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Raj Singh MD
August 27, 2023

Which is better Himalayan or Sea Salt?

Which is better? Himalayan or Sea Salt

So when referring to salt, we generally mean sodium chloride. Although, Often Used synonymously sodium is not salt as no chloride is attached to the sodium molecule. There are non-chloride versions of sodium, such as sodium bicarbonate, often referred to as baking soda and monosodium glutamate or MSG. Monosodium glutamate is an additive used as a flavor enhancer in processed foods, and its safety remains controversial.

As humans, we do not need much sodium to survive; however, most of us consume a very high sodium diet (3 grams of sodium per day), and the current guidelines recommend restricting sodium to less than 2.3 grams per day. Most of the sodium in our diet comes from processed food and eating out at restaurants.

So let us dive in and discuss different types of salts available in the market.

Table salt

is highly refined and processed with anti-caking agents such as calcium silicate (Reduces moisture and clumps and keeps the salt freely flowing) and has other additives such as iodine. Most of the table comes from mining deep underground salt deposits and by evaporating seawater.

Sea Salt

is derived after evaporating seawater from salt Lakes or ocean water. Sea salt is being promoted as much healthier than table salt; however, the sodium content in both sea salt and table salt is identical. Sea salt has some trace minerals like zinc, iron, and potassium which are beneficial. The problem is because of rising pollution in the oceans; the sea salts may contain high amounts of lead, arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals.

Himalayan salt or pink salt?

is sourced from mines in Pakistan. The distinct pink color of the salt is because of the presence of iron oxide. Himalayan salt has some trace minerals such as iron manganese, zinc, calcium, and potassium, and its overall sodium content is lower when compared to table salt or sea salt. Because of this reduced sodium content and presence of trace minerals, the Himalayan salt gets marketed as a healthy alternative to regular salt. Himalayan salt has no added iodine, which may cause hypoactive thyroid in iodine-deficient individuals. There are no proven health benefits to using Himalayan salt, just like there is no benefit of using Himalayan salt lamps. Himalayan salt is also 20-30 times more expensive than regular salt, and it would be wise to spend that money on another good quality nutritional supplement.

Kosher salt

is regular salt without the addition of anti-caking agents such as calcium silicate, so it tends to form clumps.

Celtic salt

sourced initially from the Celtic sea, is also regular sea salt. These days most of the Celtic salt comes not from the french coast but from Guatemala and Hawaii.

In summary,

Limit salt intake, and although the ideal amount of salt consumption remains controversial, there is no scientific benefit to substituting table salt with pure sea salt, Himalayan salt or Celtic salt. With the consumption of unrefined sea salt, exposure to ocean pollutants such as lead, microplastic, and lack of iodine are real concerns.

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4 comments on “Which is better Himalayan or Sea Salt?”

  1. I am concerned and confused about this article. I anaflaxic reaction to iodine. Drs. Told me to stop table salt sea salt. I was told I was safer with pink salt. Now you say even that is not safe. Please help me I really don’t know what to do now.
    So bland in California.

    1. Hi Janice, thank you for your question. There is no such thing as iodine allergy, iodine is an integral part of our body and is required to produce thyroid hormones. You may be allergic to other components combined with iodine but not iodine. In my years of practice, most common reactions have seen are to iodine based IV contrast used for CT scans or angiogram. please clarify what iodine products you are allergic to. In this video I am not Suggesting that pink salt is not safe. pink salt has a slightly higher level of minerals compared to sea salt however it has no iodine and can cause thyroid problems over time. for individuals who only consume pink salt, we recommend adding supplementation with iodine to prevent hypothyroidism. if possible, please schedule a virtual appointment to discuss more with me as on I am unable to provide deeper insights without reviewing your case thoroughly.

      Raj Singh MD, FACP, FASN

  2. I’m interested in knowing more about different types of Salts and their benefits, as well as non-beneficial benefits
    of especially Himalayan Pink-Salt, and Pros and Cons ggof

    I’d like knowing more about ALL Salts and also about the Pros and Cons of Pepper(s)€ too.

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