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AskNadia: Why Pink Himalayan Salt is Not Better for You

Dear Nadia,

Is Himalayan salt better for my health than table salt?


Dear Sean,

In the 1990’s the benefits of Himalayan salt was exalted by  Peter Ferreira, a biophysicist who proclaimed the health benefits of this unique salt.  Mined in the high mountain range of the Himalaya’s, this new salt was considered free of human contamination.

Peter Ferreira created a big buzz  around Himalayan salt after writing  a book with Dr. Barbara Hendel, “Water & Salt – Essence of Life” . Once his book was published he received a great amount of press for his discovery and started lecturing extensively.

Once the international alternative community gained interest,  a great demand was generated for this new healthy salt,  which Peter Ferreira  claimed has “84 elements essential to human health.”

All types of Himalayan salt therapies came to rise; salt lamps, inhalers, skin products, bath products salt baths and salt caves.

People flocked to these therapies in hope of eliminating inflammation and mineral deficiencies. One mineral important to our diet is iodine which is listed in Peter Ferreira’s  84 essential elements. Ironically sea salt has less iodine than table salt.

Iodine was included in the processing of table salt in the 1920’s to prevent goiter disease.

Iodine is also essential for thyroid health. The thyroid regulates the body’s metabolism, temperature,  nervous system, and skin health. Having an iodine deficiency can lead to elevated cholesterol, depression, loss of energy, constipation, weight gain, dry skin, and impaired memory.

Maintaining a healthy regulated system, can also be achieved by eating foods produced from soils that are rich in iodine, fish, and sea vegetables.

How Salt is Made

Himalayan Salt is from Pakistan

Khewra Salt Mine located in the  Punjab Region of Pakistan is the second largest salt mine in the world. They are big manufacturers of Himalayan salt.

The name Himalayan Salt does not accurately reflect the origin of the salt because there are no known salt mines in the high altitudes of the Himalayan mountains. In this case, we have all erroneously fallen victim to a marketing term that took the world by fire.

Seal salt comes from the ocean waters where deposits of salt are evaporated and mined for consumption.  The minerals in the sea salt vary depending on the water evaporation, precipitation and the body of rivers that instantly blend with the ocean water. Marine Science reports” The interesting thing about dissolved salt is that it is always made up of the same types of salts, and they are always in the same proportion to each other (even if the salinity is different than average). The majority of the salt is the same as table salt (sodium chloride), but there are other salts as well.”  In other words, sea salt and table salt are similar in their sodium chloride (salt) content with some variation that is not very significant.

How Table Salt is Made

Table salt is from the underground salt mine deposits.  Unlike sea salt, the minerals are removed while an anti-clumping agent is added to change the texture.  In most cases iodine is added in the process.

Benefits of  Himalayan Sea Salt Verses Table Salt

Himalayan salt can be 200 times more expensive than regular table salt.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value, despite the fact that sea salt is often promoted as being healthier”. The minerals in sea salt by weight compared to table salt is insignificant, offering no additional nutritional value.

Personally, I like the flavor and texture of the Himalayan pink salt. However, some people will argue that the salt from the contaminated ocean is more toxic to consume than farmed salt.

You might also be interested in reading these related articles:


Salt: Its History and Hazards

Diabetes Health in the News Podcast: Americans Need to Hold the Salt



Mayo Clinic

Marine Science

David Ike


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About Nadia:
Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia holds 11 nominations for her work as a diabetes advocate.
Her passion for working in the diabetes community stemmed from her personal loss. She has used her experience as a caretaker to forge a career in helping others.


  • Thank you for writing this piece on Himalayan salt. I can’t count how many times I’ve told my nutrition clients that the salt is all hype!