Different kinds of salt

Photo: Thinkstock

2 of 6
"Sea salt is lower in sodium than table salt."
About 90 percent of Americans eat way too much salt, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But switching from table salt, which is mined from underground salt deposits, to sea salt, made from evaporated seawater, won't make a bit of difference. It's true that sea salt is less processed than table salt, so it may have some trace minerals and elements that give it more intense flavor (coarser varieties also have larger grains that give a nice crunch to vegetables and salads). But both types of salt contain the same amount of sodium chloride by weight, says Anahad O'Connor, a New York Times reporter who has written more than 400 columns investigating health myths and questions. This means they contribute equally to total sodium consumption and have the same effect on blood pressure. What's more, only about 5 or 6 percent of our sodium intake comes from salt that we shake on at the table, while three quarters comes from food prepared by restaurants or packaged-goods manufacturers.

Grain of truth: The type of salt you use at home matters less to your health than the fact that you cooked the food yourself.