Harvard Heart Letter

Salt substitutes deserve a place at the table

Herbs, spices, potassium chloride, and other salt alternatives can help you cut back on sodium.

If you need "" or want "" to get less sodium in your diet, replacing the salt in your shaker with a substitute can help. Substitutes fall into two main categories: potassium salts and herbs and spices. Both offer flavor and maybe even an extra health benefit or two. That said, some people with heart disease need to steer clear of potassium-based substitutes.

The most important strategy for getting less sodium is avoiding packaged or prepared foods loaded with salt "" sodium chloride "" since they account for 75% of the average person's daily intake. Reading labels in the grocery store and asking questions in restaurants can help you eliminate a fair amount of stealth salt. What you do at home can make a difference, too.

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