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Salt substitutes: Another way to trim your sodium intake

Potassium chloride salts are one option, but many people prefer herb and spice blends.

If you have high blood pressure, scaling back the sodium in your diet is a smart move. Excess sodium (a main component of salt) makes the body hold on to extra water, which can elevate blood pressure. And most of us consume more than double the limit of 1,500 milligrams per day of sodium recommended by the American Heart Association.

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Because salt-laden restaurant fare and processed foods are by far the biggest sources of salt in our diets, eating home-cooked foods is the most effective strategy for cutting back. In the kitchen, swapping regular salt for sodium-free or lower-sodium alternatives can also help.

Herb and spice blends

Instead of salt, try fresh lemon juice or flavored vinegars to brighten taste. Alternatively, “many people like herb and spice blends, which come in more than a dozen different flavors,” says Linda Delahanty, director of nutrition and behavioral research at the
Diabetes Center at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Popular brands include Mrs. Dash, Penzeys salt-free spice blends, or salt-free Spike; or make your own.

Instead of salt…

Make your own herb and spice blend:

1 teaspoon each of dried basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, and dill
¼ teaspoon each of savory, sage, onion powder, and garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon of ginger

No-sodium salts (contain potassium chloride)

• AlsoSalt

• Morton Salt Substitute

• NoSalt

• Nu-Salt

Low-sodium salts

• Morton Lite Salt

• Diamond Crystal Salt Sense

Salty alternatives

Another option is potassium chloride salt, either alone or mixed with regular salt (sodium chloride). If you don’t mind the flavor (some find it to be slightly metallic or bitter) the extra potassium these salts provide is usually fine, since most people don’t get enough of this essential nutrient in their diets.

However, extra potassium can be a problem for people who are on medications that can increase potassium in the bloodstream (such as potassium-sparing diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and angiotensin-receptor blockers) or for those who have diabetes, kidney disease, or blocked urinary flow. So check with your doctor before using potassium-containing salt.

You can also find reduced-sodium salt that’s made into flake-shaped crystals, which are less dense and therefore lower in sodium by volume (Diamond Crystal Salt Sense). Note that both sea salt and kosher salt have about the same amount of sodium as regular table salt.

Here’s the good news: about two to three months after people start eating less salt, their sense of taste adjusts, and they become more sensitive to the taste of low-sodium foods and more satisfied with the flavor. 

Posted by: Dr.Health

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