In a survey conducted by the American Heart Association, 61 percent of respondents incorrectly agreed that sea salt is a lower-sodium alternative to table salt. Table salt and most sea salts all contain about 40 percent sodium by weight. Kosher salt and some sea salts may have larger crystal sizes than table salt, so they may have less sodium by volume e. A teaspoon of table salt has about 2, mg of sodium, but a teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt may have less sodium simply because fewer crystals fit on the spoon. Some varieties of sea salt claim to have less sodium than table salt.
Spoonful of Salt
Sea salt is obtained directly through the evaporation of seawater. It is usually not processed, or undergoes minimal processing, and therefore retains trace levels of minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and other nutrients.
This processing strips table salt of any minerals, and additives may be used to prevent clumping. The maximum safe daily intake for sodium is 2, milligrams, according to the Institute of Medicine.
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While drinking water helps neutralize overconsumption of salt, ingesting too much water -- and too little salt -- can also be dangerous. Hyponatremia, a condition that occurs when the water-to-sodium ratio in your body is too high, can lead to nausea, vomiting, headaches, seizures, fatigue, neurological problems and even coma.
Overconsumption of water is especially dangerous for endurance athletes, who lose high amounts of sodium and other electrolytes through sweating.
In addition to drinking plenty of water, notes the American Dietetic Association, endurance athletes benefit from consuming sports beverages containing electrolytes and carbohydrates before, during and after exercise to reduce the risk of dehydration and hyponatremia. Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites. Skip to main content. The notarized date was January 10, —one day prior to the date engraved on the small silver vessel that holds my challah salt.
While I had assumed its ritual function as a Shabbat salt vessel early in my marriage, more recently I began to suspect that this might not be the case.
Was something else afoot with this tiny heirloom, a domestic vestige of a Sephardic ancestor my young sons would never meet? Curiosity roused, I started turning over stones to find some kind of answer to the mystery of the silver vessel.
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At times, this quest made me the awkward host of my own personal episode of Antiques Road Show. When the Israeli-art expert Shalom Sabar attended a Sukkot party at my house last fall, I asked if he would mind taking a glance at the heirloom. Though he did not have the proper examining tools on hand, the professor kindly agreed to examine my beloved salt dispenser. Upon hearing that my great-grandfather was Turkish, he gently suggested a possibility I had not ever considered: The vessel could have functioned in the traditional Turkish sweet service, to hold sugar or other dessert delicacies.
Sabar promised to send me an article on the subject so I could explore the notion further. Sounds plausible, and very Jewish.
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Toward the back of her book, nestled among the more-familiar Sephardic desserts like bimuelos doughnut puffs , masapan marzipan , and baklava, is a section of recipes for spoon sweets made from exotic fruits like quince and pumpkin. These are the types of sweets that would be included on a tavla tray.
They were always presented in a tavla de dulses , with a kucharera. It was also customary to serve sharope as well for a banyo de novia [bridal shower] or weddings and life-cycle events. I asked Cohen which spoon sweet was her favorite. The one that is bittersweet.
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While excited to learn about a Sephardic practice of which I had been totally unaware, I also felt somewhat chagrined that, for all these years, I had been proudly sprinkling my challah with salt from a vessel that was not meant for that purpose. Had I fundamentally blundered by using the vessel for the Hebrew motzi when, in reality, it was meant to serve in a pan-Balkan hospitality ritual? In swapping sugar for salt, had I unknowingly baited the evil eye on a weekly basis? What were the implications of using profane objects for sacred purposes?
I shuddered to think what the rabbinic sages, with their elaborate table-as-altar metaphor, would make of my consecrating the Sabbath offering in this mixed-up manner. Sephardic culinary expert Stella Hanan Cohen still uses her heirloom kucharera set for serving tavla de dulses to her guests. Photo by Stella Hanan Cohen. As I tried to integrate the data points I had gathered, the sugar-not-salt theory started to make more sense to me. My great-grandfather Haim was born in Bodrum, not far from Izmir on the Turkish coast, and he still had several relatives in Turkey while he and Estrella were living in Africa among them, the famous Sephardic historian Avraham Galante, a professor at Istanbul University.
Could this vessel have been part of a tavla de dulsi set sent to Estrella and Haim from their Levantine relatives to mark their silver anniversary?