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Pink Himalayan Salt: What Are The Health Benefits And Risks To Consider?

Update Date: Jan 09, 2017 08:00 AM EST
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The pink Himalayan salt is reported to contain 84 different trace minerals. Is that good or bad? (Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Pink Himalayan salt, the rock salt that is found in the Punjab region of Pakistan, has claimed numerous health benefits. However, some health practitioners have also issued warnings on the risk of consuming this halite consumption.

Dubbed as the healthier variant, the pink Himalayan salt is similar to table salt containing up to 98 percent sodium chloride. Traces of calcium, magnesium and potassium give the compound its light pink color.

Health Benefits Of Pink Himalayan Salt

Salt in general is needed by the body to contract and relax the muscles, maintain normal fluid balance and send nervous system impulses. The pink Himalayan salt is reported to have added benefits because it is more natural, and rich in minerals but with lower sodium content. It helps the body achieve optimal fluid balance, according to Medical News Today

These salt crystals are usually found in larger size than table salt. Hence, a teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt has less sodium than a teaspoon of table salt. Some chefs prefer using the pink variant as it has a saltier taste than the other form; thus requiring a lesser amount to achieve the desired flavor.

Unlike table salt which is refined and mixed with anti-caking agents like sodium aluminosilicate or magnesium carbonate, pink Himalayan salt is not heavily processed and contains fewer additives. Sodium, found in all forms of salt and not just in the pink crystals, is an essential element in maintaining proper fluid balance

Risks and Considerations

The pink Himalayan salt is reported to contain 84 different trace minerals. However, as it contains 98 percent sodium chloride, the remaining two per cent is unlikely to provide any measurable health benefits. According to Science-Based Medicine, there is no evidence that replacing with the pink variant leads to improvement in health.

Individuals with iodine deficiency should take pink salt with caution as it contains less iodine than iodized salt. Iodine is required to maintain proper thyroid function and cell metabolism.

Since the pink Himalayan salt is reported to have less sodium than table salt, people may tend to overuse it. Those with heart, kidney and liver problems should use any form of salt with caution.

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