Sea salts are as damaging to peoples health as regular salt, according to research released today

Sea salts are as damaging to people's health as regular salt, according to research released today

Sea salt manufacturers have criticised research that claims the product is as damaging to people's health as regular salt.

A report released today (17 November) by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) and Which? questioned health claims made by sea salt makers.

The research stated that sodium and chloride combined to form salt (NaCI) increases blood pressure, leading to strokes, heart failure and heart disease and linked to osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease.

CASH and Which? said: "The results show sea salts all contain just as much sodium chloride as each other, and are therefore just as damaging for our health."

Professor Graham MacGregor of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and chairman of CASH added: "It is disgraceful that chefs still encourage people to use so much sea and rock salt."

However, sea salt firms including Cornish Sea Salt Co and The Anglesey Sea Salt Co. disagreed with the research.

Cornish Sea Salt Co said: "Recent independent analysis has shown that sea salt is typically 5% to 10% lower in sodium than table salt and Cornish Sea Salt is a pure, natural, unrefined and retains all the trace elements and minerals. Many would argue that because of this it is better for you than regular 'table salt'."

A spokesperson for The Anglesey Sea Salt Co. told just-food the research was flawed. He said the report only looked at sodium chloride and not the traces of minerals in sea salt and argued the research had not explored the additives in table salt.

He recognised that consumers should be eating less salt but said the difference in taste meant consumers were able to use less sea salt than regular salt.

However, Which? chief policy adviser Sue Davies said people are spending more money on 'premium' salt as they believe it is healthier for them. According a survey by Which?, of those who buy sea salt, 24% of them believe it is healthier or more natural (39%) than table salt.

"Which? is calling on food manufacturers to reduce the amount of salt in their foods, and we'll be monitoring their progress over the coming months," Davies added.