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

Constipation Concerns for Children: Diet and Activity Can Help! posted on Apr 25

Constipation Concerns for Children:  Diet and Activity Can Help!

  By Rachel Colchamiro and Cara D’Anello Believe it or not, constipation is a pretty popular topic of conversation among parents of young children—at least it was in my house when my kids were little!  It’s tough to know when things are normal or when   …Continue Reading Constipation Concerns for Children: Diet and Activity Can Help!

Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule posted on Apr 23

Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule

Most parents vaccinate their children according to CDC’s recommended immunization schedule, protecting them from 14 potentially serious diseases before their second birthday. We are lucky in Massachusetts that we have high vaccination coverage for the majority of recommended vaccines. In fact, for children 19-35 months of   …Continue Reading Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule

Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018 posted on Apr 20

Rates of flu-like illness rose slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. There is still flu vaccine available if you have not gotten a flu shot. Call your healthcare provider or visit https://vaccinefinder.org which offers listings for local boards of health   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018