Sea Salt vs. Table Salt - Differences

Medically Reviewed on 3/28/2022
difference between sea salt and table salt
Although sea salt is advertised as being healthier, sea salt and table salt have the same sodium content. The difference is in how they’re processed

Despite having the same sodium concentration, sea salt and table salt not only have different tastes and textures but are also processed differently.

Sea salt

  • Made from evaporated seawater and with little to no processing
  • Can be highly or somewhat salty depending on where it is obtained
  • Retains trace minerals, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, depending on the water source, which enhance the flavor and color
  • May be used in both savory and sweet recipes because it comes in fine or medium-grained coarseness

Table salt

  • Also called iodized salt, obtained from subsurface salt sources 
  • Processed to remove minerals and add calcium silicate to prevent clumping
  • May contain added potassium iodide to fight goiter
  • May need to be avoided in savory recipes because the anti-caking component may impart a metallic flavor when used in large quantities
  • Can be used in baking because most recipes only ask for a moderate amount of salt

Is sea salt healthier than regular salt?

Although sea salt is frequently advertised as being healthier, sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value and sodium content.

If you are not pregnant or breastfeeding and you eat iodine-rich meals on a regular basis, sea salt is a great option since they come in a wide variety of flavors and textures. However, the salt you choose to season your food really depends on your preferences.

What is the daily recommended salt intake?

Whatever type of salt you prefer, use it sparingly. According to the American Dietary Guidelines, salt intake should be limited to less than 2,300 mg per day or one teaspoon of table salt.

Eating too much salt of any kind is not recommended for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, bone disorder, or kidney diseases. People with these conditions should consume less than 1,500 mg of salt per day.

What are other common types of salts available in the market?

Besides sea salt and table salt, you may find many more types of salt options to choose from when shopping at the grocery store:

  • Kosher salt: Kosher salt has a coarse grain and a lighter, flakier texture. While very similar to table salt, it has less sodium per teaspoon than table salt due to the greater particle size. To obtain the same level of saltiness, use the same amount of weight of kosher salt as table salt.
  • Lite salt: Lite salt has almost half the sodium content of conventional table salt. It is a mixture of sodium chloride (table salt) and potassium chloride. If you are on certain medications or have kidney problems, talk to your doctor before using these or salt substitutes. 
  • Himalayan pink salt: Himalayan salt frequently contains small amounts of iron oxide (rust), giving it a pink tint. It has a slightly lower sodium content and contains small amounts of potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. This salt is considered a finishing salt because it brings out the tastes of foods while providing a crisp texture.

Regardless of the salt you choose, make sure to read the ingredients list and avoid excess salt intake by seasoning your foods with herbs, spices, lemon juice, etc.


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Medically Reviewed on 3/28/2022
American Heart Association. Sea Salt vs. Table Salt.

Anderson L. What Is the Difference Between Table Salt and Sea Salt? Michigan State University.

Bell A. Pass the Salt - But Which One Is Best? The University of Texas at San Antonio.