Posted by Susan Svencer, MPH
Susan is a Sodium Reduction Specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
I can’t tell you how often I am asked that question when people find out I’m a Sodium Reduction Specialist. Truth is, table, sea, and kosher salt are more or less the same thing. One is not healthier for you than the others, since they all contain sodium. Here are the few differences between them:
Table salt is generally sold in very small grains, and is mined from underground salt deposits. Iodine (a nutrient our body needs) and calcium silicate (to stop the grains from sticking together) are usually added to table salt in processing, which is when all other minerals are removed. It is commonly used in salt shakers and during cooking and baking.
Sea salt is sold in both small and large grain sizes. It comes directly from evaporated sea water, which is why it is often advertised as a healthier, more natural type of salt. However, it contains the same amount of sodium as other salts. Because sea salt does not undergo as much processing as table salt, extra minerals from sea water are left behind and give sea salt a stronger flavor and off-white color. Some chefs prefer sea salt because of its intense flavor, and as a result, it is most often used for seasoning food after cooking.
Kosher salt is large-grained and usually comes from salt mines, just like table salt. Unlike table salt, nothing is added to kosher salt in processing. The salt itself is not kosher, meaning it doesn’t conform to Jewish food laws. However, this salt is used to cure meat to make it kosher, which is how it got its name. Kosher salt is also used for seasoning and cooking because its grains are large, which makes them easy for chefs to pick up and toss into food with their fingers.
There are a lot of misperceptions about salt, which we’re happy to clear up any time! Let us know if you have any specific salt-related questions, and visit www.mass.gov/dph/salt for more tips on reducing sodium!
Getting on the Kale Kick! posted on Aug 24
Some food trends come and go (sun dried tomatoes, anyone?), but hopefully kale is here to stay! The popularity of this leafy green has exploded over the last several years, and with good reason. Low in calories and rich in vitamins C, A and K, …Continue Reading Getting on the Kale Kick!
Highlights of the August 23rd Public Health Council Meeting posted on Aug 23
This month’s meeting of the Public Health Council featured a series of Determination of Need (DoN) requests, informational updates on the status of various pending amendments to regulations, final votes on other amendments to regulations, and a pair of informational presentations on pressing public health …Continue Reading Highlights of the August 23rd Public Health Council Meeting
Ensure a Healthy Future with Vaccines! posted on Aug 22
Taking them to their sports physical, making sure they eat healthy and get plenty of sleep…you know these are crucial to your child’s health. But did you also you know your preteens and teens need vaccines to stay healthy and protected against serious diseases? There …Continue Reading Ensure a Healthy Future with Vaccines!