Post Content

Posted by Susan Svencer, MPH

Susan is a Sodium Reduction Specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

  
“Is sea salt really healthier for you than other types of salt?” 

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 saltSalt3KindsOn3Spoons
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
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
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!

Written By:

Tags: , , ,

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, March 24, 2017 posted on Mar 24

The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness increased slightly in the past seven days, following a drop in those rates during the previous week. Flu can be unpredictable, but the one thing we know for certain is that flu season isn’ t over   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 24, 2017

Slow and Steady Wins the Race! posted on Mar 20

Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

How to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals this National Nutrition Month! By Campbell Reiff It’s March, and you know what that means – spring is here!  March is not only the month for the change in seasons, but is also National Nutrition Month! This month, the   …Continue Reading Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017 posted on Mar 17

Rates of flu-like illness rebounded slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. Regardless of the swings from week to week, it’s important to note that we can expect to see flu continuing to circulate in our communities well into springtime.   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017