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Is Himalayan sea salt a healthy alternative?

Himalayan salt
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Consuming too much salt can lead to serious health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Many consumers are turning to Himalayan sea salt, which can now be found in almost any grocery store. Claims are Himalayan salt and other sea salts are a healthier alternative than regular table salt.

Are the claims true?

Dr. Regis Fernandes, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, says, before you stock up on Himalayan sea salt, there are some things you should know.

Himalayan sea salt often comes in pinkish-colored crystals along with claims it contains special healing properties. But Mayo Clinic's Dr. Regis Fernandes says when compared to regular table salt, Himalayan sea salt is basically the same thing.

"Salt is sodium chloride, and Himalayan salt, pink salt, rock salt or sea salt, all of these are also sodium chloride," says Dr. Fernandes.

The American Heart Association recommends consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of per day. That is the equivalent of about one teaspoon of regular table salt.

"One teaspoon of , sea salt or Himalayan salt has 2,200 milligrams, so they're very close. So it is important not to overuse those," says Dr. Fernandes.

Himalayan sea salt has a slight amount of minerals, which can give it a pink hue. However, Dr. Fernandes believes the healthiest choice is to limit your sodium intake altogether.

"Salt increases our and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other vascular problems, like stroke, for example," says Dr. Fernandes. "What we tell patients is salt is salt, it is all the same thing, so you have to be careful how you use them."

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