Table Salt vs. Sea Salt... Is there a health difference?

Fit City

(CNN) - Sea salt is showing up in kitchens and restaurants everywhere, but are there any health advantages to using this instead of the table salt most of us know?  If you've ever gone on a diet, you've probably been told to watch your sodium intake.  You know, how much salt you're eating.

The Mayo clinic says sea salt is often promoted as being a healthier option, but the real benefit may be to enjoy salt in moderation.
If you like to cook like Micah Wedemeyer you may have tried sea salt.  "You get a salt shaker out and grind the salt out over whatever you are cooking," says Micah Wedemeyer.

Does one type of salt offer more health benefits than the other?    
"Sea salt and table salt are basically different in the taste, texture and the processing.  Their health differences are not that different," says Dr. Sharon Bergquist, Emory School of Medicine.

They both contain comparable amounts of sodium.  Sea salt comes from the evaporation of sea water.  It looks like little crystals and contains some natural minerals stripped out of table salt.

"On the flip side table salt contains more iodine because since the 1920's we've been putting iodine into table salt to avoid iodine deficiency, goiter or thyroid problems," says Dr. Bergquist.

But eating a healthy diet will provide all the nutrients you might otherwise be missing by choosing one salt over the other.  So the type of salt you reach for really comes down to personal preference.
"Because those small amounts of minerals do change the flavoring slightly as well as the color slightly so a lot of gourmet chefs actually prefer the sea salt," says Dr. Bergquist.
Micah doesn't really notice the difference in taste, for him sea salt just makes cooking more of a hands on experience.  The dietary guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day or 1,500 milligrams if you're age 51 or older, have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

 Based on the latest dietary guidelines, the CDC finds the vast majority of adults eat more sodium than they should-- an average of more than 3,300 milligrams each day.  Eating too much sodium puts us at risk for developing serious medical conditions-- like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.


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