Filed under: Dining
Sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value, according to the Mayo Clinic. Indeed, both sea salt and table salt consist primarily of sodium and chloride.
Sea salt is often marketed as a more natural and healthy alternative. "The real differences between sea salt and table salt are in their taste, texture and processing, not their chemical makeup," says Mayo Clinic nutritionist, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
Sea salt is produced through evaporation of seawater, usually with little processing, which leaves behind some trace minerals and elements depending on its water source. These insignificant amounts of minerals add flavor and color to sea salt, which also comes in a variety of coarseness levels, says Zeratsky.
Table salt, on the other hand, is mined from underground salt deposits. "Table salt is more heavily processed to eliminate trace minerals and usually contains an additive to prevent clumping," says Zeratsky. "Most table salt also has added iodine, an essential nutrient that appears naturally in minute amounts in sea salt."
Salt is just one source of the sodium you consume every day. Many processed foods contain sodium in other forms while some medicines are high in sodium. According to the American Heart Association, be aware of all your sources of sodium and aim to eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Some people, including middle-aged and older adults, and people with high blood pressure, need less than 1,500 mg per day.