Sea Salt

- Jun• 05•12

Is sea salt better than regular salt?

This question has come up a lot from readers and people attending my talks.

Most people who asked this question had the impression that sea salt was a healthier alternative from for a number of reasons. They argued that sea salt is more natural and has useful minerals that processed salt doesn’t have. That it’s saltier than regular salt, so you can use less to get the same taste. That sea salt by itself is tastier than regular salt, etc.

Is all this really true?

I went on mission to provide a well-researched answer.

I started at my local grocery stores looking at all the claims by various manufacturers. Lo and behold, numerous products with bold and eye-catching signs claimed the exact benefits readers and audiences have been touting. Even one of my most favorite snacks, edamame, is now only available in our local store with sea salt. Why would they do that? Anyone can add salt to the edamames. That’s their choice. But to take the unsalted ones away eliminates the choice to be salt-free.

Still bitter about the fact that they had removed the unsalted version, I dove into the research. I searched the medical literature up and down and could not find even an iota of evidence to support a single one of the claims that sea salt is healthier than regular salt.

Is sea salt better than regular salt in terms of taste? That’s a judgment call. From my perspective, even if that’s true and sea salt improves the taste of your food, you’ll just wind up eating more. And that’s the whole point.

By far the single most important motivation for the manufacturers is to sell more products, your health be damned.

So be a smart shopper. Always keep your health in focus when you are grocery shopping and don’t fall for these kind of claims. Don’t pick up a sea salt-added item under the impression that you are being more health conscious.


For more information from the Mayo Clinic and the BBC, check out:

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One Comment

  1. Barb Dunithan says:

    I was very fortunate to attend your June 4th meeting. Very interesting and informative

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