Question: What is the difference between table salt, sea salt, and kosher salt? Is one type of salt better than the others for my heart and blood pressure?
Answer: The differences among salts are related to how they are processed, resulting in different tastes and textures. But, regardless of the type of salt, it contains 40% sodium. Any differences in sodium content are because of the volume and shape of the crystals.
Kosher and sea salt have larger crystals, which means they take up more space and, in theory, are lower in sodium by volume standards. For example:
- One teaspoon of table salt weighs 6 grams and contains 2,325 mg sodium.
- One teaspoon of sea salt weighs 5 grams and contains 1,872 mg sodium.
- One teaspoon of kosher salt weighs 3 grams and contains 1,120 mg sodium.
Sodium is a mineral that balances the fluids in your body and regulates a number of critical body functions. If you have too much sodium in your diet, your blood pressure can increase, leading to a condition called hypertension. Sodium is also found naturally in foods.
If you are on a sodium-restricted diet it is advised that you limit or eliminate all forms of added salt from your diet. You can get plenty of sodium from the foods that you eat. If you do not have high blood pressure or heart failure and are not on a sodium restricted diet, your best choice of salt is likely kosher salt, as long as you limit the portion to less than a half teaspoon per day.
For more information on a heart-healthy diet plan, please contact the Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Program at 216.444.9353 (or toll-free at 800.223.2273, extension 49353) and we can schedule a nutrition consultation - or - use our Remote Cardiac Nutrition Counseling Services.