Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Question on Salt Substitutes

I have had a question on salt substitutes and want to address it today.  First, I'm not a doctor or even a registered dietitian so my thoughts are not gospel on the subject.  That being said, I have done some research on the subject and so here are my thoughts.

First, you need to check with your doctor to see if you need to be on a salt free or low sodium diet.  Salt substitutes are not for everyone.  In fact it can harm people's kidneys.  Salt contains Sodium Chloride and the salt substitutes contain Potassium Chloride.  It is the potassium that has an effect on the kidneys.  If you don't you still need to watch your salt intake.  Be smart in using salt in your cooking and especially its use at the table.

I have tried to cook without salt and only use it at the table.  After trying that I was not happy with the results.  Now I use it in my cooking and limit its use at the table.  This works much better for me, my taste and hopefully my health.  I use pepper in a much higher ratio to salt than normal recipes call for.  I do this by trying to lower the salt use and leave the pepper as stated in the recipe.  I like heat or spice so this may not work for you.

There are commercial salt substitutes on the market.  I'll just mention two of them here.  One is made by Morton and is called Salt Substitute.  Thee other one is called Also Salt and I believe it is only sold on the internet.  I'm sure there are others out there, you just need to look.

Another way to give yourself the taste or satisfaction of salt is to use herbs and seasonings.  I just recently talked about herb and spice grinders.  Well here is another reason to have one.  I have attached a link that gives several recipes for herb combinations to grind and use to replace the flavor of salt in your cooking and eating.

Gardenweb Herbs Salt Substitute

I hope this helps get you started on understanding and inquiring about salt substitutes.  Please remember to check with your doctor.

Tomorrow we talk Mandolins.  Friday's recipe is for Pulled Pork.

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