As indicated previously, all salts are derived from sea salts and it is simply incorrect to assume that sea salt has some nutritional benefits over processed cooking salts. No less of an authority than the American Heart Association (“AHA”) states that “It’s very important for people to be aware that sea salt often has as much sodium as table salt,” said Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., an American Heart Association spokeswoman and the Bickford Professor of Nutrition at the University of Vermont.”
Nevertheless, the AHA acknowledges that sea salt crystals are generally larger than processed salts so the level of sodium in a teaspoon of sea salt is most likely less with sea salt than the more commonly available commercial table salt.
The Dirty Secret of Salt: Factory-Processed Foods
With so many informed pundits recommending that we reduce salt consumption in the United States, it is surprising to note that no less of an authority than the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) states that:
. . . more than 75% of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods. Only a small amount comes from the salt shaker, either during home cooking or at the dinner table.
In effect, Americans should cut back on eating processed foods rather than avoid flavoring healthy farm-raised vegetables and meats with salt. Noted Italian chef Marcella Hazan points out that “Nothing is so necessary to the production of taste as salt.” Salting home cooked food in moderation certainly enhances flavors and, eating natural whole foods is certainly better for one’s diet.
Recommended Dietary Guidelines for Salt
Current US dietary guidelines suggest that people above the age of two should consume no more than 2,300 mg of salt per day (1,500 mg for adults over the age of 51). 2,300 mg of salt is just a bit over a teaspoon per day. On average, Americans consume over 3,400 mg of salt per day, most of that coming from processed foods or the food served at many fast-food chains. To curb salt intake, the CDC recommends purchasing unprocessed foods and cooking at home.