Q&A: Is 'sea salt' different from regular salt?

Consumer Reports News: July 13, 2013 12:08 PM

Q: Ads suggest that there's a difference between sea salt and regular table salt. I know there's a difference in flavor between plain and iodized salt, but is the origin of salt also significant? —Arthur Peters Oroville, CA

A: Sea salt comes from evaporating sea water, with little or no processing. It's more coarse than table salt and can have an odor or flavor due to mineral residues such as magnesium.

Table salt comes from underground salt deposits and is processed to remove other minerals and nutrients. Additives are needed to prevent clumping, and iodine is often added for thyroid health.

Sea salt is promoted as having more health benefits than table salt, but there's nothing it offers that you can't easily get from other dietary sources.

See our Food & drink guide.

To submit your own questions, see: ConsumerReports.org/askourexperts.

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