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Table Salt VS Himalayan Salt VS Sea Salt

Table Salt VS Himalayan Salt VS Sea Salt

You’d think picking out salt would be simple. You go to the store, you grab one off the shelf, you’re good to go for what feels like the rest of your life. 

The thing is, salt (or sodium chloride, to be exact) is actually one of the most important minerals your body needs to function properly. It keeps you hydrated, helps with nerve function, and regulates blood pressure — just to name a few. 

But, as with most things related to our health, we’re not always given the real information we need to make an informed decision.

Wait, Salt Is a Big Deal? 

Ah, the same thought our founder Charles had when he first started looking into salt as a health ‘supplement’. He’d been suffering from fatigue, depression, and chronic low energy — which left him wondering what the heck was going on.

As he started researching how what he ate related to how he felt, salt kept coming up. Apparently, if the minerals you ingested were good quality ones you could feel better! We know, sounds obvious. But to someone who lived off processed foods (hello, college years) it was BIG news.

So Charles switched up his diet, as a test, and what do you know? It worked. With just a few nutrient dense additions and swapping for high quality sea salt (minerals, remember?) everything turned around. Gone were the post-workout cramps, afternoon headaches, and lack of energy. He felt alive

It’s Not All Sweet (& Salty) 

While we can’t argue that salt is important, it’s also true that most conventionally farmed food is bound to be contaminated with things we really don’t want to be ingesting. Salt is no exception.

Studies show most sea salt is brimming with microplastics from our polluted waters and Himalayan and table salts have traces of heavy metals from being mined with machines.

And while this leaves us a little salty, to say the least, it’s not the only bad found in all those mainstream salts. How they’re processed also plays a role.

Table Salt: Not Great

Table salt is highly (as in VERY) refined and pumped with anti-caking agents like calcium silicate and aluminum to prevent clumping. It’s also stripped of all its trace minerals through the refining process which leaves you with a salt that no longer offers all the good stuff your body needs. 

From drilling into underground salt deposits to create a brine to then evaporating it using artificial heat, the process to make table salt is no bueno. And, while not fully confirmed, some research has shown that most contains only ⅓ of actual salt. The rest? ⅓ sand and ⅓ glass. 

How it’s done: 

  1. Step 1 - Extraction: Salt is extracted from underground deposits, often through drilling. Water is injected into the salt beds to dissolve the salt, creating a brine.
  2. Step 2 - Evaporation: The brine is pumped out and taken to a processing facility, where they heat it to evaporate the water and leave behind salt.
  3. Step 3 - Refining: The raw salt goes through a refining process where it’s filtered. Step 4 - Additives: After refining it they add additives like anti-caking agents.
  4. Step 5 - Milling: Salt is ground as fine as possible through heavy metal machines. 

The outcome:

  • Microplastics: Given it’s normally sourced from underground deposits, it’s no surprise studies show 90% of table salt contains microplastics. 
  • Heavy Metals: Heavy machinery and explosives during mining means a very high chance of heavy metal contamination.

Himalayan Salt: Not Great

In concept? Great. In practice? Not so much. Years ago Himalayan pink salt was a top choice, but growing popularity (and demand) means sourcing and processing has become more important than quality.

How it’s done:

  1. Step 1 - Mining: Mining machinery that leeches heavy metals? Check. Dynamite to blow out the mines that leave chemical traces? Also check. 
  2. Step 2 - Separation: Large blocks of salt are extracted from mines contaminated with microplastics from human activity, water filtration, and mining activities.  
  3. Step 3 - Processing: Salt is crushed and ground to the right size. This process is often done mechanically, which (you guessed it) means more contamination.

The outcome:

  • Microplastics: A 2023 study testing table salt, black salt, sea salt, iodized salt, rock salt, and Himalayan pink salt found that Himalayan salt had the highest microplastics load.
  • Heavy Metals: According to a 2020 study, one Himalayan salt sample contained a level of lead (>2 mg/kg) that exceeded the national maximum set by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Sea Salt: (Mostly) Not Great

Depending on how and where it’s sourced this could potentially be the best option out there! There are two main harvesting methods: pan harvesting (ok) and mining (not ok). 

Here’s how each is done:

Pan Harvesting

While it’s the best option out there in terms of how it’s processed, the sourcing leaves much to be desired. 

  1. Step 1 - Collect Seawater: Seawater is collected into shallow pans or evaporation ponds. Sounds great, but not when you remember most of our oceans are heavily polluted with plastic.
  2. Step 2 - Natural Evaporation: The water is left to evaporate under the sun and wind, a process that can take several months.
  3. Step 3 - Harvesting: Once the water has evaporated, the salt is harvested manually, keeping the natural trace minerals intact.
  4. Step 4 - Drying: The harvested salt is further dried, sometimes in the sun, to achieve the desired moisture content.

The outcome:

  • Microplastics: Sea salts that come directly from evaporating seawater have raised concerns over microplastic contamination.
  • Heavy Metals: While natural evaporation means less direct contact with machinery that could introduce heavy metals, the water source itself may already have heavy metals because of environmental pollution.


The ‘not great’ side of sea salt. It basically involves extracting salt from ancient underground seawater deposits using heavy machinery. A big no-no.

  1. Extraction: Salt is extracted from ancient seabed deposits using heavy machinery.
  2. Crushing and Screening: The extracted salt blocks are crushed and screened to remove debris and to grade the salt by size.
  3. Washing and Drying: The salt may be washed to remove impurities and then dried.
  4. Refining: Depending on the desired purity and use, the salt may undergo additional refining, though generally less than table salt.

The outcome:

  • Microplastics: Recent studies have found microplastics in sea salts around the world, which is just a reflection of bigger ocean-wide pollution issues.
  • Heavy Metals: Excavators, drills, and transport vehicles can leech chromium, lead, and nickel during the extraction and transportation process. Plus, using explosives can introduce chemical residues into the environment and your salt! 

The Answer: Crucial FOUR Salt

Icelandic sea salt and arctic sea salt are by far the best choices out there. We might be biased, but our very own mSalt and mMinerals are two of the top options. 

That’s because we spent countless hours researching, sourcing, and learning about how to create the highest quality salts ever

The outcome was two salts that offer all the good stuff — and then some:

  • Renewably sourced: Salt sourced from underground sea beds  means there will always be more where that came from.
  • Microplastic-free: Filtered naturally because of unique geological formations (it’s also third party tested!).
  • Sun and wind dried: No harmful chemical processes, just nature evaporating what we don’t need.
  • Hand-harvested: By a Fair Trade family business, which also means no heavy metal contamination from mining machines.
  • Clean and pure: Sourced from two spots on the globe with virtually no human contact, and therefore no pollution.

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