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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57 comments

Sara S
Sara S1 days ago

I'll continue buying regular sea salt.

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Elinor D
Elinor Dorrian2 days ago

Probably not.

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Elinor D
Elinor Dorrian2 days ago

Just trendy.

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Chad A
Chad Anderson2 days ago

Thank you.

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Connie O
Connie O3 days ago

I would not consider eating it, but have seen some pretty lamps fashioned from it. Thank you.

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S M
S M3 days ago

This pink salt from Himalayas business is fashion nonsense. It is celebrity chefs trying to come up with something new as their food fashions on veg or cereals wanes as the people of the world realise there are more important matters than dinner parties and food fashions. ..... whereas we need the Himalayas to stay as have been since time began for several good reasons, and not chipped away for a mere fad recipe!

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Dennis Hall
Dennis Hall4 days ago

Thanks

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Sophie A
Sophie A4 days ago

thanks very much

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Peggy B
Peggy B4 days ago

TYFS

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mac C
mac C5 days ago

I try not to add salt, but use fresh seasonings to season food. Many of my friends use Himalaya Salt. I also have some on hand, so found this article very helpful... as always. Thank you, Zoe.

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