Do You Know Nutrition?: There are many types of salt

By Phylis Canion
June 25, 2013 at 1:25 a.m.

Can you please explain the different types of salt? I am confused with all of the choices at the store. Also, I recently was salting a stew, and my salt shaker lid fell off. My dish ended up a bit too salty. Any cures for that?

There are quite a few different types of salt depending on their use. Canning salt is really pure salt and only salt. It is found only in the canning section of the supermarket.

Ice cream salt is produced from large chunks of salt and is used in homemade ice cream. This is normally not a food-grade salt.

Kosher salt has an excellent flavor and texture as well as being additive-free. Kosher salt has larger salt crystals and a more jagged shape, which means that it will cling to food better.

Because of its characteristics, kosher salt has the ability to draw more blood from meats, since kosher meats must be as free from blood as possible to meet strict Jewish dietary laws.

Pickling salt is a fine-grained salt that is additive-free and used in the preparation of pickles and sauerkraut.

Rock salt is a poorly refined salt that has a grayish appearance with large crystals.

Sea salt has a fresh flavor and is available in fine or course-grained varieties. It is usually imported and preferred by top chefs. Sea salt, as its name implies, is acquired by allowing saltwater to accumulate in pools and having the sun evaporate off the water leaving a stronger flavored salt, with a few more trace minerals than table salt.

Iodized salt and noniodized salt is considered the standard table salt with iodine either added or not. Most table salts have a noncaking agent added. One of the old wives' tales for fixing over-salted foods like soups or stews is to add a raw potato - the theory being that the potato will absorb the salt.

Another tried theory is to add sugar; a few pinches of brown sugar usually cures the extra salt in almost all foods without sweetening the dish. You can also add something acidic like vinegar or lemon that can cut the salt, as well as a bland food, like mushrooms or tomatoes.

Thought for the week: You may wear out your iron-soled shoes searching for what arrives without effort when the time is right.

The next free nutrition class is July 8 at Organic Emporium, and the next cooking class at the Cooking Depot in Cuero is July 17.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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