We loved a recent video by Nutrition Made Simple where the author points out the risks of excess salt in the diet. And he also discusses clever ways of reducing salt intake. See the link above to watch the entire video.
High Salt Intake
Most of us consume too much salt because we get it in canned food, pastries, bread, packaged foods, pasta, tofu, and even sweets. It’s tough to avoid.
It’s a habit – which is the toughest thing to overcome. Over several decades, our taste buds have gotten used to a strong salty flavor, making it hard to start using less salt suddenly.
Like heavy foods, such as fried foods, it’s often a flavor profile we are accustomed to. Over time, it’s possible to break the habit, but it takes many months, often a couple of years.
Salt & Heart Disease
Studies show that heart disease is linked to higher salt intake. Lowering our overall salt intake or ensuring we get enough healthy grains and fruits into our system decreases the risk of heart disease and doesn’t just lower blood pressure alone.
Replacing Sodium with Potassium
The suggested alternative is to use a salt that isn’t made of sodium chloride (NaCl) but instead of potassium chloride (KCl), which is safer, as the studies demonstrate.
Lowering the total sodium intake and replacing it with potassium decreases the risk of death and strokes. That’s a powerful intervention, and the food’s taste isn’t sacrificed because KCl is still quite salty.
Heart Health Coaching clients also know that eating more fruits and vegetables adds potassium to their diet. Remember, adding potassium, not just the sodium replacement, is a driver of better Heart Health.
There are lots of salt substitutes out there, and your favorite health food store should have seasoning options with no salt at all, with some potassium, or some combination of the two.
The key is to experiment and see if it tastes different. And of course, just adding less salt to your food will reset your taste buds and is a good way to crave less.