Many restaurants and packaged foods now advertise that their food is made with sea salt as if to grab the attention of the consumer.
Perhaps we associate sea salt with higher quality ingredients, a more natural product, or a lower sodium choice. But, is sea salt really any different than regular iodized table salt?
Sea Salt vs. Table Salt
Sea salt comes from salt water and is the product that is leftover after the water is evaporated. Table salt comes from rock salt. The main difference between table salt and sea salt is that sea salt has a higher mineral content and does not contain anti-caking agents like table salt. Sea salt is less processed and has more texture. In addition, the granules of sea salt are slightly larger than the soft, fine granules of table salt. Of course, table salt is enriched with iodine which is essential to thyroid health. Sea salt iodine amounts can vary, but it’s usually on the low end.
The nutrition facts of sea salt are almost identical to table salt. Both salts have the exact same sodium content with about 2300 mg per teaspoon. One teaspoon is the most you should have in the day. If you have high blood pressure, it would be more crucial to watch your sodium intake. There are new recommendations and studies showing sodium intake should be limited to 1600 mg for those with hypertension.
Many chefs prefer to use sea salt in cooking because of the slight flavor difference. Sea salt has a more distinct mineral flavor. When cooking, it takes longer for the sea salt to dissolve into your food. Some even say that they use less salt when adding sea salt to their food because the granules are larger and they can taste the salt better. This is the only possible health benefit of using sea salt.
In general, it is better not to add additional salt to foods because so many of our foods these days have plenty of added salt.