.D.N. 

Some trace minerals are essential, meaning you need to get them from food as your body doesn’t produce them. They’re critical for energy metabolism and transporting oxygen around your body (1).

Which Is Better, Himalayan Salt or Celtic Salt?

Thirty-four minerals may sound impressive, but they’re found in microscopic amounts, says Meyer. Himalayan pink salt contains as many as 84 elements and trace minerals with a higher concentration of the most important ones, including iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. 

Is Celtic Salt Healthy?

As of right now, there isn’t any published research on the alleged health benefits of Celtic salt. 

Still, the pearly, gray salt could be a good substitute for table salt—especially if you want to shake things up in your spice cabinet.

Potential Celtic Salt Benefits

Supports electrolyte balance

Many of the minerals in salt are important electrolytes that help maintain the balance of fluids inside and outside of your cells, enabling you to stay hydrated. However, you don’t have to opt for Celtic salt to get this benefit.

People who sweat a lot and do heavy workouts need to be more on top of getting electrolytes than others, explains Hilbert. That’s because whenever you lose fluids through sweat, urine, or stool, you also lose electrolytes (2).

Electrolytes also transmit electrical impulses that allow your muscles to contract and your nerves to carry messages between cells (2). If you’re low on electrolytes, you may experience symptoms like muscle cramps, fatigue, and dizziness. 

But, your favorite electrolyte beverages all contain these minerals in higher amounts in a balanced ratio. Hilbert recommends eating a variety of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, all of which provide a higher amount of these key minerals.

Is less processed than other salts

Meyer believes Celtic salt is getting more hype recently as health-concerned shoppers are beginning to prioritize buying fewer processed food items (3).

Unlike Celtic salt, table salt typically undergoes an intense refining process before it ends up in the shaker on your dining room table (4). Table salt is often mined from salt deposits or extracted from seawater. Then, it’s refined to remove impurities and enhance appearance, texture, and taste.

This processing doesn’t make refined table salt toxic for your body—it’s still safe to consume (5). It may even make it better for you. Table salt is often fortified with iodine to prevent iodine deficiency. Some manufacturers even include additives like potassium iodide to help boost its iodine content.

How much sodium you consume daily is what matters from a health perspective. 

Does Celtic Salt Contain Less Sodium Than Normal Salt?

Nope, it contains an equivalent of sodium as table salt (6). The risks of consuming too much Celtic salt are no different from those of having too much table salt in your diet, Meyers says. 

“About 90 percent of Americans (adults and children) are consuming too much sodium (7),” she says. Consuming more than 5 grams of table salt, or 2 grams of sodium, per day is linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack and stroke (8). 

The Bottom Line

Celtic salt isn’t a silver bullet for overall health and wellness—especially compared to other sea salts with similar benefits. However, replacing your regular table salt with Celtic salt has no considerable health risks.

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