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Home : Tips & Techniques : Salt Substitute Can Be Dangerous To Your Health!

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Salt Substitute Can Be Dangerous To Your Health!

Contributed by: Lena Sanchez of Antibiotic Alternatives

Salt substitutes depend on potassium to replace the salty flavor of salt therefore can overload the system when taking certain medications!

For instance a man taking aldactone(spironolactone) and lasix (furosemide) was admitted to the hospital in Madison WI. He was lethargic, weak and with labored breathing. His blood pressure was dangerously low and his pulse was all of 12 to 15 beats per minute. The ECG revealed him to be on the verge of cardiac arrest. His serum potassium level was dangerously high at 7.8. The doctors were totally puzzled until his wife revealed he had started to use a salt substitute several days earlier.

Sodium is supposed to be the culprit that is dangerous in salt, of course I differ with that, but there are dangerous things in regular table salt that endangers health also. Regular table salt has aluminum among other things used in the extraction process of salt, that are dangerous. I for one believe that they have this all wrong, it's not the sodium but the contaminants in commercial table salt, but no data to back it up, as there hasn't been studies geared to the contaminants in regular table salt.

Sorry that I got off on that tangent. Back to salt substitutes.

Salt substitutes are supposed to be free of sodium. Is that true?

Some do and some don't but all have potassium chloride, which is dangerous to the very ones who seem to be consuming it for health reasons. Salt free diets are usually recommended to those who have hypertension and/or heart problems. Making this dangerous to the very ones who are taking heart and hypertension medications in conjunction with the salt substitute. Salt substitutes are supposed to be sodium free. But are they?

Listed below are the top salt substitutes and the amounts of potassium and sodium in each.

  • *No Salt -- 1/4 tsp.: 650 mg. Potassium/0 mg. sodium
  • *Morton's Lite Salt -- 1/4 tsp.: 350 mg. Potassium/290 mg. sodium
  • *Morton's Salt Substitute -- 1/4 tsp.: 610 mg. Potassium/0 mg. sodium
  • *Cardia Salt Alternative -- 1/4 tsp.: 180 mg. Potassium/270 mg. Sodium

As you can see Potassium chloride is a common ingredient in salt substitutes. Too much potassium can be harmful if you have kidney problems or you're taking certain medications to treat high blood pressure or heart failure. Potassium-sparing diuretic drugs causes your kidneys to retain potassium. If you take a potassium-sparing diuretic and use a salt substitute containing potassium, too much potassium can build up in your body. Possible side effects include potentially life-threatening heart rhythm disturbances and even death.

If you wish to use a salt substitute make your own!

Savory Salt Substitute

  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. powdered orange peel
  • 1 1/2 tsp. arrowroot
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar or sugar substitute
  • 3/4 tsp. sour salt (powdered citric acid)
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp. plus a pinch of powdered lemon peel
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place all the ingredients in a small electric coffee grinder, spice grinder or blender. Grind for 10 seconds or until the mixture is fine. Insert a funnel in the top of a glass salt shaker, pour the mixture into it and tap the funnel lightly to fill the shaker. Cover the rest of the mixture tightly and store it in a cool, dark, dry place.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

From Reader's Digest "Great Recipes for Good Health,"

Nutrition per teaspoon: 6 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, 1 g complex carbohydrates, 1 mg natural sodium.

I use sea salt, no aluminum or contaminants as it is simply salt dried and ground as it comes from the sea. Same flavor results in your taste buds but without the contaminates from extraction process as in regular salt.

Be healthy and wise at the same time. Lena

*** Lena Sanchez Author of "Handbook Of Herbs To Health & Other Secrets," "Antibiotic Alternatives To Preventing Mega Bacteria," & "Dangers & Secrets Doctors Refuse To Tell You." Found online at http://www.antibiotic-alternatives.com and Editor of "Natural Environmental Health Facts & Your Home Business Coach" ezine subscribe at http://www.envirodocs.com/newsletter.htm


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