Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
Q. Dear Terry, “I am looking to decrease my sodium intake. What are your thoughts on using salt substitute products, which are mainly comprised of potassium chloride?”— Mary C., Chicago, IL
A. Dear Mary, I don’t recommend using the low-sodium salt substitutes, as they are not natural. Instead, I recommend Celtic sea salt, which is a whole food salt. In addition to sodium, it also contains 80-90 trace minerals. This salt is natural and good for you. Keep in mind that we should not avoid sodium entirely – our bodies need sodium on a daily basis to function properly.
There is also a big difference between good natural salt, and the sodium used in processed foods as a preservative. This “hidden” sodium is very unhealthy. More than 80% of your dietary sodium comes from these substances. For example, processed lunch meats, sausage, and hot dogs often contain sodium nitrite. Sodas can contain sodium benzoate, and many foods contain monosodium glutamate (MSG). Avoiding processed foods and eating closer to nature is the most effective way to reduce your exposure to these unhealthy sodium ingredients.
If you are looking to increase your potassium intake to assist in balancing sodium, I recommend eating 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. If getting that many servings of fruit and veggies daily is too difficult, I recommend adding a formula that features potassium, Nordic flax seed, calcium and plant sterol. One serving in your cereal, on your salad, or in a juice drink daily gives you 500 mg of extra potassium.
As always, I encourage you to speak with your doctor concerning incorporating dietary supplements into your daily regimen. My advice should never replace the advice of your health care professional.
Terry . . . Naturally