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The Salt Debate: Himalayan "rock salt" is from Pakistan, and "health salts" a con!

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posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 03:44 PM
Salt (sodium chloride): we are led to believe it's the cause of many health problems. However I recently read in a book titled "Panic Nation" ( that this may not be so. It mentions that the Japanese eat far more salt (up to 50% more) and generally lead longer, healthier lives than Westerners. Peoples from the Amazon or New Guinea conversely live shorter lives based on diet, and most of their land is washed clean of salt.

Be that as it may, but a new range of "health salts" are now available at vastly inflated prices. The worst offender is "Himalayan rock salt" (actually from Pakistan) that makes all kinds of beneficial claims as opposed to poor old table salt.
It caused a minor heated debate in our newspapers, with sceptics claiming it has virtually the same sodium chloride content as other salt.
Clearly this seems true, since the defenders of the "Himalayan" salt then claimed that normal iodized salt was bleached and therefore recognized as a "poison" by the body. So the justification for forking out extra money on "healthy salt" was suddenly totally altered.

Surely if salt is really the culprit for genetic and lifestyle conditions, then it is immoral to advertise "healthy salt", and that is then an oxymoron, or a contradiction in terms. But this seems to be what the "health industry" does all the time, or not?

[edit on 27-4-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 04:15 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

Well, for those who swear beating ignorance and the system lies in adopting health food fads, here's a sales pitch for the himalayan rock salt:

However, the findings in Germany (one of the top countries for testing natural remedies and treatments) were more pedestrian:

In 2003 the Bavarian consumer protection agency Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit analyzed 15 specimens of Himalaya salt sold in Germany and could detect a total of 10 different minerals: sodium and chloride (98%) and other minerals. This agency states that these salts come from Pakistan and can, like all salts, cause hypertension (high blood pressure).[1] German public television broadcaster ZDF presented the analyzed chemical composition of Himalaya-salt who states that the specimen contained 95-96% sodium chloride that was contaminated with 2-3% polyhalite (gypsum) and small amounts of 10 other different minerals. [2].

[edit on 27-4-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 04:23 PM
There is no need to pay crazy prices for that Himalayan salt, the only type of salt that is bad for you is table salt, too much sodium chloride and nothing else. Sea salt is a much healthier and tastier option and usually not much dearer than table salt.

Check out this article Natural sea salt - will not cause high blood pressure

There are many more artticles like this on the web. The bottom line in all of em is ... stay away from table salt... it's pure poision.

Happy eating

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by All_Truth_Soon

How exactly would one define sea salt? Almost all the salt sold in SA is labelled "sea salt" (maybe we're just blessed because we have a long coastline with many natural salt deposists, or "salt mines").
We learnt in school that "iodized" salt makes up for lack of iodine in the soil, and prevents thyroid problems (goitre) and bone deformity. And indeed, those conditions are gone. In my parents' youth in Europe it was rare, but my grandparents told me that in some villages it was a debilitating epidemic before iodized salt.
I use Celery Salt, which costs a bit extra (not nearly as much as the "Himalayan" stuff), because I love the taste, and celery is good for athritis and gout.

But I mean really, what a cheek calling something "Himalayan", as if the Dalai Lama mined it personally! I bet "Pakistani Salt" wouldn't sell half as well!

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 05:32 PM
reply to post by All_Truth_Soon

I read the link, and VERY interesting!
I'm not that convinced however - it seems there's a 4% difference between the "worst" table salt and the most "angelic" sea salt.
Furthermore, people with hypertension and so forth are actually advised to use the potassium salt substitutes.
The final letter in our newspaper on the debate on Sunday also said table salt is poison, "Himalayan" salt is best, and rock sea salt is kinda in-between.
As far as I'm concerned table salt is just ground up sea salt+iodine (most supermarkets also stock non-iodized salt, but it's just as cheap compared to health stores).
My parents use the rock sea salt in a grinder (it also helps for fleas when sprinkled on pet bedding) but it hurts my teeth.
For the medical conditions all these sodium salts are actually ill-advised, and equally bad, or so it seems to me.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 05:39 PM
You know that part of the Himalayas are in Pakistan don't you?
Hence the name of the company.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 06:03 PM
Every salt is about 90%+ sodium chloride, sea salt may contain trace minerals but this isn't why its good. Normal salt is bad because it contains an aluminum compound to keep it from caking and its iodized. Personally i use diamond crystal kosher salt or mortons pickling salt when i can find it. Both of these are good choices as they are pretty pure.

Salt is sodium chloride, two substances bonded together that you need to sustain life. When you dissolve salt in water the sodium and chloride ions separate, there is no salt in the ocean. Salt is mainly a detriment to health in the massive quantities consumed in fast foods, eating 2k+ mg's of salt per meal isn't gonna be the healthiest option.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 06:06 PM

Originally posted by halfoldman
reply to post by All_Truth_Soon

Furthermore, people with hypertension and so forth are actually advised to use the potassium salt substitutes.

Quality sea salts are used by many people to lower hypertension. You need sodium for metabolic functions in the body as well as good bone health and chloride is very important for digestion.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 06:39 PM

Originally posted by Nventual
You know that part of the Himalayas are in Pakistan don't you?
Hence the name of the company.

Erm yeah, but still it's rather selective labelling depending on the company. The one I saw in a health shop yesterday had a label about Tibet and "ancient knowledge" and blah, blah. Not technically untrue, but also somehow all misleading.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 07:09 PM

Originally posted by halfoldman
Erm yeah, but still it's rather selective labelling depending on the company. The one I saw in a health shop yesterday had a label about Tibet and "ancient knowledge" and blah, blah. Not technically untrue, but also somehow all misleading.

Look, it's just salt. Salt from Tibet isn't magical to begin with, and therefore it isn't any less magical if it comes from Pakistan.

It's kind of like Koshering salt (variously called Kosher salt, coarse salt, cooking salt and Koshering salt). I use it when cooking because it does a better job of pulling liquids out of whatever I'm cooking - which is the whole purpose of it. I can't tell you the number of people I've met who use it because they think it's healthier, or it's got some ancient wisdom attached to it. It's not, and it doesn't.

To revisit the OP for a second - people in the Amazon living on salt-free diets don't live shorter lives than the Japanese because of their salt intake. They lead shorter lives because of a lack of access to things like basic health care, sanitation, and infrastructure. Japanese people are also very rarely attacked by jaguars in the middle of the night.

The salt that you buy and use at the table or in the kitchen isn't what's killing people. It's the hidden sodium in junk food, in canned goods, in fast food and so on that's the problem - especially when you add your imported Tibetan salt to it at the table, and even more unhealthy when you're overweight and don't exercise.

Salt is salt. Sure, there's subtle flavour differences, and some salt is better for some things than others. But it's not mystical, it's not magic, and none of it is any more or less healthy than the other. And anyone who tells you it is - well, they're probably trying to sell you something.

A fool and his money, etc.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 07:13 PM
I get my pink salt full of minerals from mines here in the US, why looking for "health salts" over sea when we got our on mines in the US.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 07:36 PM
It's really pretty damn simple, once you understand WHY dietary salt/sodium was demonized in the first place (similar to how dietary fat was demonized). The largest problem associated with sodium intake is undoubtedly hypertension (high bloodpressure), which is strongly associated with atherosclerosis.

This happens to be a perfect example of association does not equal causation and how observational studies simply CAN'T be used to prove a hypothesis.

It began with the idea that dietary sodium causes hypertension, based on the effect that sodium has on water retention. Observational studies, and observations in general, soon demonstrated that hypertensive patients tended to consume large amounts of sodium; which makes sense.

Increased sodium levels lead to increased water avoid electrolyte imbalance.

One key factor that was ignored when this observation was made was the fact that INSULIN causes sodium retention. If you've ever ate a low carb diet you've seen the effects of the negative stimulus of insulin.

Carb Restriction-->Low Blood Sugar-->Lower Insulin-->Lower Sodium-->Less Water Retention-->Lower Blood Pressure

You see....dietary sodium isn't really a problem if insulin levels are in check.


posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 06:38 AM
Putting the health benefits aside, have you ever tasted any of these salts? I'm a regular user of the same "pink salt" as marg6043 and I'll not go back if I can help it. Table salt is very harsh, whereas pink (or any other "flavor") salt is far milder, and has a lovely flavor

I know it's been said, but the Himalayas start in Pakistan. It's actually the country I think of most when considering the mountain range, but that's just me. Anyone who buys salt because it has the word "Tibet" or any of that claptrap on it deserves to be parted with their money

posted on Apr, 29 2010 @ 08:29 AM
Regular table salt is made up of insoluble elements.

Since every cell in the body is constantly surrounded by a solution of saline water, salt is important in the generation and functions of digestive fluids in the body. It is also one of the important elements in removing carbon dioxide from the body. But the salt must be completely water soluble.

Here's the difference -

Commercial table salt production uses extremely high temperatures nearing 1500 degrees F and solidifies the salt with additives and adulterants to coat the salt crystals to cause the salt to pour readily under nearly all conditions.

Such salt is not completely water soluble.

Instead we should use pure ROCK SALT which is extremely inexpensive and obtained from soil sodium rock formations and is NOT subject to heat.

A simple grinder is used to grind it to the desired texture.

Non-adulterated rock salt is a natural catalyst which the enzymes in the body can cause to be utilized constructively. Rock salt will usually be found to contain:

90% - 95% Sodium Chloride
.05% - 1% Calcium Sulphate
.05% - 1% Magnesium Sulphate
.05% - 1% Magnesium Chloride

with moisture content running from 2% - 6%.

Regular table salt is likely to contain in addition to the above elements in different proportions:

Potassium Chloride
Sodium Sulphate
Potassium Sulphate
Barium Chloride
Magnesium Bromide
Strontium Chloride
Calcium Chloride

Most of which inhibits the dissolving of the salt in water.

So the difference comes down to commercial processing of salt and our body's ability to use it.

There's no need to spend hefty sums of money for special salts. Rock salt is very inexpensive.

posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 02:12 AM
Old thread but I have a question:

I was browsing through my health food store and found some of this Himalayan salt so bought it (think I'm needing some trace minerals). Get home to look up the 84 minerals it has and it tells me things like arsenic, fluoride, gold, aluminum, lead, etc. I'm terrified to eat this stuff yet want to ask - why is it sold as a health food in the United States if it hasn't had this stuff taken out?

I've browsed the web but feel our health experts here are a more trustworthy source than the sales pitches or otherwise I get from googling it. What is in my head now from my reading is "these toxins are in very tiny amounts and are in most foods that come from soil - in fact are more abundant in the foods you eat on a regular basis".

I feel like a real idiot right now - as it seems clear this would be bad for you. Still - want to hear some thoughts since more appear to endorse it (and those who don't aren't directly saying these toxins are harmful).

posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 02:45 AM
i just reply, to tell you, that pakistan has a region in the himalayas... just for the next time you cry "herpderpscamhimalayanrocksaltisfrompakistan" ... yes... because thats where rock salt comes from... and if you never had it... well the taste alone would make you switch to it... carry on...

posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 03:00 AM
Why folks want to deliberately add salt to anything but steak for taste is beyond me. I have an American perspective and maybe that matters. Maybe it doesn't.

However, next time anyone is in a supermarket, grab things off the shelf at random. Anything, almost, from any isle that is food and labeled. Check the back and look at Sodium Content. I never did before high blood pressure, which cost me a career by finding it too late. What is totally beyond belief to me is, when I had first started trying to address that, I did go label hunting at a big grocery store.

Even low sodium things carry a lot, while "normal" is stuffed with it. Little did I know, thinking a little salt was good for me as I ate salted french fries occasionally? I was already overdosing on the crap near to the level of poison.

Do check those labels yourself tho. Really. I wouldn't have believed someone and I WOULD have doubted them openly if they'd told me I'd find what I DID in fact find. I think that's one of life's little "WTF?!" moments we all need to live to appreciate. Go label shopping and see.

posted on Dec, 27 2013 @ 03:17 AM
yeah marge, it's pink, expensive and sucks even as salt, lol!

the best i've had, is fleur de sel.

french and really tasty.

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