Table Salt Alternatives

By Sarah Samaan, Rosanne Rust, Cynthia Kleckner

Today’s grocery store shelves are lined with coarse salt, grinding salt, kosher salt, Italian sea salt, Hawaiian sea salt, regular sea salt, and so on. Having a different name or flavor doesn’t mean they’re healthy. In fact, the sea salt, gourmet salt, and potassium chloride alternatives to traditional table salt aren’t healthier, they’re just different.

The broad term sea salt describes salt derived from the ocean or sea. It’s harvested by channeling ocean water into clay trays and allowing the sun and wind to evaporate the water, leaving behind salt crystals. As a result, sea salt is generally less processed than table salt. You may notice a subtle difference in flavor, but its nutritional profile is essentially the same as traditional table salt.

The one benefit to using sea salt may involve table use. If you grind sea salt instead of using refined table salt from a shaker, you may find that you use less because grinding takes more time. Also, table salt pours so easily that you may accidently add too much, so grinding keeps you from overdoing it by accident. Still, the sodium content of each is about the same, so don’t add double the salt just because it’s sea salt.