Are Salt Substitutes Always Safe?

Salt is undoubtedly one of the main enemies of the modern diet. Many foods contain high amounts of salt and that makes them unhealthy, especially when ingested without measure. Excessive salt concentration in our body causes several health problems and can have adverse effects on high blood pressure. This is also the main reason why many people prefer salt substitutes. There are several products on the market, but are they all safe and harmless to our health?

The truth is that sodium reduction improves our health significantly. Every day, we all intake much larger amounts of sodium than we really need. However, a number of salt substitutes contain potassium chloride. Although it is not the same substance as sodium, potassium in high concentration may cause serious problems, especially to our liver and kidneys if we suffer from a related disease. Therefore, it is necessary to know in advance whether the substitute you use contains an increased amount of potassium chloride because it can have a negative effect in combination with your medication. If so, you should tell your doctor or dietitian.

Therefore, if a salt substitute does not contain potassium chloride, it is absolutely safe to consume it. Usually, you will find products with their main ingredients consisting of aromatic herbs, spices and other herbs. The combination of these compounds often result in the production of compositions, which replace the salty taste and pungency. If you wish to experiment on your own with ingredients that can replace salt, here’s what you can try:

  • Cayenne pepper: It is spicy and gives an intense flavor to any food. By adding a small amount of cayenne pepper it is certain that you will not miss the salt, not even a bit!
  • Garlic powder: Garlic powder has a quite distinctive taste, which is very similar to that of salt. It is also strong and pungent, making this substitute highly palatable and efficacious. Just remember to share your food with the others at the table so they do not complain about the strong smell.
  • Cumin: Cumin is another spice, which may replace salt. The taste is great and it is added to each meat or salad, avocado (for the famous guacamole) and bread.
  • Smoked paprika: Although it is not as hot as cayenne pepper, smoked paprika gives taste and characteristic flavor to any food. Even without salt, the tasty result of paprika will amaze you.
  • Balsamic vinegar: If you want a component that offers distinct flavor to salads and your meats, balsamic vinegar is the ideal companion. You can find it in a simple form or in combination with various fruits and herbs, according to your own preferences. The unique flavor of these formulations disorients and creates a sense of fullness, even without the addition of salt in food.
  • Juice and zest of lemon: For something different, try adding lemon juice and zest in your food. You will see that the dominant flavor of the lemon will outweigh the lack of salt. Worth a try, because lemon is extremely beneficial to our body!

Best of Health,

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