Table Salt vs Sea Salt

Table Salt vs Sea Salt: What’s the Difference?

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, most Americans get too much sodium in their diet, averaging around 3400 milligrams (mg) per day. The Guidelines recommend that we reduce our daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg or about 1 teaspoon. For those who are 51 and older or any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, daily sodium intake should be less than 1,500 mg. With all the extra attention on sodium, you may have noticed an increasing number of products on the supermarket shelves containing sea salt. So what is sea salt and is it any better for you than table salt?

Sea salt is made from the evaporation of sea water and comes in either fine or coarse grain. It is usually not processed and often has a slightly different taste compared to table salt due to other minerals it contains such as magnesium, potassium and calcium.

Table salt is mined from salt deposits and then processed to give it a fine texture. It often contains an additive to prevent caking and clumping and is available iodized or non-iodized.

Although it is often assumed that sea salt is a lower-sodium alternative to table salt, both contain about 40% sodium. So whether you prefer sea salt or table salt, it is important to watch your overall sodium intake. Here are some sodium reducing strategies:

Surrender the salt shaker- Instead of having the salt shaker at the table where it is easy to grab, put it in the cabinet. Also, before automatically adding salt to your food, taste it to see if it truly needs more salt.

Experiment with herbs and spices- these can add great flavor to foods and you may not even miss the salt.

Read food labels- Some foods that are high in sodium may not taste salty flavor so it is important to read the label. Compare different varieties of your favorite foods and choose those with the lowest amounts of sodium.

Make homemade meals more often- Foods served at traditional and fast food restaurants are often high in sodium so cook meals at home as often as possible where you can control how much salt is added to your food.

Buy reduced sodium products when available- Food manufacturers are offering more and more varieties of low or reduced sodium products so next time you are shopping at your local No Frills Supermarket, look for these items and give them a try.

When it comes to veggies, favor fresh or frozen- Choose vegetables that are fresh or frozen or those canned “with no added salt.”

Balance your food choices- If you know you are going to an evening movie and are going to order a big tub of salty popcorn, go easy on sodium for your breakfast, lunch and snacks that day. 

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