Your taste buds may have a preference, but sea salt doesn’t have any real health advantages. Many gourmet chefs favor it over table salt for its coarse, crunchy texture and stronger flavor. Manufacturers are using it in potato chips and other snacks because it’s “all natural,” and not processed like table salt. And some health-conscious consumers choose it because it contains minerals like magnesium.
Although both sea salt and table salt contain about 40 percent sodium, many consumers haven’t gotten that message. Sea salt is obtained directly through the evaporation of seawater. It undergoes minimal processing, so it retains trace levels of minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and other nutrients.
Table salt, on the other hand, is mined from salt deposits and then processed to give it a fine texture so it’s easier to mix and use in recipes. Processing strips table salt of any minerals it may have contained, and additives are also usually incorporated to prevent clumping or caking. Whichever you choose, the American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to no more than 1,500 milligrams a day.