All About Salt
Salt, sea salt, table salt, Himalayan salt, Celtic sea salt, pink salt, gray salt, brown salt, etc. Do you know which is what and which you should be eating? The question is for real.
Quick: how many of you think that there is a difference between salt and sea salt?
The question is an important one and I want to spend a little time talking about the various salts–though I already talked about the importance of salt before, I did not say which salt and why. I know that many people today buy “sea salt” and a lot of people are now starting to get Himalayan salt, Celtic salt, Mediterranean sun evaporated sea water salt that is still moist and others just eat table salt. Is there a difference? Which is better for you and why?
In previous blogs I discussed that salt is made of 2 elements: sodium and chloride, with the chemical formula being NaCl where NA is a positive ion and Cl is a negative one. Together they keep our cells healthy when water is added, because they create voltage that helps the cell open its pumps and gates (its mouths if you will) to exchange nutrients and expel toxins.
So in reality, the salt your body needs is just that: sodium and chloride and nothing else.
All Salts are Sea Salts
Let me first answer the question if there is any difference between salt and sea salt: no. All salt on this planet is sea salt. Why the difference in name? It is a fad and some smart companies realized that if they put the word “sea” in front of “salt” people will buy more and they were probably right. People tell me all the time that sea salt is better in general and healthier than salt not realizing that the common table salt is also sea salt. It could be mined from the top of the Himalayan mountains. At one point that cave on the top of that mountain was under the sea and it is sea salt. So let me repeat all salts are sea salts.
So then what is the big fuss about the different colors, textures, naturally evaporated and still most, etc. Well, it is a dirty little secret. Hard to find out what is actually contained in a particular salt when it is not white since by nature pure sea salt is white and each crystal is transparent like glass. So if your salt has any color other than white and it is not transparent, it has something in it but what? Few salt manufacturers detail what is in their salts.
Take for example Celtic sea salt. I searched and the most informative site on the web still does not tell one what those magical vital 82 trace minerals are in the salt but it explains that they evaporate the water gently and leave a bit of moisture behind so the salt remains moist. They also explain that its color of the underlying grayish brown is the mud from the sea floor. So there is mud in your salt–this is why they must keep it moist else you would need a hammer to break your salt up. That is one problem. The other is what that mud contains. I am not sure if you know what falls to create the mud on the bottom of the sea floor and without being very blunt, let me just say I am glad fish and other creatures do not use toilet paper or coffins.
The minerals are secret though. However, a friend in the UK found a link of the trace minerals in the Himalayan salt and that I can link to and show you what may be in Celtic and other salts that are not white and pure. The Natural Pink Himalayan Rock Salt has an amazing list of trace minerals–and remember “rock” salt is still sea salt that has been out of the sea for long enough to have become rock-like from the pressure (indeed, it is fossilized salt):
|Technetium||Tc||N/A unstable isotope|
|Promethium||Pm||N/A unstable isotope|
|Europium||Eu||< 3.0 ppm|
This table is copied from the site linked to above under the salt itself. I don’t know how familiar you are with some of these elements but let me grab just a few. Of course these are trace, meaning very tiny, so their effects are also minimal per serving–in the table noted per kg salt consumption. Still over many years of use or your lifetime, eating salt of this kind many times a day, some of these elements build up and hurt you.
Plutonium: are you planning to build a nuclear reactor?
Iridium, Radium, Neptunium, Uranium, Protactinium, Thorium, Actinium, Francium, and I could continue are all radio-active elements, some more than others.
Ingesting radioactive elements is dangerous. It is particularly dangerous if you are not consuming iodine in the right quantity to help your thyroid clear the radiation from your body.
You recall I also wrote an article on the importance of iodine in salt if you still have thyroid and if you are not suffering from Hashimoto’s or Grave’s diseases, in which case iodine can hurt you. Note that there is a trace level of iodine in this particular salt as is in all sea salt because of the fact that dead organic matter collects on solid objects in seas and oceans and many sea organic beings, kelp, etc., do have iodine in them as well. But the amount falling on the on salt crystals (they are not crystals in water but molecules) and remaining there is very tiny.
Your entire body and not just the thyroid needs iodine. The NIH (National Institute of Health) in the US recommends the following iodine levels:
Minimum Iodine Necessary
|Birth to 6 months||110 mcg|
|Infants 7-12 months||130 mcg|
|Children 1-8 years||90 mcg|
|Children 9-13 years||120 mcg|
|Teens 14-18 years||150 mcg|
|Pregnant teens and women||220 mcg|
|Breastfeeding teens and women||290 mcg|
Upper Limits on Iodine
Life Stage Upper Limit
Birth to 12 months: Not established
Children 1-3 years: 200 mcg
Children 4-8 years: 300 mcg
Children 9-13 years: 600 mcg
Teens 14-18 years: 900 mcg
Adults: 1,100 mcg
(table updated on 3/24/2018 to reflect new guidelines, which now contain upper limits).
On the mineral list of the Himalayan Pink Rock Salt above you can see that the amount is less than (<) 0.01g/kg which is less than 10,000 mcg per kg. 1 kg is 35 oz approximately. Based on the US recommended daily sodium recommendation (after significant calculation and conversion between metrics), the daily amount ingested from Himalayan Pink Rock Salt is less than 5.7 mcg which is a very small fraction of what one needs. Check out the entire page on NIH why iodine is important even in brain development!
You may recall the earthquake in Japan followed by the tsunami that wiped out the nuclear facility there. The first item sold out in stores after the nuclear explosions was iodine. Iodine can help clean your system from toxins, even radioactive ones. It can save your life.
So with all this I ask why would anyone eat salt that is not purified like table salt is? Most people tell me that in the purification process everything is taken out of the salt and so it has no additional things in it! Precisely! That is the good thing about it! Just add iodine!
So next time you evaluate what salt you should eat, take iodized salt that is white and each crystal is clear like glass! That is the purest salt you can get. If you want to eat iron, eat spinach and red meat. If you want to eat radiation, visit Chernobyl.
Comments are welcomes as always, and are moderated for appropriateness.
Last updated: 3/24/2018
by: Angela A Stanton, Ph.D.