Q: Are fancy salts any healthier than regular table salt?
Oz says: Chemically, they're the same: From sea salt to pink Himalayan to the basic table kind, it's all sodium chloride. But the shape of the crystals in the pricier stuff is different. "That influences how salt dissolves in saliva, and it alters your perception of saltiness," says food scientist Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., spokeswoman for the Institute of Food Technologists.
Flat or pyramid-shaped crystals disintegrate more quickly than the cubic ones in table salt, so you taste the flavor faster and may use less — a healthy thing. True, fancy salt doesn't contain iodine, as table salt does, but most of us already get plenty of this mineral from foods including milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, vegetables, shellfish, and ocean-caught fish. So go ahead and add something special to your meals — a little pinch might make your palate happy.
When to Shake It: You don't want to salt everything willy-nilly, but your health could benefit if you use it when Julia Child would, particularly on certain vegetables. Salt suppresses bitterness, so a sprinkle on broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and bitter greens like arugula or radicchio may help turn a meh relationship into mad love.
This story originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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