1

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Salt substitutes - healthy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 12, 2010 at 9:01 AM

I'm salt sensitive. That is, after a very high sodium meal my blood pressure rises from normal to hypertension range. And then after exercise and low-sodium eating it drops back to normal. Is this normal? Because from what I am reading this means I have salt sensitivity, because I think high blood pressure is supposed to rise gradually in most people over time not right after a meal.

anyway, I love salty taste. But I hate sodium. So I googled salt substitute and to my delight such a thing exists. It's made from potassium chloride, but that kind of thing raises my suspicions about whether or not it is healthy. The Wikipedia article seems to give the impression only those with certain illnesses should avoid it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_substitute

I found this as well but you need a million ingredients some of which I've never heard of to make it ( ingredients like "arrowroot powder" and "ground dill weed")

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/50245/homemade_salt_substitutes_for_a_sodiumfree.html

Garlic & Herb seasonings like Mrs. Dash are really bland to me. I guess they're good for cooking but whenever I add it to my food it actually decreases the enjoyment because of the awful lack of flavor in the seasoning.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 12, 2010
at 09:44 PM

From my research, sodium has minimal if any effect on hypertension in most people. Standards now are based on early research on problems with salt that was done in people with kidney disease. People with functioning organs can usually handle salt with no obvious ill effects. Also, low salt intake is correlated with earlier mortality. Carbs have a far stronger effect on hypertension than does salt. However, there is apparently a small segment of the population who is considered 'salt sensitive' that is advised to limit salt intake.

95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on August 12, 2010
at 05:33 PM

FWIW, arrowroot is a thickener generally used for fine sauces (a little more foofy than cornstarch, but similar in use), and dill is a common culinary herb that you've probably tasted a zillion times. Arrowroot isn't the most paleo thing on earth, but neither is anything to worry about.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 12, 2010
at 05:04 PM

A half teaspoon of Kelp contains 40 times the RDA of iodine. It might be a bit much to use a lot of kelp because excessive iodine can fuel automimmune reaction to thyroid and so many people these days have undiagnosed thyroid problems. In ancient times, before metabolism was damaged in a wide spread of the population, it probably would not have been as much of an issue. But I would not suggest it now, at least not until more is understood about how to control autoimmune thyroid attack already in progress.

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5 Answers

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 12, 2010
at 04:15 PM

Potassium is another mineral that your body needs to function. Potassium is essential to proper body functioning. Unless you have a problem with high potassium in your body, then there should be no problem at all using potassium instead of salt. My mother has low potassium in her body and the doctor has asked her to use potassium instead of salt, not because she has a problem with salt but to help supplement her potassium intake. She also eats a lot of bananas and apricots which are also high in potassium. The doctors said they don't know why her potassium is so low though, and she has yet to have it checked since she switched to paleo, so I am hoping that the lack of grains will have ameliorated her problem.

IMO, the only potential problem to using potassium is if you are already too high in potassium levels in your body. If your doctor has done a blood panel recently, then this should have shown up by now if it was a problem. I don't know anyone personally who has too high potassium but I know two people who have too low potassium. If your potassium is too low, you feel really sick and dizzy. It's serious business! I know a lot of people who use the potassium instead of salt, either because the doctor is afraid of salt or due to low potassium and no one I know has ever had a problem with it. I've tasted the potassium and its taste a tad different than salt, but still pretty good and pretty close. I think it's good to question and research potentially stupid doctor advice, but in this case, I see no problem with using potassium instead of salt. Potassium is a hugely important mineral for body functioning and exists naturally in many foods. PLus it tastes good.

2
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 12, 2010
at 01:20 PM

I would make sure to take a kelp supplement or use kelp seasoning because salt is one of our culture's major sources of iodine.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 12, 2010
at 05:04 PM

A half teaspoon of Kelp contains 40 times the RDA of iodine. It might be a bit much to use a lot of kelp because excessive iodine can fuel automimmune reaction to thyroid and so many people these days have undiagnosed thyroid problems. In ancient times, before metabolism was damaged in a wide spread of the population, it probably would not have been as much of an issue. But I would not suggest it now, at least not until more is understood about how to control autoimmune thyroid attack already in progress.

0
97677d946943ec6d77de79c327ab961d

on August 12, 2010
at 02:45 PM

What about the brand Herbamare ? It's a combination of organic herbs and salt that you can sprinkle on pretty much anything. If you can take a little bit of salt, for the same amount of "salt" put in your dish, you will have less of it.

http://www.mehndiskinart.com/Herbamare_Sea_Salt.htm

0
4310630972b25b6ed4fbd0fe7a7201d0

on August 12, 2010
at 02:01 PM

I've never heard of salt sensitivity, so don't know if this information pertains to you, or not, but...

I've always head that sodium induced hypertension is due to the imbalance between normal sodium and potassium levels. When one of those is out of whack, your body responds. It's possible that just adding potassium salt to your diet may help mitigate your salt sensitivity and keep that hypertension in check.

At the very least, if you like salty foods, it would definitely be worth a try. Good luck.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 12, 2010
at 09:44 PM

From my research, sodium has minimal if any effect on hypertension in most people. Standards now are based on early research on problems with salt that was done in people with kidney disease. People with functioning organs can usually handle salt with no obvious ill effects. Also, low salt intake is correlated with earlier mortality. Carbs have a far stronger effect on hypertension than does salt. However, there is apparently a small segment of the population who is considered 'salt sensitive' that is advised to limit salt intake.

0
52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on August 12, 2010
at 11:40 AM

I think potassium chloride is a good way to get a little more potassium. I use it in small amounts for seasoning, but I'm not sodium sensitive. I use regular salt too. It's cheap and widely available, so I recommend you get some and try it.

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