It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.
Following a Low Sodium Diet Can Be Delicious!
With The Dr. Gourmet Low Sodium Diet, you'll find that reducing your salt intake doesn't have to mean bland, boring food.
Using The Dr. Gourmet Low Sodium Diet, you'll receive six weeks of healthy menus that are full of flavor. This book includes:
By reading the labels, I have learned that different types of salts (sea, iodized, table, black etc.) have different sodium levels. Do you know which salts have the least amount?
You are correct that sea salt products will be lower in sodium. This is because the crystals are larger and more irregular and a teaspoon is less dense.
A teaspoon of table salt such as good, old fashioned Morton Salt in the round blue box weighs 6 grams. The Nutrition Facts on the box reports this as having 2,360 mg per teaspoon (the USDA database reports this as 2,325 mg in a teaspoon).
A teaspoon of sea salt from Whole Foods, in contrast, weighs 4.8 grams. Consequently, there is less salt as well as less sodium (listed on the box as 1,680 mg per teaspoon).
Because it is your taste buds that react to sodium and not the salt it will be the actual weight in milligrams that is important. Using 1/4 tsp. of table salt will taste more salty than the same measure of sea salt as a result.
I have chosen to use table salt in my recipes because this is the most consistent. Many sea salts can be even coarser and weigh less per teaspoon than that from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.
Thanks for writing,
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP