Food for Thought: How healthy are specialty salts?


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Himalayan salt and other specialty or gourmet salts from ancient mineral deposits have become popular due to their flavor and suggested health benefits.

Sales are expected to reach $1.5 billion in sales by 2023 but is it more healthful than conventional salt and is it worth the extra money?

The main benefit of gourmet salts is that they are more flavorful and may allow you to use less salt, which is better for your blood pressure.

But there are some downsides as well: specialty salts do not have iodine, which has been added to table salt since 1924. It is necessary for normal brain development in children during pregnancy and infancy and for proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which regulates our metabolism.

Iodine deficiency may make you more vulnerable to certain environmental pollutants. Gourmet salts have more minerals, but not enough to have any health benefits. Black and grey salts may have high levels of minerals we do not want: lead and other toxins.

So use light colored—not black or grey—specialty salts. If you use them exclusively, be sure to eat seafood and dairy products for the iodine.

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