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Himalayan salt vs. white table salt

Is the pink stuff better for you?

Table salt. Himalayan pink salt. What in the world is the difference? Is the pink variety healthier for you?

Let’s dig in and find out! To start, here are some basic, salt-related facts:

  • Sodium is a mineral.
  • Salt is a compound, comprised of sodium and chloride, and the primary way that we consume sodium is what we call table salt.
  • Our bodies tightly regulate our sodium levels to keep our nerves firing and our muscles functioning.

So, what is the difference between white table salt and the pink Himalayan salt?

  • Table salt (comprised of sodium chloride) is mined from underground deposits and goes through a refining process to remove impurities before packaging. In America, table salt also has iodine added (unless you buy the non-iodized) to help prevent an iodine deficiency.
  • Pink salt is Himalayan salt mined from Pakistan. Remember how I said table salt was sodium chloride? Turns out, Himalayan salt also is mostly sodium chloride.

Wait, what?? So, they are same?? Well, almost.


Both white and pink salt are compounds of sodium and chloride, but the Himalayan pink salt has some trace minerals naturally present, such as calcium, iron, magnesium and others. Iodine may be present in very small amounts, but not the same amount as table salt.

Additionally, Himalayan pink salt may have slightly less sodium in its course form because it is less dense than white salt. Himalayan salt goes through less refining than regular salt, and the extra minerals give it the pink color.

Even so, the minerals in Himalayan salt are present in such small quantities, they probably will not offer any health benefits alone. To get your daily value of some of those minerals, such as iron, you would need to consume way more salt daily than what is recommended. It is best to use all salt sparingly and eat a balanced diet to get adequate amounts of the nutrients your body needs.


Pink salt does have a different flavor to some people, which they prefer over white salt. Still, more proven research is needed on the benefits of Himalayan salt. For now, understand that it is still salt, and the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Most Americans get too much salt in packaged, canned and restaurant foods. Staying within the sodium guidelines is thought to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

Remember to speak with your doctor or registered dietitian if you have any dietary concerns about sodium intake.

Written by Amanda Zeigler

Amanda Zeigler is a registered dietitian, a licensed dietitian/ nutritionist and owner of Coastline Health & Wellness. Reach her at

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