The Truth About Himalayan Salt

Bamik H Insightful article, Just Cause, Love The Goodness 1 Comment

I came across an article on Himalayan salt written by Angela Stanton on LinkedIn as I have been curious about the topic for several months now. The questions I was asking myself were, why are humans all over the Western world all of a sudden obsessed with Himalayan salt? If we care so much about locally sourced food, then why are sourcing salt from the Himalayas? Surely, all this mining can’t be good for that location. I’m looking at health food stores in my little corner of the world and am thinking, if this is replicated world wide, it can’t possibly be good or real for that matter.

To top this questioning off, I went to my doctor complaining of tiredness recently and just couldn’t put my finger on why I wasn’t feeling so well and she gave the simplest answer. Are you consuming enough salt?

Salt is a curious subject and over the last few decades, people have been scared into thinking it’s not good for us due to the rise in hypertension. Well, salt is in fact good for us and infinitely important to our diet. As my doctor so lovingly explained (quite likely for the hundredth time…that week), salt is imperative to our diet. Every time we drink water, we quench our thirst, fill our body with much needed hydration and an hour or so later, we pee out the rest. Water goes in, but when it comes out, it is always released from the body with electrolytes. So the more water you consume, the more electrolytes you lose and therefore, if you’re not consuming salt in your diet (or in my case, the right salt), you are dehydrating yourself. And with the lack of electrolytes in my body, I was exhausted.

Before you make assumptions that this could be you, please check with your health professional!

Given our theme is Pink this month, I wanted to find out what was behind the new Himalayan salt movement and here’s where Angela’s extensive research has found on the topic.

the truth about himalayan salt - powdered salt

Quick: how many of you think that there is a difference between salt and sea salt?

The question is an important one and I want to spend a little time talking about the various salts. I know that many people today buy “sea salt” and a lot of people are now starting to get Himalayan salt, Celtic salt, Mediterranean sun evaporated sea water salt that is still moist and others just eat table salt. Is there a difference? Which is better for you and why?

Salt is made of 2 elements: sodium and chloride, with the chemical formula being NaCl where NA is a positive ion and Cl is a negative one. Together they keep our cells healthy when water is added because they create voltage that helps the cell open its pumps and gates (it mouths if you will) to exchange nutrients and expel toxins.

So in reality, the salt your body needs is just that: sodium and chloride and nothing else.

Let me first answer the question if there is any difference between salt and sea salt: no. All salt on this planet is sea salt. Why the difference in name? It is a fad and some smart companies realized that if they put the word “sea” in front of “salt” people will buy more and they were probably right. People tell me all the time that sea salt is better in general and healthier than salt not realizing that the common table salt is also sea salt. It is. It could be mined from the top of the Himalayan mountains. At one point that cave on the top of that mountain was under the sea and it is sea salt. So let me repeat all salt is sea salt.

So then what is the big fuss about the different colors, textures, naturally evaporated and still most, etc. Well, it is a dirty little secret. Hard to find out what is actually contained in a particular salt when it is not white since by nature pure sea salt is white. So if your salt has any color other than white it has something in it but what? Few salt manufacturers detail what is in their salts.

Let’s take Himalayan salt as an example (I discuss Celtic salt over here). Himalayan salt is a very exotic name. The name alone makes some people associate the salt with the spirit and energy to the magic of the Himalayas. To some it is irresistible for their beliefs. To others it is a better salt because of the minerals. Many firmly believe that the minerals claimed in the pink salt are beneficial and important for their health.

However, there is no such thing as Himalayan salt; the name is already a misleading marketing ploy. If it were called Pakistani salt, which is what it is, would people buy it as much as they do when it is called Himalayan salt? Probably not.

Another reason is the list of 84 minerals.

The Natural Pink Himalayan Rock Salt has an amazing list of trace minerals–and remember “rock” salt is still sea salt that has been out of the sea for long enough to have become rock like from the pressure:

Element Symbol Analysis Type
Hydrogen H 0.30 g/kg
Lithium Li 0.40 g/kg
Beryllium Be <0.01 ppm
Boron B <0.001 ppm
Carbon C <0.001 ppm
Nitrogen N 0.024 ppm
Oxygen O 1.20 g/kg
Flouride F- <0.1 g/kg
Sodium Na+ 382.61 g/kg
Magnesium Mg 0.16 g/kg
Aluminum Al 0.661 ppm
Silicon Si <0.1 g/kg
Phosphorus P <0.10 ppm
Sulfur S 12.4 g/kg
Chloride Cl- 590.93 g/kg
Potassium K+ 3.5 g/kg
Calcium Ca 4.05 g/kg
Scandium Sc <0.0001 ppm
Titanium Ti <0.001 ppm
Vanadium V 0.06 ppm
Chromium Cr 0.05 ppm
Manganese Mn 0.27 ppm
Iron Fe 38.9 ppm
Cobalt Co 0.60 ppm
Nickel Ni 0.13 ppm
Copper Cu 0.56 ppm
Zinc Zn 2.38 ppm
Gallium Ga <0.001 ppm
Germanium Ge <0.001 ppm
Arsenic As <0.01 ppm
Selenium Se 0.05 ppm
Bromine Br 2.1 ppm
Rubidium Rb <0.04 ppm
Strontium Sr <0.014 g/kg
Ytterbium Y <0.001 ppm
Zirconium Zr <0.001 ppm
Niobium Nb <0.001 ppm
Molybdenum Mo <0.01 ppm
Technetium Tc N/A unstable isotope
Ruthenium Ru <0.001 ppm
Rhodium Rh <0.001 ppm
Palladium Pd <0.001 ppm
Silver Ag 0.031 ppm
Cadmium Cd <0.01 ppm
Indium In <0.001 ppm
Tin Sn <0.01 ppm
Antimony Sb <0.01 ppm
Tellurium Te <0.001 ppm
Iodine I <0.1 g/kg
Cesium Cs <0.001 ppm
Barium Ba 1.96 ppm
Lanthanum La <0.001 ppm
Cerium Ce <0.001 ppm
Praseodymium Pr <0.001 ppm
Neodymium Nd <0.001 ppm
Promethium Pm N/A unstable isotope
Samarium Sm <0.001 ppm
Europium Eu < 3.0 ppm
Gadolinium Gd <0.001 ppm
Terbium Tb <0.001 ppm
Dysprosium Dy <4.0 ppm
Holmium Ho <0.001 ppm
Erbium Er <0.001 ppm
Thulium Tm <0.001 ppm
Ytterbium Yb <0.001 ppm
Lutetium Lu <0.001 ppm
Hafnium Hf <0.001 ppm
Tantalum Ta 1.1 ppm
Wolfram W <0.001 ppm
Rhenium Re <2.5 ppm
Osmium Os <0.001 ppm
Iridium Ir <2.0 ppm
Platinum Pt <0.47 ppm
Gold Au <1.0 ppm
Mercury Hg <0.03 ppm
Thallium Ti <0.06 ppm
Lead Pb <0.10 ppm
Bismuth Bi <0.10 ppm
Polonium Po <0.001 ppm
Astatine At <0.001 ppm
Francium Fr <1.0 ppm
Radium Ra <0.001 ppm
Actinium Ac <0.001 ppm
Thorium Th <0.001 ppm
Protactinium Pa <0.001 ppm
Uranium U <0.001 ppm
Neptunium Np <0.001 ppm
Plutonium Pu <0.001 ppm

 

What Minerals Your Body Does NOT Need

I don’t know how familiar you are with some of these elements but let me grab just a few. Of course these are trace, meaning very tiny, so their effects are also minimal. Still over your lifetime, eating salt of this kind many times a day, some of these elements are water soluble but some are not (like lead) and remain in your body.

Plutonium: are you planning to build a nuclear station? Iridium, Radium, Neptunium, Uranium, Protactinium, Thorium, Actinium, Francium, and I could continue are all radio-active elements, some more than others. Ingesting radioactive elements in your body is dangerous. It is particularly dangerous if you are not taking in iodine in the right quantity to help your thyroid clear the radiation out of your body.

 

What Minerals Your Body Does Need

Iodine is very important in salt (if you are not suffering from Hashimoto’s disease or Grave’s  disease, in which case iodine can hurt you). Note that there is a trace level of iodine in pink salt as is in all sea salt because of the fact that on the floor of the sea dead organic matter collects and many sea organic beings, kelp, etc., do have iodine in them. But the amount falling on the floor and remaining there is very tiny.

A - white salt - the truth about himalayan salt

Your entire body and not just the thyroid needs iodine. The NIH (National Institute of Health) in the US recommends the following iodine levels:

Life Stage Recommended Amount

Birth to 6 months 110 mcg
Infants 7–12 months 130 mcg
Children 1–8 years 90 mcg
Children 9–13 years 120 mcg
Teens 14–18 years 150 mcg
Adults 150 mcg
Pregnant teens and women 220 mcg
Breastfeeding teens and women 290 mcg

Based on the US recommended daily sodium recommendation (after significant calculation and conversion between metrics), the daily amount ingested from Himalayan Pink Rock Salt is less than 5.7 mcg which is a very small fraction of what one needs.

You may recall the earthquake in Japan followed by the tsunami that wiped out the nuclear facility there. The first item sold out in stores after the nuclear explosions was iodine. Iodine can help clean up your system from toxins, even radioactive ones. It can save your life.

There are a few other elements that are important for humans and why salt is consumed: magnesium, potassium, and calcium. However, these are in such small amounts in the pink salt that a fast-food junk cheeseburger (assumed to have no nutrition) provides a magnitude more of these minerals than if the same burger was made with the pink salt with the same amount of sodium in the burger (745 mg):

element Amount per kg of pink salt as per claim Minerals in the pink salt in 745 mg sodium Minerals in cheeseburger incl. bun (USDA database) with 745 mg sodium
magnesium 160 mg 0.03 mg 24 mg
calcium 4050 mg 0.76 mg 199 mg
potassium 3500 mg 0.1 mg 238 mg
sodium 382610 mg 745 mg 745 mg

A - burger clipart - truth about himalayan salt

As you can see, the minerals for which many prefer the pink salt are in minimal amounts. While we obviously prefer to not eat a fast-food cheeseburger and consider it without much nutrition, it exemplifies that even a junk food considered void of nutrition has more nutrition (prepared with table salt) than if we ate the pink salt. Since there is no nutrition information on table salt used in fast foods, I am not able to provide the nutritional value of the actual same burger with the pink rock salt but I demonstrate the lack of importance of the “minerals” in pink rock salt when from a non-nutritious junk food one can get way more of those minerals.

Most people I talked to believe that the minerals are the most important factor in their choice of the pink salt instead of the purified salt. The minerals you need are lacking and the elements you definitely do not need are present. Purified salt with everything taken out is what you want, with added iodine.

the truth about himalayan salt

So what did you think? We know this is a sensitive topic for many so we’d love to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts on the matter or any evidence you’ve found about the evasive Pink Himalayan/Pakistani salt below in the comments.


This article is by Angela Stanton PhD author of the Migraine Book featured in the PINK Edition of Healthy Mama Magazine – grab your full copy by subscribing using one of the links below…x

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Comments 1

  1. To start I would like to know why Dr. tell us not to eat to much salt? Its just like Drs. tell us not to eat to much sugar. I believe that a little of everything is the way to take care of our body. Some people say they have great benefits of good health by taking the Pink salt in the morning on an empty stomach. I believe that taking a cup of hot lemon with honey in the morning on a empty stomach is just as good.There are so much pros and cons that we just have to know our own body,s to be able to take care of it.

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