In today’s episode of ‘don’t believe everything you read online’, I present to you: Pink Himalayan Salt
Yes it’s pink
Yes it’s pretty
But is it better for you? No.
Firstly, Himalayan Salt isn’t actually from the Himalayas. The salt is actually mined in Khewra, Pakistan, roughly 300 km from the Himalayas.
Secondly, it’s claimed to contain 84 trace minerals (although analyses give inconsistent results), which are allegedly great for our health. These trace minerals are what give it it’s pretty pink colour, rather ironic when you consider it’s marketed as being the most ‘pure’ salt. Yes, 84 trace minerals (i.e. contaminants) is now considered ‘pure’. Pure salt would be 100% sodium chloride (NaCl), and would be white.
Assuming the reports are accurate, and Himalayan salt does in fact contain 84 trace minerals, are they really that important? No, the very fact that they are trace minerals shows how insignificant these quantities are, and how meaningless they are to our health. To get a significant quantity of minerals from Himalayan salt you’d have to consume huge quantities of it, and excessive quantities of salt (>6g, or >2.4g sodium) is linked to hypertension (high blood pressure), which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. So please don’t do that.
Too much salt is not good, but not enough salt isn’t good either. Our nervous system requires sodium and potassium to propagate electrical signals around the body. Both sodium and potassium also regulate blood pressure, and there as well both too low and too high pressure isn’t a good thing. Chloride is a vital electrolyte that helps regulate blood pressure, and ensures the correct balance of fluid inside and outside your cells.
There is no evidence published in scientific peer-reviewed journals that suggests replacing white salt with Himalayan salt improves health in any way. Trust me, I looked, I found nothing.
Moreover, I invite you to take another look at the complete list of minerals. Himalayan salt contains mercury, aluminium, lead, arsenic, polonium (radioactive), uranium (also radioactive). If you’re going to argue that the “good” trace minerals in Himalayan salt have a positive effect on health, then you should also therefore argue that these trace minerals would have a negative effect. You can’t have it one way and not the other.
Thankfully, these substances are found in such small quantities that they won’t harm you. But until such a time as peer-reviewed studies show a significant health benefit from switching to Himalayan salt, I’ll stick to my non-radioactive white sea salt at the fraction of the cost.