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Sep 23, 2009 04:28 PM

Best Salt Substitute?

I have heard AlsoSalt is a good one. I haven't tried any but have heard that some have a bitter after taste.

Has anyone found a good salt substitute?

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  1. Really, there is no substitute for salt. Nothing else performs like it in cooking.

    13 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      Yes, that is so but for health reasons (not voluntarily!) we are drastically cutting out soduim and have been trying (in vain!) to find something that might do. Not salt but something close.

      I suppose we are looking for something like stevia is to sugar.

      1. re: Yes Please

        They make "salt substitute"; I'm pretty sure they sell it in supermarkets. I don't know if it contains other stuff too, but it's mostly potassium chloride. (What, if any health concerns the extra potassium might raise, I have no idea.)

        Noting that I don't watch my sodium intake for health reasons, I've never used KCl in my own cooking and can't stand it in low/er sodium processed foods, but if you can live with stevia, you might be able to tolerate it. ;)

        1. re: MikeG

          Thanks! The sugar was given up kicking and screaming also, not by choice but for health. The salt I think will be a harder one to give up. I guess I will have to try some out myself and report back.

          Wow, I'm sure everyone is on the edge of their seats to find out what the best fake salt is ;)

          1. re: Yes Please

            I'm sure you've heard this before, but the best thing is to go cold turkey - no fake salt. It took me about 2 weeks, many years ago, but after that most commercially-prepared food seems unpleasantly salty. A canister of salt lasts me at least a decade. I use half the recipe amount in baked goods, and omit it completely in just about all my other cooking.

            1. re: greygarious

              I agree with greygarious. the only salt in my house is a small box of pink sea salt that will last me years. Oddly, most of the cooking I do doesn't call for it - usually recipes from (or inspired by) Africa, Middle East, India, etc. They have lots of spices and herbs, but no salt.

              Salt seems to be a European/North American obsession, but even when cooking recipes that call for it, I just up something else flavourful in the dish and eliminate the salt.

              1. re: Dan G

                Not so sure. I'm from India and every meal has salt in it unless it's a dessert. Yes, lemon/pepper does kind of compensate for the taste.

                1. re: Dan G

                  "Salt seems to be a European/North American obsession"

                  Not really. I don't know enough about African cultures to comment on their salt consumption (though from what I've seen and read, it's not particularly low), but South Asians use plenty of salt and East Asians use quite a bit, too, though not directly in the form of crystallized sodium chloride. Soy and fish sauces contain a great deal of it, however!

            2. re: MikeG

              the tradeoff for sodium for that salt substituteis not a good trade off it's loaded with potassium check out what potassium could do to your body if you have an excess of it

              1. re: Rossie

                potassium is the last of the 3 drug cocktail for executions..... its the one that make the prisoner die!!

                1. re: Rlparent

                  Oy veh. Are you by any chance related to the FoodBabe? Even an air-bubble injected directly into a vein can kill you.

                  Pro-tip: Never inject ANYTHING directly into your veins without medical supervision!

                  1. re: MikeG

                    While I agree with you it's an alarmist argument, I'm willing to cut RIparent a break, since it's their first post ever on Chowhound.

                    Welcome to Chowhound RIparent. Don't be alarmed. We all have pretty strong opinions, but we also tend to back up medical pronouncements with facts.

                    1. re: MplsM ary

                      Maybe I was a bit extreme myself, but it's by no means the first time I've seen a hit-and-run post of similar tone, so I assumed that was what was happening here, too.

                2. re: Rossie

                  Check out what happens if you don't get enough potassium.

          2. The late Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith, minimized salt in his cooking after having heart problems. He always said that increasing other seasonings, particularly pepper and lemon, compensated well for the absence of salt.

            1 Reply
            1. re: greygarious

              Thanks for the tip! Will try it out. Should make for some zesty eggs!

            2. I agree with pikawicca that there is no real substitute, performance-wise or flavor-enhancing-wise, for salt, and I do use moderate amounts of salt.

              However, I've found for me, at least, there's something about vinegar that satisifies some of those salt cravings, even though it has no sodium. I don't know if in some way it interacts with the same taste receptors that salt does, but I know it works to a pretty good degree for me. (And more so even when it's not cooked.) So you might try experimenting with some of the different vinegars out there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Normandie

                Thanks, but unfortunately thats not going to work. Due to a restricted diet vinegar's out. Salt was the last thing to indulge in!

              2. I find that a little balsamic vinegar can replace some of the salt in some of the soups that I make (minestrone in particular).

                1 Reply
                1. re: southernitalian

                  Any acid will act as a salt substitute to some degree.

                2. And is it salt or sodium you are avoiding? MSG changes the flavour.

                  1 Reply