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.