Thursday, June 28, 2012

Is Sea Salt Better Than Table Salt?

I keep hearing that sea salt is better than regular iodized salt. What is different in sea salt? And is table salt another kind different from iodized salt?  Ken R.

Hi Ken,
I hear this question frequently and it can be very confusing. First it's important to know that all salt is sodium-chloride. Period. And all salt contains the same content of sodium and chloride, no matter where it's from or how it's used.

That said, different textures of salt can have different uses. Because sea salt has larger grains than table salt, the perceived taste may be preferable on certain dishes. On the other hand, the smaller grains of table salt are spread across your tongue easier, and using less can bring more of the flavor.
There is also an anti-caking agent added to most brands of regular table salt, and some people believe that interferes with the pure salt taste.

Iodized salt has iodine added to it as a vehicle to provide this essential mineral to diets across the states. It dates back to the first part of the 20th century when goiter (the iodide-deficiency disease) was found rampant in the northern part of the midwest where soil was iodine-poor. Nowadays we have access to food from all over the world and we don't see nearly as many people with mineral deficiencies.

Bottom line: Choose whichever texture you prefer and experiment with different types on different foods. Be sure to limit your use, especially if you are prone to high blood pressure or kidney disease. And remember that a large portion of sodium in the diet of many Americans comes from processed, smoked, and canned foods as opposed to using too much salt at the table.

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