Natural salts vs table salt

by John R. Donaldson
(La Jolla, CA)

Can you provide any verified statistical evidence that your suggestions to use "Himalayan" or "sea" salts in lieu of regular table salt, like Morton's, provide any measurable health benefits?


Response:

The short answer is no, I cannot provide statistical evidence because I am not aware of any clinical studies that have been done to compare the benefits of natural salts vs table salt.

There are numerous clinical studies that have debunked the myth that salt is bad for you. If interested, you can see some of those studies listed in the following articles:

Mercola.com; Debunking the Salt Myth

ScientificAmerican.com; It’s Time to end the War on Salt

Comparing table salt vs natural salt

As far as the type of salt, I know that many people believe that salt is salt, and I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. But just to review the differences, Dr. Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, writes:

“Refined salt is produced from sea salt originally. It starts as a ‘real food’ then quickly becomes a ‘fake food.’ Manufacturers harvest this salt with methods that strip it of all its naturally-occurring minerals. They then use a number of additives (including aluminum) to dry it and heat it to temperatures of about 1,200 degrees, which alters its chemical structure. The stripped iodine is replaced with potassium iodide in potentially toxic amounts. The salt is then stabilized with dextrose, which turns it purple. Finally it is bleached white.”

Dr. Mercola states that natural salt is 84 percent sodium chloride and processed salt is 98 percent. The other 16 percent of natural salt consists of naturally occurring trace minerals, such as silicon, phosphorous, and vanadium. The remaining 2 percent of processed salt is comprised of a little added iodine as well as anti-caking and flow agents, unhealthy chemicals such as ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate.

Summary

I believe there is enough statistical evidence to indicate that using a small amount of salt in one's diet is necessary for optimal health and mineral balance in the body.

Regarding the type of salt, common sense was enough to convince me to start using natural salt vs table salt when I understood the composition of each, and how sodium and other trace minerals (found only in natural salt) are utilized in the body.

In general, I guess I don’t know why anyone would knowingly choose a highly processed, chemicalized salt over a natural salt, except the fact that Morton salt is cheaper than the natural salts.

But as I said, I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. To each his own.


References

Dr. Josh Axe; To Salt or Not to Salt; 2010.

Mercola.com; Debunking the Salt Myth; 2011.

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