What Salt Are You Eating?

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 (it 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.

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 is. 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 salt is sea salt.

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. So if your salt has any color other than white 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 in 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:

Element Symbol Analysis Type
Hydrogen H 0.30 g/kg
Lithium Li 0.40 g/kg
Beryllium Be <0.01 ppm
Boron B <0.001 ppm
Carbon C <0.001 ppm
Nitrogen N 0.024 ppm
Oxygen O 1.20 g/kg
Flouride F- <0.1 g/kg
Sodium Na+ 382.61 g/kg
Magnesium Mg 0.16 g/kg
Aluminum Al 0.661 ppm
Silicon Si <0.1 g/kg
Phosphorus P <0.10 ppm
Sulfur S 12.4 g/kg
Chloride Cl- 590.93 g/kg
Potassium K+ 3.5 g/kg
Calcium Ca 4.05 g/kg
Scandium Sc <0.0001 ppm
Titanium Ti <0.001 ppm
Vanadium V 0.06 ppm
Chromium Cr 0.05 ppm
Manganese Mn 0.27 ppm
Iron Fe 38.9 ppm
Cobalt Co 0.60 ppm
Nickel Ni 0.13 ppm
Copper Cu 0.56 ppm
Zinc Zn 2.38 ppm
Gallium Ga <0.001 ppm
Germanium Ge <0.001 ppm
Arsenic As <0.01 ppm
Selenium Se 0.05 ppm
Bromine Br 2.1 ppm
Rubidium Rb <0.04 ppm
Strontium Sr <0.014 g/kg
Ytterbium Y <0.001 ppm
Zirconium Zr <0.001 ppm
Niobium Nb <0.001 ppm
Molybdenum Mo <0.01 ppm
Technetium Tc N/A unstable isotope
Ruthenium Ru <0.001 ppm
Rhodium Rh <0.001 ppm
Palladium Pd <0.001 ppm
Silver Ag 0.031 ppm
Cadmium Cd <0.01 ppm
Indium In <0.001 ppm
Tin Sn <0.01 ppm
Antimony Sb <0.01 ppm
Tellurium Te <0.001 ppm
Iodine I <0.1 g/kg
Cesium Cs <0.001 ppm
Barium Ba 1.96 ppm
Lanthanum La <0.001 ppm
Cerium Ce <0.001 ppm
Praseodymium Pr <0.001 ppm
Neodymium Nd <0.001 ppm
Promethium Pm N/A unstable isotope
Samarium Sm <0.001 ppm
Europium Eu < 3.0 ppm
Gadolinium Gd <0.001 ppm
Terbium Tb <0.001 ppm
Dysprosium Dy <4.0 ppm
Holmium Ho <0.001 ppm
Erbium Er <0.001 ppm
Thulium Tm <0.001 ppm
Ytterbium Yb <0.001 ppm
Lutetium Lu <0.001 ppm
Hafnium Hf <0.001 ppm
Tantalum Ta 1.1 ppm
Wolfram W <0.001 ppm
Rhenium Re <2.5 ppm
Osmium Os <0.001 ppm
Iridium Ir <2.0 ppm
Platinum Pt <0.47 ppm
Gold Au <1.0 ppm
Mercury Hg <0.03 ppm
Thallium Ti <0.06 ppm
Lead Pb <0.10 ppm
Bismuth Bi <0.10 ppm
Polonium Po <0.001 ppm
Astatine At <0.001 ppm
Francium Fr <1.0 ppm
Radium Ra <0.001 ppm
Actinium Ac <0.001 ppm
Thorium Th <0.001 ppm
Protactinium Pa <0.001 ppm
Uranium U <0.001 ppm
Neptunium Np <0.001 ppm
Plutonium Pu <0.001 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. Still over 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 station? Iridium, Radium, Neptunium, Uranium, Protactinium, Thorium, Actinium, Francium, and I could continue are all radio-active elements, some more than others. Ingesting radioactive elements in your body is dangerous. It is particularly dangerous if you are not taking in iodine in the right quantity to help your thyroid clear the radiation out of 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 disease, 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 on the floor of the sea dead organic matter collects and many sea organic beings, kelp, etc., do have iodine in them. But the amount falling on the floor 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:

Life Stage                                            Recommended Amount

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

Adults                                                              150 mcg

Pregnant teens and women                         220 mcg

Breastfeeding teens and women                 290 mcg

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 up 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! That is the purest salt you can get. If you want to eat iron, eat foods with iron. If you want to eat radiation, visit Chernobyl.

Thoughts and questions are welcomed.



About Angela A Stanton, Ph.D.

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist focusing on chronic pain, electrolyte homeostasis, and genetics. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a forever migraineur from childhood, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic variations of all voltage gated channels that modulate electrolytes and voltage in the brain, insulin and glucose transporters, and several other related variants, such as the MTHFR variants of the B vitamin methylation process and many others. Migraineurs are glucose sensitive and should avoid eating carbs as much as possible. As a result of the success of the first edition of her book and new research and findings after treating over 4000 migraineurs world wide, all ages and both genders, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know and also hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. It is a "Complete Guide". Due out in the summer of 2017. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook
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20 Responses to What Salt Are You Eating?

  1. Colleen says:

    I’m glad I found this post, Angela! It makes perfect sense. I was one of those who jumped on the ‘pure natural salt’ bandwagon when it hit my radar a few years ago. This is why: it so happened that I was picking up some regular iodized table salt in the bulk section of my grocery when the ingredient list caught my eye. The salt contained dextrose (!), along with the anti caking agent and a few other things. I was surprised, to say the least. I was more than happy to dump that and switch to sea salt, without really considering what else might be in that! I was aware of the need for iodine so we started using a dash of kelp seasoning here and there, along with our celtic or himalayan salt, but I admit that habit has dropped off. All of that to say, after reading this article I will be on the hunt for iodized table salt that only contains salt and little else. But the fact remains, not all iodized table salt is just salt and anti caking agent, We still need to read ALL labels. Best, Colleen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Be Healthy says:

      Hi Colleen,

      Nice to see you one of my blogs. 🙂 Very true about dextrose but you will find dextrose in all. Dextrose is a very good (better than salt) moisture grabber so the reason it is in there is to keep salt dry else it is turned into rock. The amount of dextrose is so minimal as to not even being relevant. In terms of anti caking agent–just about everything you buy that is powder (including flour, powdered sugar, etc) will have some form of anti caking for 2 reasons: 1) it cannot come through the machines without it; caking means a sticky ball that plugs up the machines and 2) it will also be impossible to shake it from the salt shaker if the salt cakes up. I would not bother with these ingredients–some people also make a fuss over the bleaching agent but that is to kill any organism that may be stuck to it (dead spore that can come alive). Unbleached sea salt may thus get you sick if there is any impurity that is a spore of an organism (and yes, that happens!) or similar. Bacterial spores are known to survive in space for centuries… I see no reason for them to not survive a salt crystal on earth. So be aware that not everything is harmful that appears to be harmful but there are plenty of things that appear natural and safe that are harmful.

      For example, in the US, for the past month we have non-stop massive recalls of anything with sunflower seed in it. It is getting people very sick (some dead) with bacteria on it. There is very little difference between a dry sunflower seed or a dry salt crystal in terms of how the bacteria can survive on it so be careful. ❤



  2. Brian Beeler says:

    Hi there,
    I suffer from migraine with aura and I am thinking it may be due to a electrolyte imbalance. I was going to try and make some DIY electrolyte drinks using water, citrus fruit juices and idodized salt. I do have a question though. I had a total thyroidectomy due to thyroid cancer and currently take a thyroid hormone. Will taking iodine or using iodized salt have any adverses affects on someone with no thyroid?

    Thanks for your time,


    • Be Healthy says:

      Hi Brian,

      I am probably the wrong person to ask this. I can say this much: iodine helps the thyroid to create thyroid hormone. Many people I know who have no thyroid take iodine but not sure they get any benefit from it. You really need to ask your doctor about that since it has significant benefit in terms of radiation protection but not sure if that works without thyroid.

      Migraine is proven to be connected to disturbances of electrolyte. I have a book about it and several academic publications. Here is one that you should read from a journal and here I publish a lot of migraine related subjects so you can find several articles that relate (read from the bottom up to make sense). I also consult to guide people with migraine to be free of migraines since electrolyte is not really what you need (though it will help) and that alone will not solve your problem either. You can get in touch with my consulting services here.

      Let me know if you need more information.


  3. Brian says:

    Hi there,
    I suffer from migraine with Aura and want to try some electrolyte replenishment. I have a feeling my migraines may be caused by electrolyte imbalance. I was interested in trying some homemade electrolyte drinks that include salt for the iodine. I do have a question though. I had a total thyroidectomy done due to cancer of the thyroid and I was wondering if it is safe to take some iodine even though I don’t have a thyroid?

    Thank you for your time,


  4. Holly says:

    WOW. I have believed the hype about sea salt and Celtic salt for over 20 years. Thank you Angela …. wish I had found you sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marisa says:

    I’m interested in information regarding effects of anti caking agents in processed salt.


    • Marisamay,

      I can assure you that the anti-caking ingredient in salt is a lot less harmful to you than mercury, lead, plutonium and other goodies in the Himalayan salt or the fish poop and dead organic matter that are the so called “minerals” in designer sea salts. Anti caking is in such small quantity that it does not matter. It is a less of a problem than the wax on the apples you buy.



      • Marisa says:

        Assuming I buy waxed apples…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Or anything else you buy to eat unless you grow your own everything. You certainly don’t make your own water or breathe absolutely pure air. Lots of things hurt you more than the anti-caking in salt.

          And what are your alternatives?

          Fossilized sea salt with a bunch of heavy metals that deposit in your body to hurt you over time (Himalayan) or salt full of fish dirt (unpurified sea salt)… or you can make your own salt from sea water… of course sea water is not pure so you need to clean it first. You need to use filters… no, that uses filters that are not edible… you cannot filter. You can use evaporation via sun placing salt water onto something but… oops… whatever you put it on is not edible. So get sea water, hold it in your hands up to the sun… assuming you washed your hands first.. oops.. no… soap is not pure and water may be dirty! Dirty hands will make you dirty salt!

          I hope you can make enough salt for you to eat in your lifetime somehow that is totally pure, has no poop or mercury with amazingly sweet tasting lead in it (it does taste sweet) becuase it is essential for life.

          Good luck! 😀



  6. Ren says:

    I’ve read your article, and it seems like you know your stuff and have done a lot of research. However, the latest trend seems to be going more toward the unadulterated sea salt that comes “in colors.” What do you think about this article: http://wellnessmama.com/3745/is-salt-healthy/ Because of the conflicting views, I am very confused now, after having used Redmond RealSalt for many years.


    • Ren, that article is not writing the truth on several fronts. First of all, rather than getting healthier, the population is actually getting sicker–unless it was written in a sarcastic tone, which I could not detect. The low-salt diet is now a monster of bad thing proven to be more unhealthy than anything else. The FDA is under attack left and right that the current guidelines are too low. Heart patients on salt substitutes drop dead because their hearts need electricity to work and they are not getting sodium-chloride, which is what creates electricity.

      The second count on what they are wrong is the statement that table salt is bad and sea salt is good. Let me detail. First of, all salt is sea salt on earth as I have stated in my blog several times in many articles. Even the pink Himalayan salt is sea salt, only very old, from the times when the Himalayan was still under the sea. As tectonic activities lifted the mountain, its weight on the salt fossilized the salt hence the rock shape. The pink and orange colors look great in lamps but are radioactive metals. If you read my blog “What salt are you eating” then you can read all the radioactive elements in the Himalayan salt–so far it is the only “designer” salt that released its mineral content. Although they are trace amounts, they remain in your system since they are metals and build up over time. Mini Chernobyl in your body.

      Other salts, such as colored sea salts, some moist like Celtic Sea Salt, do not give the mineral content but I can tell you what they are from comment sense: salt is collected from the bottom of the sea (it sinks so there is more there than on top) and water is evaporated. In salts like Celtic salt, you have mud–they actually tell you that on their website!–plus because it is on the sea floor and there is no purification, it is also full or organic matter. From common sense, what falls on the ocean or sea floor? Dead sea creatures and fish poo. So all the organic materials you see as color in Celtic Sea Salt for example comes from mud, dead sea creatures, and fish poo. I am not sure most people think before they act! Do think! Do not believe that processed salt is bad for you for the following simple reason.

      Processed salt is made of: sodium-chloride. Salt’s chemical elements are Sodium (Na+) and Chloride (Cl-). Salts needs no other minerals than iodine (if you have no Hashimoto’s disease) and commercial salts that have iodine in them list that on their package. Designer sea salts claim to have natural iodine. There is no such as natural or non-natural iodine.. It is a chemical element and its molecular structure is the same no matter where you get it from. The only other element in processed salt is anti caking ingredient. If you distrust that. buy designer sea salt that is pure white and has iodine added! Hope this helps!


      • achysmile says:

        With that said, RealSalt by Redmond is a No, I’m assuming, since it is a light pinkish sea salt. I’ve used it for a while too, but I like it and I also use their Season Salt, which is absolutely amazing in taste. I can’t see myself switching from the season salt and am willing to pay the extra it costs for the flavor, which includes (Ingredients: Real Salt, Organic Onion, Organic Corriander, Organic Mustard, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Paprika, Organic Celery Seed, Organic Tumeric, & Organic Parsley). Unless you’re saying it is unhealthy. Is it? Here is a link to their contents of their RealSalt salt: http://www.realsalt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/realsalt_analysis.pdf. I’d love your opinion on this particular salt.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Be Healthy says:

          Hi Erica here on the blog too! 🙂

          I just looked up the ingredients of Real Salt. Look at the ingredient list: All of them on the right side (with the exception of zinc) are radioactive materials, and many on the left the same. This is like Himalayan salt in disguise under a different name! So not good. All of the elements like plutonium, uranium, vanadium, molybdenum, germanium, etc., are used for nuclear things.. mini Chernobyl is what this is. I highly recommend against it. Also you need much more iodine than what is in this salt. Earlier I wrote a message since I have limited time to look at charts but after I did I changed my message here: real salt is real poison.

          See you in the group in about 1 week,
          Angela ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Are You Thirsty All The Time? | cluelessdoctors

  8. Lynda Marquez says:

    Interesting article, Angela! Good information.


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