Dr. Peter, what is the difference between sea salt and regular table salt?

– Ervin, Cathedral City

Ervin, sea salt is produced from the ocean and table salt is mined from underground salt deposits. Sea salt crystals tend to be larger and have more unique flavors compared to table salt. A common misconception is that sea salt is healthier than regular table salt, but they actually contain the same amount of sodium. Don’t use more sea salt in your food because you think it is better than table salt. You should always try and minimize adding extra salt to your food. Your body needs sodium to perform a lot of vital functions, but too much sodium can contribute to high blood pressure. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for sodium is 2,300mg a day. If you are above the age of fifty or have medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease, sodium intake should be 1,500mg/day.

Dr. Peter, I have been trying to lose weight since the New Year. I’ve started exercising, changed my diet and even switched my soda intake to diet soda. My friend told me diet soda is bad, so then what can I drink?

– Joseph, Coachella

Joseph, a big myth is that diet soda is good for you and will help you lose weight. Diet soda will actually CAUSE weight gain. A study at Purdue University found that rats that were fed yogurt artificially sweetened gained more weight compared to rats that were fed yogurt sweetened with sugar. Another study from the University of Texas, found that there was a 41% higher risk for obesity for each can of diet soda consumed each day. There are numerous other studies that confirm the health risks associated with diet soda intake. There is increased risk for diabetes type 2 and even osteoporosis.


Now just because diet soda is bad for you, doesn’t mean you should go back to regular soft drinks. A typical 20oz soda can contain as much as 15-18 teaspoons of sugar in it. Imagine relaxing and watching a sporting event and just spooning sugar into your mouth 15-18 times!

Bottom line, soft drinks offer no nutritional value and can actually cause harm with regular intake. I recommend don’t drink this liquid candy. Drink water.