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All Salt is Not Equal!

sea-salt-and-herbs-thumb13078133When I was in New York a few months ago, I stopped by a wonderful store that sold 3 main things-flavored olive oils, flavored vinegars and salts. There are many different types of salts that are available to buy. Most are, indeed, flavored (or infused) with various spices and herbs or have different minerals in them that change their color and depth of flavor. How do you know what to buy for yourself?

I’m not a salt advocate. I don’t use it a lot, as too much raises blood pressure, keeps water weight on and can dull your palate, but that being said, salt DOES bring out the flavor of foods. Here are 4 basic types of salt you should be aware of-

Iodized Salt
This is your basic table salt. Can you picture the little girl in the raincoat and umbrella on the label? It’s fortified with iodine which is important for thyroid regulation. This salt has the smallest grains, so it dissolves quickly in food. This is the standard for most home cooks.

Kosher Salt
This is my personal preference for cooking. The flakes are flatter, lighter and the grains are larger than iodized salt. You’ll actually get less sodium, as larger grains take up more space per teaspoon! Also, because of the larger grains, you can get a little crunch when you finish your dish with a little of this.

Sea Salt
Sea salt has a briny flavor and the grains are even bigger than kosher salt. This means it’s not terrific for cooking or baking, because they don’t dissolve very well. Use it like a true seasoning, or finishing salt. The same can be said for many of the flavored salts, like pink and grey and the infused salts.

Low-Sodium Salt
This is a specialty salt that is actually cut with potassium chloride. This is the perfect choice for those with higher blood pressure. Cooking with this will give your food a bitter taste, so keep it for shaking.
No matter which salt you choose, remember that the American Heart Association recommends getting less than 1500 milligrams of sodium a day. That’s about 2/3 of a teaspoon of salt. Not as much as you thought, huh?

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