Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Switch from Table Salt to Less Sea Salt

Sea salt on the left.  Table salt on the right.
(In taking these photos, I realized that this table salt is not iodized.  I usually go for the iodized version.)

I grew up on Morton table salt.  Even as an adult, I still used it ... that was until last week.

An international friend was using my seasonings to cook when he asked, "Why does it take so much of this salt to season this dish?".  I jokingly replied, "Because it is fake salt".  You see, all week he had been describing American food as tasting "different", from the rice to the fruits to the chicken to almost everything.  And my reply would always be, "Because the food is fake.  That is why I buy mostly organic or 'pure'."  Fake was my short way of saying processed, genetically modified, pumped with hormones, etc.  

So, I decided to do a demonstration by purchasing pure sea salt.  I told him to try it and he said, "Yes!  This is real salt."  Then I began to question my basis for not using pure sea salt to cook.  I have tasted sea salt before and have always had the reaction of, "Man, this is salty!"  I just assumed that sea salt had way more sodium than table salt.  Additionally, my table salt usually comes iodized. (Iodine is a necessary nutrient.)

So here I was, for the first time, comparing the ingredients lists on the back of Morton table salt and this new sea salt, and what do you know?  They have the same percent daily value (25%) of sodium per serving!  What does this mean?  I can use less sea salt (and thus, less sodium) to season my dishes than I can table salt and still achieve the same flavorful result.  (Plus, I was able to purchase iodized sea salt.)  Me being the health conscious person that I am instantly felt dumb for having made this discovery so late.  Lol.

Sea salt nutrition facts (LEFT).  Table salt nutrition facts (RIGHT).
(In taking these photos, I realized that this table salt is not iodized.  I usually go for the iodized version.) 
Anyway, I did some reading after the purchase and noticed that many people usually think they can go uber generous with using sea salt.  No, please don't do that.  Keep in mind that 1/4 tsp of sea salt AND 1/4 tsp of table salt have the same amount of sodium.  Don't go from using 1/4 tsp of table salt to more than 1/4 tsp of sea salt.  I am officially a sea salt convert because I can use less sea salt to achieve the same flavor, but other people's tastebuds may taste the opposite!  (Check out the article below for details.)



Britt said...

I LOVE sea salt! I'm not a big salt eater so it's nice knowing you can just throw in a few crystals to flavor the whole dish!
And I laughed out loud at the "because it's fake" comment. I say the same thing all the time, and it's also why I get everything I can local and organic.


Loo said...

Lol! You say the same thing? You and I are *here*. :o)