Let’s talk about salt. Pink salt and then the regular stuff. I used to think pink salt was ‘more healthy’ because Insta bloggers and influencers lead me to believe this. Then I decided to become a skeptic and did my own research. Here’s what you really need to know about the magical, mystical pink salt:
- ‘It’s the purest type of salt’ Nope. Pure sodium chloride is white. The pink pigment here comes from impurities such as magnesium.
- ‘It contains 84 essential minerals’ There are only 15 known essential minerals for humans. Pink salt contains trace minerals, some of which are harmful to humans. These include radioactive substances uranium, radium, polonium, plutonium (yes, that green stuff off ‘back to the future’) and poisonous substances thallium, arsenic, lead, mercury.
- ‘It has numerous health benefits’ such as: aids in vascular health, promotes pH balance, promotes healthy sleep, increases libido, prevents muscle cramps, increases hydration, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, detoxifies the body of heavy metals etc.
There is no current, peer reviewed evidence that suggests replacing table salt with pink salt helps with any of these things or improves overall health.
- ‘but it tastes way better’ Very subjective. Humans are notoriously bad at judging this type of thing when there is a price tag involved.
The verdict: it’s not healthier than regular table salt, if anything it could be less healthy as it contains contaminants. It’s also more expensive.
Use instead: Table salt: - A mix of sodium and chloride. - Often fortified with iodine. (This is helpful)
Sodium: - Sodium is not salt, 1g of salt has 400mg sodium. - Those who eat a low processed diet may benefit from salting their meals. - Sodium RDI: 3-6g per day (for non hypertensives). - ACSM recommendation for those who exercise: 500-700mg sodium per litre fluid pre and post workout. - Athlete intake would be higher. - Sports drinks do not meet these levels. - adding salt to your water or meals can help increase your sodium intake.
So if you follow anyone that promotes pink salt it might be worth reevaluating them as a reliable source of dietary advice.
References: Mineral content of pink salt: https://themeadow.com/pages/minerals-in-himalayan-pink-salt-spectral-analysis
Is salt intake safe: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0099764/
How table salt is produced: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/5234#section=Methods-of-Manufacturing