Are “specialty” salts like Himalayan, Celtic, Sea Salt healthier than regular table salt? – Ann P.
Specialty or gourmet salts from ancient mineral deposits have become quite popular. You’ll see some popular ones like Sea, Rock, Himalayan, Celtic, and Black Salts in most stores, while Grey, Cyprus Black, Smoke show up on restaurant menus.
Table Salt, which is refined from salt deposits, with added Iodine, is the norm. Table salt is simply the minerals of Sodium and Chloride. All the impurities and trace minerals have been removed.
And these trace minerals, is what makes specialty salts, special. Depending on the concentration and type of minerals that are left in the salt, specialty salts will gain a unique flavor, texture, colors…and said “health” benefits.
From better hydration (put a pinch of Celtic Salt in your water) to alkalizing your body (minerals are not acidic), their health claims are long…but the science, is short, very short.
The truth is, all these salts contain mostly Sodium-Chloride, with very little other mineral content. Although some may contain up to 5% less Sodium (Table Salt – 39% vs. Celtic Salt – 34%), the amount you actually use of these salts (not like you’re eating a bowl full – hopefully), the difference doesn’t matter.
Same with the minerals, whether it’s the Magnesium in Celtic Salt, the Iron in Himalayan Pink Salt, or the entire trace/ultra-trace mineral complex in Sea Salt, the amount these salts have of the minerals and how much you’ll actually consume, does not support the health claims or benefits.
Bottom line is that too much Sodium can throw off the balance of fluid retention/elimination, cause elevated blood pressure in some individuals, and can cause excess inflammation. If you need to watch your Sodium intake, then you need to be careful of any type of salt you use.
But in moderation, all salts are great, choose one you enjoy the taste of and don’t break the bank because you’re thinking one is healthier than another.