published Thursday, April 4th, 2013

ASK A DOCTOR: Is sea salt, kosher salt, iodized salt or coarse salt healthier than table salt?

By Dr. Stephen Adams
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    Dr. Stephen Adams, UT Family Practice; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Readers: To submit a question for medical doctors, email it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

Q: Is sea salt, kosher salt, iodized salt or coarse salt healthier than table salt?

A: Traditional table salt is obtained by tapping into underground deposits of salt from ancient oceans. Kosher salt is identical to table salt except the grains are larger. Sea salt is obtained by evaporating seawater. Some believe it may taste slightly better than table salt. Coarse salt refers to any type of salt that has large grains. The compound sodium chloride is the main ingredient in all salt types, and there is no health benefit in switching from one salt type to another. Most Americans eat far more salt than they should. According the American Heart Association, a high-salt diet increases the risk for high blood pressure, stroke, congestive heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease. Ways to lower your salt intake include eating fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned ones, limiting processed foods and using spices instead of salt to season your foods.

— Dr. Stephen Adams, UT Family Practice; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

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