Statistically speaking Americans should be consuming less than 2300 mg per day of salt. However, the average intake is 3500 mg thanks to the fast food nation that surrounds and relentless consumption of processed foods. I might add that most chefs who create your eats whether haute cuisine or not, are typically heavy-handed when it comes to the granules. So when you cook (if you do), hold the salt until the end of your culinary adventure and add at the end to taste! Salt can come from one of two places—the earth or the sea. Whether from land or ocean, once both have been filtered to remove impurities, there is really no nutritional difference between them. Unless of course the salt is iodized (mixed with tiny amounts of the iodine) to help prevent deficiencies that could lead to mental retardation or thyroid problems in third world countries. So does your salt need to be iodized? Not necessarily.
The difference among salts really lies in how it is processed. If from the earth (aka table salt or rock salt) it comes from a natural deposit in land that is literally mined and refined to create everything from flaky Kosher to dense fine-grained salt (both often having added anti-caking agents). What you choose to use is really a matter of preference. My favorite is Kosher (without added agents) when it comes to the rocks cause it’s light and flaky leaving the delicate in a dish.
On the other hand, salt from the sea is literally made by evaporating seawater after removing impurities like sand. The size of the remaining crystals really depends on processing leaving ocean saltiness as finely ground granules or small hard beads; cakey Celtic; or light and flaky yet crunchy like many of the artisanal brands. My go to here is finely ground as my “table salt”, small hard beads to add that sporadic burst of saltiness to fleshy foods and artisanal to finish any and every dish.
Salt is everywhere and people are processing and packaging it whether from land or sea from Hawaii to the Himalayas. While there can be some nutritional advantages (meaning additional minerals) to minimally processed salt from the sea (and perhaps even some artisanal rock salts), it is nothing to write home about. Therefore, best bet is to curb your consumption as too much can lead to a slurry of health worry.
So roll your sleeves up, cook a meal and add your salt as a finish to your dish. If out to dinner, surely hold the crystals—it’s already mixed into your meal. And please limit processed foods in this ever-present fast food nation. You can also check out some great low salt seasonings like Herbamare—offering tons of flavor without the sodium!