HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Am I wrong for not likeing salt

I use to normally not add salt to most things I cooked. Recently I have tried to add more salt to my cooking due to seeing how every cooking show seems to scald chefs for not enough salt.
I always have felt that I was a good cook and have been wanting to up my game and maybe even go to school at some point.

Am I totally wrong to dis-like adding salt

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. No, not all.

    Each of our palates are different and uniquely appropriate in their own way.

    1. Everyone is different. Moreover, most Americans are already consuming too much salt and too much salt has a negative effect on our bodies. I think it is great that you don't add too much salt.

      1. No, I don't think you are in the wrong by leaving out salt! I often cook without salt, simply because I prefer it and my body responds better to a low sodium diet. I am pretty sodium sensitive -- a big bowl of pho, for instance, leaves me feeling bloated and yucky.

        When I know that guests will be eating my food, I tend to season it at least a bit more than I would for myself. But still not nearly as much as those tv show chefs. Anne Burrell and Ina Garten in particular seem to use a ton of salt.

        3 Replies
        1. re: operagirl

          "a big bowl of pho"...

          I think that could also be MSG

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            ... or a bag of potato chips, or a big helping of Costco rotisserie chicken, or a sandwich with deli meat, pickles and cheese.

            1. re: operagirl

              Got it. This is probably a blessing (your low tolerance for high salt diet).

        2. No. Many people are used to high levels of salt in their food, so it tastes bland to them if they don't use copious amounts of it. I recall a study where it was easy to get people to ramp up quickly on the amount of salt added to their meals, but it was very difficult to get them to decrease the amount of added salt.

          3 Replies
          1. re: raytamsgv

            It's now many years since I stopped cooking with salt, or adding salt to my own plate, but I recall it took me about 2 months to get used to not having it. Nowadays, an "ordinary" amount of salt in a dish just tastes far too salty for me.

            1. re: raytamsgv

              Once I took processed food out of my diet and switched to sea salt I found that I used a lot less. Since I mostly grill, pan fry or steam I never add salt until after cooking. Your body is pretty efficient at getting rid of excess sodium if you drink enough water (NOT soda).

              1. re: raytamsgv

                I think it is partially true that it is easier to get people increase salt in their diet than to get them to decrease, but I won't say it is "very" difficult. It is definitely reversible, unlike eating very hot/spicy food.

              2. Nope you're fine. I've never been a salty person either. With hot pretzels in the case, I always ask the vendor for the one with the least salt on it (or no salt).

                1. I have to say that I am completely baffled watching cooking shows - more frequently the American ones than Canadian or British - and the amount of salt that they throw into and onto everything. I bought a 200 gram container of pink sea salt about 3 years ago, and have used less that 1/4 of it. I don't have any other salt in my house Obviously there is some in other products, but no boxes of iodized or kosher salts.

                  People never complain about my food being bland because 1) i use good main ingredients and 2) I spice it with more interesting things than salt.

                  Also, I notice that the cookbooks I use most frequently or have taken inspiration from to create my own recipes are often Asian and Latin cuisine, and very seldom have salt in the recipes.

                  1. It is very wrong.....go stand in the corner.

                    1. Alright, I'm pretty much a low salt guy. I haven't had fast food in years and sometimes it seems the closing thing to processed food in our house is canned beans. But, I submit, there are certain things on which a liberal sprinkling of good, crunchy salt is practically an obligation to one's tastebuds. For example, a tomato, freshly plucked from the vine, still warm from the late July sun. Or, perhaps, a quarter of a ripe radish with a gentle smear of sweet, creamy butter. Or, maybe, that turkey sandwich for lunch the day after Thanksgiving . . . You know what I mean???

                      1. Mrs 2K and I bought one of those oil can sized packages of salt when we got married. Nearly 20 years later, it's still 3/4 full.

                        I'll put a little sprinkle on red meat (which we never have at home), and that's about it. Always been like that for me (and for her).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: L2k

                          Happy to see other Folks who don't oversalt their food here!

                        2. From an evolutionary standpoint, yes, you are wrong to dislike salt. A taste for salt evolved over millions of years of natural selection, thereby providing modern humans a competitive advantage. Our bodies need salt, and having a taste for it ensures that we get it.

                          Of course, since present day humans get too much of it, I'd say you're safe throwing caution to the winds.

                          1. I'm a huge salt fan, but my SO isn't, somehow he grew up in a salt conscious home and I find his tastes (or lack of) shocking, but it's ok, everyone is different!!
                            I also love tons of acidity, I doubt most people could put up with the amount of lemon juice I add on my food.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: BamiaWruz

                              That is equivalent to not putting salt and pepper on a burger before grilling it. Yuck

                            2. Enjoy your salt. The so-called experts can't even tell you WHY blood pressure rises in the first place...so you shouldn't trust them to tell you how to lower it, either.

                              A study was published in the online Journal of General Internal Medicine, and while it doesn't actually come out and say that a low-salt diet is actually BAD for the heart, it does cite some intriguing stats showing that people who eat the least salt suffer from the highest rates of death as a result of heart disease. The one quarter of patients in the study who ate the least salt were – ready for this? – 80 PERCENT more likely to die from cardiac issues than the 25 percent in the study who consumed the MOST salt.

                              This should really be no surprise in the medical community. In spite of what you hear on TV and read in magazines, there's no agreement in the medical community that salt is the key factor in the development of such dangerous maladies as high blood pressure and hypertension.

                              Dr. Hillel W. Cohen, the author of the study, finally acknowledged the questionable link between salt intake and high blood pressure. "The main argument for reducing salt in the prevention of heart disease has been that there's a relationship between higher sodium and high blood pressure," he said. "But when one actually looks at the numbers, the average blood pressure difference associated with quite a bit of sodium intake is very modest."

                              The fact is, without salt, you'd die. It's an essential nutrient that your body can't manufacture on its own. It plays a critical role in regulating vital bodily function, and it's a key element in the fluids that transport life-giving oxygen throughout the body. Salt maintains the body's fluid balance. What's more, the body automatically disposes of excess salt in your system. So the oft-heard claim that you can have "too much" salt in your diet? Well that's just not physically possible.

                              Many people suffer health problems because they don't get ENOUGH salt in their diets.

                              At the 2004 European Geriatrics Congress in Vienna, Professor Ingo Fusgen of the Department of Geriatrics at Germany's University of Witten-Herdecke presented research showing that as much as 10 percent of seniors may suffer from hyponatraemia (low blood levels of sodium).

                              Hyponatraemia often goes undiagnosed because symptoms are so similar to some of the conditions that we associate with aging, such as fatigue, poor concentration, confusion, poor balance, and incontinence. When hyponatraemia becomes pronounced, hallucinations and even coma may result.

                              Prof. Fusgen also reported that 80 percent of the elderly subjects in his research told him they avoided salt based on the popular misconception that salt intake causes high blood pressure (HBP).

                              In a press release, Prof. Fusgen stated that many otherwise healthy older people might be in danger simply because of the widespread belief that a low-salt diet is healthy.

                              If you're generally healthy you have no reason to lose the saltshaker. Shake it 'til your wrist gets sore and you'll be just fine.

                              Just stick with pure sea salt -- untreated and unadulterated, it's actually gray. I don't care what fancy- schmancy name is on the label -- if it's snowy white, it's been treated. Toss it out and get the right stuff.

                              And if you eat a steady diet of processed foods and other crapola, you've got much bigger problems than sodium.

                              1. You are totally not wrong, just possibly in the minority because so many people have become accustomed to way too much salt.

                                With respect to the salt being healthy issue, I think a really big part of it is what kind of salt you are using....

                                Iodized table salt is horrible for you. Sea salt, not as bad and as far as I have seen himalayan sea salt is the best. Sea salts contain lots of minerals your body needs that our regular table salt doesn't contain.

                                You do need a certain amount of salt in your diet for lots of things. One is to allow cells to communicate effectively with each other.

                                I personally can't tolerate very much sodium either, and I have always been a person who has drank a ton of water, peed a lot and always gotten thirsty easily (not diabetic, don't worry). Then a while back, I started adding a bit of Himalayan salt to some water every day and the difference has been amazing. I can actually hold onto that water I drink instead of it flowing completely through me. I stay hydrated!!! Table salt doesn't help with that this does the trick!

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: upsidedownorchid

                                  Table salt has iodine, a necessary mineral. Both salts have almost exactly the same percent composition of Sodium and Chloride. Aside from any psychological effects, they are equally 'bad' for you.

                                  That aside, yes, you are wrong not to like salt. It makes things taste good, and helps your body. However, it can also be easily overused. Use it in moderation.

                                  1. re: AndrewK512


                                    They are equally bad for you if you consume the same, but isn't there a theory that people find sea salt more favorful and therefore they use less of it.

                                    As for salt, I have the similar feeling of it as I have for sugar and fat. Salt is essential for human health, but most Americans consume more salt than needed. Just most Americans consume more calories than needed. It isn't calories are not important.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Sodium Chloride is Sodium Chloride. While the two salts may have different volumes, they are still essentially the same in flavor (with the exception of addtional trace minerals.) Equal weights will still provide equal amounts of NaCl.

                                      1. re: AndrewK512

                                        Yes, it is the additional trace of minerals.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          I'm sorry, I thought you were referencing that the sea salt brings out more flavor than table salt, not provides more.

                                          Are you able to taste the trace minerals on something when it is cooked? Do you find that their flavors work well with most other flavors of foods? I've been unable to notice a difference except when directly tasting the salts side by side.

                                          1. re: AndrewK512

                                            Not sure. I swear when I bought my first sea salt from Whole Food that it tasted different than normal table salt. It wasn't saltier. It had other tastes to it. Since then, I don't notice any difference from other sea salt which I bought elsewhere.

                                  2. re: upsidedownorchid

                                    Himalayan sea salt? That comes from the legendary sea of Shangri-la?

                                    There is something sold as Himalayan salt, that actually comes from salt mines primarily in Pakistan.

                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                        I should mention that there is a good restaurant in Honolulu named Himalayan Kitchen. One section of their menu is "Himalayan Seafood." I've never been either bold or drunk enough to ask.

                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                          I think the argument is that there used to an ocean tens of millions years ago before the Indo continent crashed into the rest of Asia. Though I seriously doubt you are buying a tens-millions years old salt block.

                                          Your Himalayan seafood are clearly fossils.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            we call freshwater fish "seafood" too....
                                            just saying.......

                                            1. re: thew

                                              True. but the chance of shipping freshwater fish from one of those remote lakes in Himalayan areas to a Honolulu restaurants seems very low? Fossils are as good as a bet as any inland Himalayan lake fish.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                true, i was just commenting that one does not need to be near the sea to have seafood

                                      1. re: thew

                                        the new all the rave trending sea salt taste gross. at least when you been using the normal iodized salt for all your life.

                                        it's like pop. drink diet and get cancer from the aspartame (Stevia, Xenical, That yellow sugar whatever its called etc etc) or have regular and get fat from the sugar. whatever, just don't overdo it.