Kosher Salt and Sea Salt

Are they a better bet than table salt if you’re worried about your blood pressure?

Q: I heard that kosher salt and sea salt are much healthier than regular table salt. Is that true?

A: It depends. By weight, all three — kosher, sea, and table salt — contain the same amount of sodium. However, kosher salt has a coarser grain than fine table salt, which means that it contains less sodium by volume. In other words, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt yields less sodium than 1 teaspoon of table salt. (The larger granules of kosher salt can’t clump together as closely as the fine ones do.) So, when you’re measuring volume amounts for recipes, you’ll automatically reduce the sodium content if you make the switch to kosher salt. Sea salt offers the same benefit as kosher salt only if it’s a coarse-grained variety. On the other hand, “fine grain” sea salts have the same high sodium content as traditional table salt and therefore don’t offer any health advantage.

Nowadays, manufacturers are adding sea salt to potato chips, canned soups, and other packaged foods — probably to make the products seem healthier and more natural. But really it’s the amount of salt they’re adding, not the type, that’s important for health purposes. So don’t be swayed by tricky marketing; always check the Nutrition Facts panel to determine the sodium content per serving.

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