Books, the internet and everything in between is full of advice, both true and false. Especially when it comes to health and diets, a niche where fads come and go quickly, it’s hard to get the truth. The best you can do is look for as much unbiased information as you can get. Stick to your gut. Know the answers aren’t generally black and white. Or, should we say, pink and white in the battle of Himalayan salt vs table salt.
Salt is made up of sodium and chlorine. It is necessary for human and animal life. It aids in the uptake of nutrients from our intestines. Additionally, it helps ups maintain fluid in our blood cells. It helps to relay information to our muscles and nerve endings. Without it, we couldn’t survive. But, our body doesn’t produce salt itself, so we have to provide it in our diet. This comes pretty naturally for humans, many of whom like salt on their meals. Face it—salt is a popular ingredient for a reason. A homemade dish is nothing until you add a pinch of salt. Suddenly, all of the flavors are coming out.
The salt that tops most tables—table salt, if you will—is a refined version of this mineral. Salt can either be harvested in salt mines or taken from evaporated sea water. With conventional table salt, all of the ‘impurities’ are removed and the salt is ground to a fine consistency. These so-called impurities are anything that is not sodium chloride. They’re not bad, they’re just not the salt mineral exactly. Many conventional salts then have additives put back in, like iodine which helps prevent iodine deficiency. Some also have something like aluminum hydroxide to help prevent clumping.
And the Winner Is
This is where table salt loses for some in the battle of Himalayan salt vs table salt. Himalayan salt is harvested in salt mines in Pakistan. The rose-colored ingredient is considered the purest salt in the world, uncontaminated by pollutants or additives. Thus, while table salt is considered pure because anything extra is removed, Himalayan salt is pure in that it’s untouched after harvesting. Himalayan salt naturally contains small amounts of additional minerals, like calcium, magnesium and iron. It’s the iron oxide (also known as rust) that gives the Himalayan salt its pretty pink hue.
Like sodium chloride, the extra minerals found in Himalayan salt are also important to the human body. Some health experts suggest that this pink salt, because of its extra minerals, gives an additional health boost. It may help to balance PH, remove toxins, prevent muscle cramping and more. Others have argued that these trace amounts of additional minerals are not enough to make a difference between Himalayan salt vs table salt.
In the end, both types of salt are capable of providing the sodium chloride that your body needs. The question is, exactly what kind of purity do you prefer? Perhaps in the long run, with the investment of time and the extra cost, the purity and minerals in the Himalayan salt will prove more beneficial to your health. Checkout the criminalization of salt and hypertension myth.