Reducing Your Salt Intake

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A reader just asked me if I knew of any organic alternatives to table salt. This started me thinking again about the whole salt in our diets issue. Is salt by itself a problem? Or is an overuse of salt, in an unhealthy diet, the problem?

I am not a doctor so I can not even think about recommending that someone not follow their doctor’s advice on how to lower salt intake. I do believe, however, that a common sense, healthy diet will help with many of the symptoms, (mainly high blood pressure), that reduced salt intake is targeting. So if you are trying to reduce salt intake, make some changes to your diet at the same time and you might be more successful. If your doctor advises taking blood pressure medication, follow that advice, but talk to your doctor about diet changes at the same time.

A certain level of salt in our diets is critical to heath, but I think by eating high salt food, we eventually acquire a higher than healthy taste for salt. I know, having done it myself, that you can re-educate your salt senses to desire less in your food. I did it by not only using less salt on food I was used to eating, but by eating less of the foods that I seemed to want salt on. Pasta was an example of this. I can’t really enjoy traditional pasta dishes without more salt than I should use, so I eat less pasta. I don’t do this by cutting out pasta, but by only eating it combined with vegetables and sauces flavored with less salt. Sometimes my spaghetti looks more like soup than a normal spaghetti dish, but with the homemade, low salt, sauce it is much healthier.

Salt has some strange, (to me anyway) uses in prepared foods. I have seen it listed on the labels of containers where I never would have expected it. I almost never drink soda, but remember once seeing a high sodium level on a soda bottle. A bottle of organic vegetable juice I have states 600mg of sodium per 8 once serving! Becoming a food label reader can help in controlling your salt intake. You may not find, however, that simply reaching for the “low sodium” version of your favorite snack will work. Many of the traditionally high salt foods which now have low salt versions are not that pleasing to the taste. I think there are two reasons for this. First, those foods became high salt items precisely because they did not taste as good to most people without all the added salt. Second, our taste buds become accustomed to a certain level of salt in our food and it takes a while to retrain them. Because of this, to get the benefits of reducing your salt intake, you will need to go beyond label reading.

I recommend taking an inventory of high salt sources in your diet. If you eat out often, many restaurants really use a lot of salt. Fast food and prepackaged food also may contain surprisingly high levels of salt. Another source is the pre-blended seasonings you may have in your spice rack. Look for seasoning products that do not have salt as an ingredient. I have found that seasonings with a combination of some of the following can often replace most of the salt when you are cooking: Dehydrated garlic or onion, parsley, basil, lemon peel, thyme, oregano, red pepper, citric acid, and freeze dried lemon. Just remember that many foods are not always perfect without a little salt. In those cases, just use less and eat the food less often.

The main way to help improve heath, including lowering blood pressure is to change your diet in simple, common sense, ways. Everyone has a different body type, so please don’t judge your health just by how much you weigh. If you need to lose weight, improve your diet and dietary habits, don’t just “diet”. Eat out less, and when you do, ask for less added salt and think about your health goals before ordering. When eating at home, take the time to prepare meals that are more in line with your health goals. Add salt to taste at the end of cooking rather than during. You will need to add less.

The original question was whether I know of organic alternatives to table salt. Although I have not used any of them, so can’t make a recommendation, I have seen a few. If anyone has used one, please post a comment back here to let everyone know what you think. If I can relocate any of the other salt substitute products I’ve come across in the past, I’ll post links here.

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Will Sig
1 www.BloggingMix.com

Hi there. I’m here as promised.

Interesting blog you’ve got here. Very informative and useful.

Your idea on reducing salt intake is really nice. I always wanted to reduce my salt intake because of the health hazard it can cause. Like you, I always wanted my food to be extra salty. I think your idea of changing your diet is the best way to get your salt senses readjusted.

Thank for the tips. Good luck to your blog!

Cheers.

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2 Tom Drury

I have to agree with you that too much table salt can be a bad thing. Sea salts and cell salts can be useful though as they can knock out a dehydration headache for people. Living a healthy life is definitely key for better living. I’ve been looking for ways to live a better and healthier life.

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3 Diet Dictionary

Hi
Interesting and informative blog you have. There are lots
of people are in habit of large salt-intake, but they don’t
what the affects of salt-intake as we have high blood pressure
is a very common problem now a days which happens due to the salt-intake in extra quantity. Try to avoid salt after cooking the food.

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4 Joseph Mercola

Indeed common table salt spells nothing but trouble. I would suggest getting organic, natural salt, such as Himalayan salt.

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5 Will

Thanks Dr Mercola! If you have a specific article that discusses alternatives to regular table salt and what some of the problems with common table salt are, feel free to post a link to it here. If it is sodium people are concerned about, then I would think any salt, even natural organic salt would be a concern for them. But if it the concern is contaminants in the round blue boxes, then I would love to read the specifics. OF course, unlike you, I am not a doctor, but my opinion is that iodized salt is also not necessary for people with a good diet. I have had people tell me that they won’t buy organic salt because it does not have the added iodine they are convinced they need.

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6 Matt

It is a fact that if you eliminate salt from your diet, after a week or so you will stop craving it. It is though easier said than done, because all take out foods and everything in restaurants is salty.

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7 jungleistmassive

Hey all I use epsom salts and himalayan salts in baths 3 times a week its a great DETOX

http://www.bobbys-healthy-shop.co.uk/shop/category_6/Himalayan-Crystal-Salts.html?shop_param=cid%3D6%26

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8 sakura

The main way to help improving heath, including lowering blood pressure is to change your way of diet in simple, rational, common ways.
sakura recently posted..Diet Golongan DarahMy Profile

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