Pink Himalayan Salt vs Table Salt, Iodine Content in Pink Salt and Its Health Benefits

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11 Amazing Health Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt

Pink Himalayan salt is a type of crystal rock salt harvested at the foot of the Himalayas in the Punjab region of Pakistan.

Some people believe that pink Himalayan salt is one of the healthiest salts available because it contains more than 80 different trace minerals. Some people claim that pink salt is good for you and it’s healthier than table salt and sea salt.


This article will discuss what pink Himalayan salt is, its mineral content, benefits and how it is compared to table salt and sea salt. It will help you understand if pink Himalayan sea salt is really good for you and what to consider when using it.

What is Salt?

Salt is a mineral composed mainly of sodium chloride (NaCl) and also contains small amounts of trace elements.

Salt is found in huge quantities in seawater, and is processed from salt mines and by evaporating seawater from shallow pools.

Sodium is an essential nutrient for human health and has an important role in maintaining healthy fluid balance, nerve and muscle function, and controlling blood pressure and volume.

Salt is an essential nutrient for health and it’s also used as food seasoning and for preserving foods.

However excessive salt consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, and may also lead to heart attack and stroke, as well as kidney damage. (1)

Regular table salt, most commonly found in kitchens and restaurants around the world and in many processed foods, has little in common with natural salt. This salt is usually highly refined. It’s almost pure sodium chloride (97% or more), with added chemicals, such as absorbents and anti-caking agents. Iodine may be added to table salt to prevent iodine deficiency.

But there are other types of salt such as sea salt and pink Himalayan salt which have become more and more popular.

Himalayan Salt vs Table Salt and Sea Salt

What is table salt?

According to doctors on Mayo Clinic, table salt is usually mined from underground salt deposits and is heavily processed. This processing results in eliminating minerals and the addition of additives to prevent the clumping of the salt. In most cases iodine is added to help maintain a healthy thyroid function. (2)

What is sea salt?

On the other hand, sea salt is produced through evaporation of ocean water or saltwater lakes and undergoes little processing. Due to the minimal processing, sea salt contains some trace minerals which can add color or flavor to it. Sea salt often comes in different textures and is often coarse. (3)

What is pink Himalayan salt?

Himalayan salt comes from an area deep in the Himalayas. The pink crystal salt is actually harvested at the foot of the Himalayas, in a rock salt mine in Pakistan, which is considered to be the second largest salt mine in the world.

Pink Himalayan salt, known as ‘white gold’ in its region of origin, contains many natural elements and minerals that are vital to our health, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphorus and iron. The salt’s signature pink color is a result of a tiny amount of iron oxide (rust). Zinc, selenium, iodine and copper are also present in trace quantities.

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Himalayan salt is sometimes called “Jurassic Sea Salt” as it comes from a seabed of a sea that evaporated 100 to 200 million years ago, leaving a large salt deposit. (4)

Generally speaking, Himalayan sea salt is considered by many people a healthy salt because no chemicals or additives are added to it, and it’s a naturally occurring substance.

Usually, Himalayan crystal salt is sold as coarse grains, but you can also find it finely grained or as large blocks, which can be used as a unique way to serve your culinary specialties. Some people even add pink salt to a detox bath and for skin cleansing purpose. No matter the form, the prized mineral benefits are always there.

Pink Himalayan sea salt contains up to 98 percent sodium chloride (NaCl) and is similar to table salt in its chemical properties.

Does Himalayan Salt have Iodine?

Pink Himalayan salt only contains trace amounts of iodine but not enough iodine to meet your daily requirement of iodine. So you might want to look for other sources of iodine to meet your body’s demands and to get enough of it.

Iodine is important for our thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones. The body doesn’t make it, so it is usually added to regular salt (iodized salt), and we also get it in some foods.

Kelp (large seaweeds; can be taken as tablets) is very rich in iodine, and so is wakame (edible seaweed often served in Japanese-style soups and salads).

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Fish like herring, sardines and salmon contain some iodine. Fennel, spinach, garlic and carrot all have traces of iodine, too.

Is Pink Himalayan Salt Really Good For You? Benefits of Pink Salt

Is pink Himalayan sea salt better than table salt? Both of these salts help to maintain a proper fluid balance in your body. Salt consumption is also important for the function of your nerves and muscles. Sodium is also required to control blood pressure and blood volume.

Pink salt is often marketed as a healthy salt, but is it really better than table salt?

Some of the benefits of using Himalayan salt include:

Pink salt is a more natural salt

As mentioned previously, table salt is highly processed and contains additives and anti-caking compounds to prevent the salt from clumping. On the other hand, Himalayan rock salt is more natural and usually doesn’t contain additives.

Himalayan salt has a lot of trace minerals

Some people claim that pink Himalayan salt contains 84 different trace minerals. But I was unable to find scientific studies that checked the mineral content of pink sea salt.

Himalayan salt still mostly contains sodium chloride (up to 98%), and only a very small amount of it consists of these various trace minerals. Each trace element itself is found in a tiny amount.

This leads many people to claim that the amount of these trace minerals is too small to make any significant difference. Some people claim that it’s easier to get these minerals from other food sources which we consume more abundantly than pink salt.

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Pink Himalayan sea salt has better taste and texture

Some food aficionados choose their preferred salt based on taste, texture and color. Some people claim that since pink Himalayan salt comes in coarser texture and larger size, it has a stronger salty flavor. This may mean that a person can use less salt in seasoning thus consuming less sodium.

However others claim that when the salt dissolves while cooking the dish, the taste of table salt is very similar to pink salt. Also according to the American Heart Association, more than 75% of the sodium in the average American diet comes from salt added to processed foods, (5) and not from table salt.

Considerations When Consuming Pink Himalayan Salt

Pink salt is low in iodine

As mentioned previously, pink Himalayan salt naturally contains trace amounts of iodine, however it contains less iodine than regular table salt which was iodized. Due to the importance of iodine to the thyroid function, you may need to find other sources of iodine if you use Himalayan salt to prevent iodine deficiency.

Avoid excess sodium intake

Excess sodium intake, including from Himalayan salt, can have a negative effect on our health. A diet high in any type of salt can cause side effects such as high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. (6)

Although salt does not contain calories, a research from 2015 published in the journal Hypertension discovered that high salt intake is associated with an increased risk of obesity. (7, 8)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on 2016 that nearly all Americans consume more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet, and it mentioned that these finding are alarming. (9)

How Much Himalayan Salt Should you Consume?

As with every salt, you need to watch your sodium intake. Himalayan salt might be very good for you, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Himalayan salt is primarily a source of sodium.

The NHS advises that adults should consume no more than 6g of salt a day (2,400 mg sodium), which is around 1 teaspoon. (6) However the average American consumes more than 3,400 mg sodium each day – around 40% more than is generally recommended. (10)

As pink Himalayan salt often comes in coarser texture and larger grain size than table salt, it technically contains less sodium per teaspoon, so you can use this salt a little bit more freely compared to the table salt, but you still need to limit your consumption.

Where to Buy Pink Himalayan Salt?

Himalayan pink salt is available in many supermarkets, health foods stores and online.

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