You know cutting back on sodium is good for your heart, but some people find a low-sodium diet too bland. Besides cooking with herbs and spices in lieu of salt, you can perk up the flavor of your foods with salty-tasting seasonings. Here are some to consider – and what to watch out for.
Brands: Morton Lite Salt Mixture; LoSalt
Some of the sodium is replaced with potassium chloride for a similar salty taste. These products are safe for most adults, but people with kidney disease or who take heart or blood-pressure medications should avoid them, says Elizabeth Boeckelman, a registered dietitian at Stanford Hospital and Clinics in California. “These populations are at higher risk for elevated blood-potassium levels, which can be deadly,” she says.
Brands: AlsoSalt Original; Nu-Salt; Morton Salt Substitute
Potassium chloride replaces all the sodium, creating the same risks as low-sodium salts. However, many people can use these salt substitutes safely – and even benefit from the potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and heart function. Just get the OK from your doctor before you start sprinkling.
Sodium-Free and Potassium-Free
Brands: Maine Coast Kelp Granules; Benson’s Table Tasty
Several substitutes use nutritional yeast (Table Tasty) or dried seaweed (Kelp Granules) for a salty taste. Boeckelman says that because dried seaweed contains iodine, which can interfere with healthy thyroid function in high amounts, kelp granules should be used in moderation.