The main differences between sea salt and table salt are in their taste, texture and processing.
Table salt is the granulated white salt seen in most saltshakers. Table salt is typically mined from underground deposits. It's processed to remove other minerals. Table salt is commonly fortified with iodine, which is important for thyroid health.
Sea salt is a general term for salt produced by evaporation of ocean water or water from saltwater lakes. It is less processed than table salt and retains trace minerals. These minerals add flavor and color. Sea salt is available as fine grains or crystals.
Sea salt is often promoted as being healthier than table salt. But sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value. Sea salt and table salt contain comparable amounts of sodium by weight.
Whichever type of salt you enjoy, do so in moderation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day. That's roughly how much sodium is in 1 teaspoon of table salt.
Sept. 14, 2021
- Sea salt vs. table salt. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/sea-salt-vs-table-salt. Accessed June 29, 2021.
- Duyff RL. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. 5th ed. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2017.
- 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov. Accessed June 29, 2021.
- The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Seasons, condiments, and beverages. In: Techniques of Healthy Cooking, Professional ed. 4th ed. John Wiley & Sons; 2013.