Is Himalayan Pink Salt Really Better for You?

You may have seen advertisements for Himalayan pink salt that claim itís much better for you than regular, refined table salt. Are these claims true? It turns out thereís more to the story than simply which type of salt may or may not be the best choice for you.

WHATíS IN HIMALAYAN PINK SALT?

Himalayan pink salt is mined from the Salt Range mountains in Pakistan, which are south of the Himalayan mountains. Scientists believe these salt deposits formed at the bottom of ancient oceans millions of years ago.

Many ads for Himalayan pink salt claim that it contains 84 minerals. This appears to be true, based on spectral analysis of the salt. But, most of these 84 minerals are found in very trace amounts. Also, not all 84 are beneficial minerals. Himalayan pink salt also contains trace amounts of toxic and radioactive substances, such as arsenic, mercury, uranium and plutonium.

The two minerals Himalayan pink salt contains the most of are sodium and chloride. These are also the main components of regular table salt. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that an adult consumes no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, which is equivalent to about 4 teaspoons of Himalayan salt. Even if you ate that much salt per day, you still wouldnít receive any significant amounts of the other minerals found in Himalayan salt.

Salt close up

SHOULD WE EVEN BE EATING SALT?

Sodium is important for your body to maintain proper fluid balance, as well as muscle and nerve functions. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend you get at least 1,500 mg of sodium per day to maintain health.

But, itís well-established that eating too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. High sodium intake has also been linked to many other health conditions, such as obesity and kidney disease. This is concerning, considering that the average American eats 3,440 mg of sodium per day, which is already about 50 percent more than the maximum recommended amount of 2,300 mg per day.

Replacing regular table salt with Himalayan pink salt wonít solve this problem. We all need to find ways to make sure our sodium intake is below the recommended 2,300 mg per day.

Research has also shown that consuming adequate potassium helps your body excrete sodium and reduce its negative effects. Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally high in potassium and low in sodium, which is another excellent reason to eat more veggies and less salt in any form.

Related: How a High Salt Diet is Assaulting Your Arteries

ARE THERE ANY PROVEN BENEFITS TO EATING HIMALAYAN PINK SALT?

Himalayan pink salt advocates sometimes claim it has many health benefits. Currently, no scientific studies have been done to prove these claims.

Itís true that Himalayan pink salt is less processed than regular table salt. Himalayan pink salt is unrefined and the mined salt rocks are simply crushed before being sold as salt. Whereas, table salt goes through an extensive refining process that removes most of the naturally-occurring minerals.

Himalayan pink salt also contains less sodium per volume than regular table salt. According to their nutritional data, Himalayan pink salt has about 677 mg of sodium in a 6g (1 teaspoon) serving. Whereas, regular table salt contains 2325 mg of sodium per 6g.

That means Himalayan pink salt has about three and a half times less sodium than table salt. This is a good thing, as long as you keep your salt intake the same. If you simply use more Himalayan salt to make up the difference, youíre no better off than using table salt.

SHOULD YOU BUY HIMALAYAN PINK SALT INSTEAD OF REGULAR SALT?

Some people report a better flavor in their food when using Himalayan pink salt. It also has less sodium and more trace minerals than table salt.

If youíd like to have a less refined salt that could add a unique essence to your dishes, it may be worth experimenting with Himalayan pink salt. Just donít expect it to come with any profound health benefits.

Although, if youíd simply like to salt your food with a much cheaper price tag, regular table salt is still a good option. And keep in mind that table salt is also typically fortified with iodine. If you decide to switch to Himalayan pink salt, make sure youíre getting iodine from other sources, such as seaweed, prunes, eggs and lima beans.

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66 comments

Kees Vlak
Kees Vlak3 days ago

The calculation of the amount of sodium in a 6g teaspoon of Himalyan pink salt is incorrect. According to the spectral analysis mentioned in the first section, there is 382.61 g/kg sodium in it. For 6 g that is 2296 mg (not 677 mg). That is only about a percent less than in regular table salt. Not surprising since, like regular table salt, Himalayan pink salt consists mostly of sodium chloride.

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Alice A
Alice Albertabout a month ago

Thanks it's very knowledgeable and interesting. some people don't have believe on pink salt specialty. Few months ago i also have don't believe and trust about pink salt because i don't have any kind of knowledge about pink salt. but when i saw an article then i have interest in pink salt and then i study deeply and take knowledge about the specialty of pink Himalayan salt.

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Gino C
Gino C2 months ago

Thank you

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Jan S
Jacob S3 months ago

tyfs

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Melisa B
Past Member 3 months ago

thanks

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Paulo R
Paulo R3 months ago

ty

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Alexandra Richards
Alexandra Richards3 months ago

Thank you.

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Angelo M
Angelo Morella3 months ago

Thanks Zoe for an educational and balanced article on Himalayan pink salt, it is in line with the thoughts I had posted last year in February on Care2 about Pink Salt Is Good for Your Sole.
I like that we are getting balanced information from experts like yourself, makes it easier to make confident decisions.
One needs to be careful about some matters where depending on the source of information different conclusions could be reached. One such matter is sodium content of pink salt and tablet salt; they are similar depending on whether one is talking about refined table salt or one of the many sea salt products. Sea salt has less sodium than refined tablet salt, being less refined it tends to be more clumpy.
Having read extensively, I go back to the Mediterranean diet to support decisions, my ancestors used sea salt, lower in sodium and contains all elements found on the planet.
However one of the Care2 articles alluded to how much iodine we need in our diet. As I understand it the only place one can guarantee to get iodine is from seafood, as seafood accumulates iodine from the sea and iodised products such as iodised sea salt. So I use iodised sea salt now.
The amount of iodine from terrestrial sources depends on the presence of iodine, which is an element and produced during the big bang, is not produced by living things. So either the iodine is present in the feed/fertizer or is present in the soil. Like selenium, iodine has often been lea

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Hannah A
Hannah A3 months ago

Thank you for posting

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Sara S
Sara S3 months ago

I'll continue buying regular sea salt.

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