Dear Peggy: I've read that a large soup company is using sea salt to reduce sodium in its soups. Is it true that sea salt is lower in sodium than iodized table salt? —G.C., Loveland, Colorado
Good question! Sea salt isn't lower in sodium than table salt. The company you referred to doesn't use the plain sea salt that you often find on grocery store shelves. Instead, it uses a special salt that's like regular sea salt in that it's made from seawater, but different because sodium is reduced while other minerals are added during the drying process to "bulk it up." This results in a salt mixture that's only part sodium chloride (the chemical makeup of table salt) for a reduced-sodium product.
Many salt substitutes available in grocery stores use other minerals to replace sodium, similar to the reduced-sodium salt described above. While these salt substitutes do enhance flavor in a manner similar to table salt, they're not as effective and can have a bitter metallic taste. Food companies are making progress in improving salt substitutes' flavor. Check your grocery store's spice aisle for an assortment of salt substitutes. You're sure to find one that suits your taste.