Before considering the healthy alternatives to table salt, I’m sure you’re probably wondering why salt is bad for you. Well, let’s see.
Canned, frozen, packaged, and fast foods have very high amounts of salt and sodium. Unfortunately, these are what a lot of Americans (and citizens of most highly industrialized countries) consume daily, and this too in high quantities.
Speaking of America, according to the CDC – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, nearly 90% of Americans consume more than the daily milligrams of sodium daily, thus treating themselves to an unhealthy diet. The average American adult, according to stats, eats between 9 – 10 grams of salt every day, which is about 3500 – 4000 mg every day. That’s 2 – 3 times the recommended daily intake.
Fortunately, this abuse isn’t typically noticeable, much more harmful. So, incorporating some natural salt (say the Himalayan sea salt) into your diet of low-sodium foods should not be risky for most people. Everyone must take some salt or sodium in their diets, alongside other minerals & electrolytes. This helps to support nerve, muscular and cellular functions. That’s that.
Unfortunately, not everyone can eat salt freely. People suffering from high blood pressure or kidney-related conditions must deliberately cut down on their sodium consumption to prevent worsening their symptoms. Research has found that hypertension and other diseases like kidney stones, heart attacks, osteoporosis, stomach cancers, kidney failure, strokes, and erectile dysfunction are linked with a diet that is abnormally high in salt.
6 Healthy Alternatives To Table Salt
The American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and other reputable health authorities recommend that the ideal sodium intake for adults is 1500 milligrams daily. Should there be any reason to extend this, it should not be more than 2300 milligrams. That’s about a teaspoon of added salt per day.
If you fall among the people who can’t eat much salt, especially synthetic types, I’m sure you’re wondering about the possibility of eating a tasty meal in the absence of salt. Good news: you don’t need salt to enjoy a delicious meal. Below, let’s look at six alternatives to common salt that may even taste better than your taste buds are used to.
Fresh Herbs & Spices
Training your taste buds to adjust to reduced consumption of salty meals is arguably the best thing to do to cut down on your overall sodium intake, as well as enhance your long-term health. This can be done by eating foods scarce in salt regularly, and over time, you’ll realize that you’re becoming more accustomed to the reduced taste of sodium. Before you know, you’ll find out that you don’t care about salt that much.
Using fresh spices and herbs, or self-made salt-free seasonings, in your meals is a great way to bolster your food flavor. Your homemade salt-free spice should contain turmeric, ginger, basil, oregano, or oregano, as they are the best salt alternatives for persons with high blood pressure, thanks to their natural, strong anti-inflammatory qualities.
Acidic Flavors, for example, orange juice, lime juice, lemon zest/lemon juice, and vinegar, are healthy replacements for salt. They add a distinct sourness to meals, thus balancing out other flavors. When used alongside healthy fats like olive oil, acids will give your cooking that delicious taste without the fear of additional calories. Remember that people with HBP must limit their calorie intake.
Much like lemon juice, vinegar can greatly enhance the taste of sauces, marinades, vegetables, stews, and so many more. But here’s what’s better, there’s a lot to choose from, each offering its unique flavor. Examples are balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and champagne vinegar. I’d recommend ACV, particularly due to its vast benefits.
Garlic & Onions (fresh/powdered)
Garlic, onions, scallions, leeks, chives, and tomatoes have sulfuric compounds and unique enzymes. When cooked, therefore, they improve the taste and flavor of a meal. These plants can be used for various meals, including rice dishes, meat dishes, pasta, soups & stress. These plants do not only enhance the taste of a meal, but they also make it healthier due to their specific qualities.
Umami powder is a blend made using ingredients like spices, seaweeds, garlic, onions, tamari, mushrooms, and nutritional yeast. As expected, a few sprinkles of umami powder is sure to enhance the taste of your meal. This powder is common in Asian delicacies. You can buy at Asian marketplaces, certain food stores, or online. When buying, go through the label to pick one with little or no sodium.
Homemade Gravy, Stocks & Broth
By simmering meals in homemade gravy or broth, such as fish stock, vegetable stock, or chicken bone broth, you can bolster their sweetness and nutrient content. By making stock yourself, you can manage the amount of salt added to your meals, rather than using stock cubes or canned types that are hard to measure.
What To Note
Have it in mind that salt alternatives or extra salt are unnecessary if your diet contains foods rich in sodium, such as natto, pickles, sauerkraut, and other pickled vegetables. Fermented foods like this are usually rich in sodium as they are chiefly made from sea salt or brine. As a plus, these foods offer probiotics amongst other nutrients, and are therefore healthy inclusions to your meals if you can still eat some salt. If you can’t take salt anymore, then you have to avoid these foods.
In addition to replacing the regular table salt with the above alternatives, you can lower your sodium consumption significantly by reducing your frequency of eating frozen, canned, and ultra-processed foods. Reduce processed meat, cut down on bottled spices, and cook more fresh meals at home yourself.
Concluding The Healthy Alternatives To Table Salt
Most of the healthy alternatives to table salt are not only tastier but also richer in nutrients. Therefore, you do not have to worry about developing any deficiency or having to eat tasteless foods. Stay safe; remember that unchecked high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.