Ask the Expert – Sea Salt vs. Regular Salt

Ask The Expert is a weekly column on Littlestomaks.com. The idea is to have a reader-submitted question answered by a nutrition expert or a pediatrician. Feel free to submit your question in the comments section below.

There is a lot of hype about sea salt, but is it any better than regular salt for your health? This week, Registered Dietitian Caryn Roll suggests you control your family’s salt intake no matter if it is sea salt or regular salt.

Caryn Roll, BSc, BA, RD
  • BSc (McGill), BA (Carleton University)
  • Member Ordre Professionnel des Diététistes du Québec
  • Over 10 years of experience in the field of private nutrition care
  • Expertise in cholesterol control, diabetes and weight loss
  • Website: Montreal Nutrition
  • Twitter: @MTRLnutrition
  • Contact: Email carynutrition@gmail.com

Question: What is the difference between sea salt and regular salt? Is sea salt healthier for my child?

Answer:

The difference between sea salt and regular salt are few.  Regular salt that you buy off the shelf at your grocery store is usually fortified with iodine and the salt granules are quite fine.  Sea salt may or may not be fortified and the size of the granules varies.  In the past, salt was fortified to prevent iodine deficiencies.  Nowadays iodine deficiencies are rare so it is not essential to choose iodized salt.  However, it is essential to curb salt use especially with children.

Salt consumption is on the rise mainly due to the addition of salt in restaurant meals and processed foods.  Consequently, the population regularly eat these high salt containing foods: breakfast cereals, canned soups, frozen entrees, condiments like ketchup and breads and cheeses (think pizza!).  North Americans are consuming dangerously high levels of salt.  Salt is a leading cause of high blood pressure, the silent killer.

Curb salt intake by removing the salt shaker from the table.  Do not add salt to your recipes.  Read foods labels carefully.  Make sure the daily intake for sodium is as low as possible (less than 10%).  It might be hard at first to live without added salt.  But trust me, you and your kids will quickly acclimatize and then you will not be able to eat highly salted foods.

There are no health benefits associated with sea salt. It’s a personal choice in terms of texture and taste. Some recipes call for sea salt or kosher salt. It’s all the same no matter what you call it. It’s still best to keep the salt shaker off the table!

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Disclaimer – Information provided in Ask The Expert column on Littlestomaks.com is intended to give you general guidance on a question related to toddler nutrition. It is not meant to be treated as medical advice. You are welcome to contact this expert for a detailed consultation on your specific situation to determine what actions, if any, you should take regarding nutrition and health of your toddlers. We do not recommend you to take any action based solely on the information presented in this column. Experts have agreed to provide their professional opinion on toddler nutrition related questions on a voluntary basis and no compensation is offered to them by Littlestomaks.com.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the salt tips. Many people think they need to add salt to steamed veggies – but for feeding young kids, you really don’t. Just steam the veggies and give to the kids – with nothing added. They taste great and they really taste the veggie taste! http://www.veggietoddler.blogspot.com

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