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What Are the Best Substitutes for Salt?

September 16th, 2008

salt-alternative-substitute.jpgTraditionally the chemical sodium chloride, otherwise known as salt, has been used to preserve foods in the days before refrigeration became widely available. However, in modern times salt has become so commonly used in processed foods that it is often difficult to avoid the ingestion of excessive amounts of sodium. This article by Kristie Leong describes various alternatives to salt that you may want to consider if you’re trying to cut down on the amount of sodium in your diet.

Are you one of the many Americans who gets more than the recommended amount of sodium each day? Although the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 3,000 milligrams of sodium per day, the average American takes in almost twice that quantity on a daily basis. It seems that Americans love the taste of salt and those familiar white crystals can be found in abundance in most processed American foods. Fortunately, word is out about the negative health effects of high sodium consumption and people are becoming aware of the dangers of excessive salt in their food. That’s why more many salt lovers are looking for a substitute for salt that can make their food taste less bland while keeping their sodium intake in check.

Why is high sodium intake such a problem? In a study published in 2007 in the British Medical Journal, it was shown that participants who consumed a lower sodium diet had a twenty-five percent reduction in their risk of heart disease ten to fifteen years later. According to the results of this study, a good tasting substitute for salt might have a significant impact on the incidence of heart disease in this country.

What available options are there when it comes to finding the best salt substitute? Conventional salt crystals found in the salt shaker on your table are made up of sodium chloride crystals. It’s the sodium portion of these crystals that can cause undesirable effects such as elevated blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease. The solution some companies have come up with as a substitute for salt is to combine chloride with potassium to create a potassium chloride salt substitute. These salt substitutes are available in most grocery stores under a variety of names such as NoSalt.

There are two problems with potassium chloride salt substitutes. Use of potassium salts can be a problem for people with kidney disease and diabetes since these groups may have problems eliminating the excess potassium from the body. When potassium builds up in the body, it can have life threatening results. Most people with normal kidneys are able to easily eliminate excess potassium so that potassium chloride salt substitutes pose no risk. The second problem is the taste. Many people find potassium chloride salt substitutes to be a poor substitute for the real thing. They’re often described as having a bitter aftertaste.

If potassium chloride salt substitutes aren’t a good option, what other choices do you have? At your grocery store, you can usually find a selection of light salts which are made up of half sodium chloride and half potassium chloride. These salt substitutes still may not be suitable for those with kidney disease, but for the normal person, this may be a viable alternative from a taste standpoint. They have a more believable salt-like taste since they contain actual sodium chloride. Keep in mind that if you use light salt in abundance, your sodium intake may still be excessive. Even these substitutes for salt should be used in moderation.

Possibly the best salt substitute to use are some of the herbal based salt free seasonings that can be found in the spice section of your grocery store. These salt free seasonings use a variety of herbs and spices mixed together to add flavor to food and can be an excellent substitute for salt from a taste standpoint. You can even create your own salt free seasonings by experimenting with herb combinations that satisfy your own tastes. You may initially miss the salt taste you’re accustomed to when using these blends, but over several weeks your tongue will adapt and you’ll soon find yourself preferring these substitutes for salt over the real thing.

If you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake, there are viable substitutes for salt available. Experiment a bit and see what salt free option is right for you.

8 Responses to “What Are the Best Substitutes for Salt?”

  1. comment number 1 by: Angelika

    I am a Saltoholic. I’ll have to try that Light Salt option. I already know that adding herbal substitutes (like Mrs. Dash) doesn’t add the SALTINESS that I desire. For me, it isn’t about flavor, it really is the saltiness that I love.

  2. comment number 2 by: xibex.com

    I think there’s no need for salt substites, just control/reduce your salt intake..

  3. comment number 3 by: Melissa Mead

    I’ve found that garlic, lemon juice and vinegar make great salt substitutes.

  4. comment number 4 by: Gaurang Thumar

    High quality Black Salt. Black salt is also known as kala namak. It is a special type of Indian mineral salt with a distinctive / sulfurous flavor. It is not interchangeable with sea salt or table salt because of it’s distinct flavor. It is rich in iron.

  5. comment number 5 by: Gaurang Thumar

    Epsom salt is a pure mineral compound composed of magnesium which has long been known as a natural remedy for many health conditions. Epsom salt can also relax the nervous system and soothe the body, mind, and soul.

    Epsom salt is common minerals in geological environments. Its occurrence is mostly connected with supergene processes. Some of them are also important constituents of evaporitic potassium-magnesium (K-Mg) salts deposits.

  6. comment number 6 by: Gaurang Thumar

    High quality Himalayan Crystal Salt products.

    This crystal salt reflects the wholeness, richness and purity of its source. Protected from pollutants and impurities by nature of its location, the salt remains unrefined, untreated and free of additives. Himalayan Crystal salt contains many natural trace minerals which along with its bio-physical properties impact an unmatched curative power. It contains more than 84 trace minerals in its organic form.

  7. comment number 7 by: Gaurang Thumar

    HeartCare (Low Sodium Salt) is a salt substitute. A low-sodium food additive that tastes like salt. It is used as a dietary alternative to salt.

    Low Sodium Salt is high in natural potassium. It is specially developed to reduce sodium intake. Lower sodium in diets may help in management of high blood pressure, maintaining normal body weight, and promoting physical activity.

  8. comment number 8 by: Gaurang Thumar

    Natural sea salt is unprocessed sea salt for different use. Basically free from chemicals and anticaking agents. We have following sizes in the natural sea salt. It can be used in fishing industry, bath salt production, textile industry, lather processing industry and other use.

    - uncrushed
    - upto 1 mm
    - 1 mm to 2 mm
    - 2 mm to 3 mm
    - 3 mm to 5 mm

    Different types of salts:

    Bubble salt, Flossy Salt, Natural Sea Salt,Table grinder crystal sea salt, Whole Salt, fishing salt, unrefined sea salt, iodised raw salt, washed salt, manufacturer, exporter, India

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