There are a lot of misconceptions about salt. Most of them stem from the old days when everyone used salt and no one wanted to talk about health issues. The old myths are that salt causes bad breath, causes arthritis, heart disease, cancer, kidney stones and even weight gain. Although these myths are mostly false, it is important to know the facts now so we can address these issues properly. You might be shocked to learn that salt has actually been used for thousands of years to help improve health. By making a good balance with all the other ingredients in the food, and hiding the bad taste with other flavors, you could actually save time and the money you spent in preparing it.
One misconception about salt is that it has to be real salt. Not true! Real salt is only one ingredient in many seasoning recipes. Table salt really contains an insignificant amount of salt, barely a teaspoon. Most of what is added to foods like marinades, sauces and salad dressings is an assortment of spices and other ingredients. Salt takes up just a tiny bit of space in the ingredients and can’t possibly add too much flavor or odour.
Another misconception is that there is a link between high blood pressure and salt. Sodium is not a major ingredient in most foods. As for salt itself, studies have shown that people who eat low sodium diets tend to have higher blood pressures than those who eat regular diets. This is not because the people with low sodium diets have high blood pressure; it is because their diet does not contain enough essential minerals like potassium and magnesium which are important for regulating the blood pressure.
For years, the only way to counteract the taste of too much salt was to buy artificial flavorings to add a little more “saltiness” to food. However, these artificial flavorings quickly began to degrade and the saltiness they added soon came out of control. No one wants to put salt on their food in the first place, but there is no way to make the taste go away without neutralizing the salt. Adding a little more salt is a sure fire way to increase the saltiness and therefore saltiness of food.
Some of the most popular salt substitutes are sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and calcium chloride. Both of these additives can mask the taste of salt, however, they also cause a loss of essential nutrients. Another popular additive is the “salt free” seasoning that you often see on processed foods. Unfortunately, this type of seasoning does not provide any nutritional benefit.
If you want to neutralize salt in your foods without making them salty, one of the best things that you can do is to replace the salt with potassium. Potassium is often called the “dirtiest” mineral on earth. However, if you ingest too much potassium, it can cause you to feel sick. Because potassium is used in so many of your body’s functions, losing some of it through excessive intake can have negative effects. However, if you replace the potassium with sodium bicarbonate or calcium chloride, you will eliminate the need to feel sick.
One of the simplest ways to replace the salt in your diet is to simply use water instead. If you are in your kitchen right now and are getting frustrated because you think that there is no alternative for using water to replace salt, then allow me to tell you about something called “low-salt cooking”. This technique replaces the salt with a very salty ingredient (such as lemon juice) which replaces the excess sugar in your diet. Lemon juice is an excellent substitute because it has a very salty taste. Also, it is an excellent source of potassium and magnesium. The two minerals are important to your body and so it is beneficial to your health.
By replacing a small amount of salt in your food with a more natural (and flavorful) alternative such as lemon juice, it is possible to lower your blood pressure without having to significantly reduce the amount of other healthy foods that you eat. Another advantage of using low-sodium ingredients in your diet is that by avoiding the high calorie foods that usually accompany high-sugar content foods, you may also be able to lose weight. By making some simple substitutions, it is possible to make all of your favorite foods taste great and avoid all of the excess salt that is often present in these types of recipes. It may be necessary to experiment with various recipes to find which ones work best for your tastes.