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!
Employers: Let’s Keep Massachusetts Workers Safe! posted on Apr 28
Today is Workers’ Memorial Day, an internationally recognized day to remember workers who have died or been injured, disabled, sickened, on the job. Here in Massachusetts, 125 workers died on the job in just the two-year period of 2014-2015. These workers were our family members, …Continue Reading Employers: Let’s Keep Massachusetts Workers Safe!
Weekly Flu Report, April 28, 2017 posted on Apr 28
The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness continued to decrease over the past seven days. Even with this current trend, we can expect to see flu continue to circulate in our communities well into springtime. So if you haven’t gotten a flu shot …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 28, 2017
National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health posted on Apr 25
April is National Minority Health Month – a time for us to highlight the Department’s work promoting the well-being of racial, ethnic and linguistic minority populations throughout the Commonwealth. Spearheaded by our Office of Health Equity (OHE), all DPH programs strive to respond effectively to …Continue Reading National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health