Healthy Bites

By any other name ...

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A rose is a rose is a rose ... is it the same for salt?

Everyone is familiar with table or iodized salt. But recipes increasingly refer to other types of salt, like kosher, sea, seasoned, light and rock salt. How are they different from each other? Isn't salt just salt?

The difference between types of salt usually concerns their taste and texture.

For example, kosher salt has a coarse grain and gives a clean taste to foods.

Sea salt comes in either fine or coarse grain and has a slightly different taste caused by other minerals it contains.

Seasoned salt is flavored with herbs and other ingredients; for that reason, it actually has less salt content than other types of salt.

Rock salt is used as a decoration on food, or to make ice cream. But it's not used in cooking because of its size.

Salts do have one thing in common: They all contain sodium. So if you have hypertension or otherwise need to watch your salt intake, keep checking food labels and monitor how much salt you consume no matter what kind it is.

This tip was provided by Kelley Steen, clinical dietitian at Central Peninsula Hospital, courtesy of the American Dietetic Association's public relations team.

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