Eating too much salt is bad for your health, due to the impact of salt on our blood pressure. However, there is a possible alternative to salt, little known, but recommended by experts. Advice from Alexandra Murcier, dietician-nutritionist, on the issue.
Arterial hypertension is a pathology linked to excessive blood pressure in the blood vessels, beyond 140/90 mmHg. To avoid or regulate it, doctors recommend a diet low in salt and official recommendations set the threshold at 5 grams per day.
However, it can be difficult to change your habits. This is why some experts now recommend using salt enriched with potassium, which can be used instead of classic salt, without much difference in taste.
A recommendation issued by an international group of experts
This opinion was issued by an international group of experts, who published an article on this subject in the journal Hypertension. Indeed, the salt that we usually consume is made up of NaCl, that is to say sodium chloride.
Using a salt in which part of the sodium would be replaced by potassium seems to be an alternative for specialists. “High levels of sodium intake and low levels of potassium intake are widespread, and both are linked to high blood pressure and an increased risk of’AVC, heart disease and premature death. Using a salt substitute in which part of the sodium chloride is replaced with potassium chloride solves both problems at once.” they write.
Recommend salt derivatives to patients
“Given the wealth of evidence available, we believe it is time to include salt substitutes in treatment guidelines to help combat spiraling rates of uncontrolled high blood pressure worldwide and reduce preventable deaths ” adds Professor Alta Schutte, from the George Institute for Global Health and UNSW Sydney, part of the group of international experts.
The World Health Organization also agrees and calls potassium-enriched salt an “affordable strategy.” Advising this salt would also, according to experts, be a way of restoring potassium intake in patients, whose deficiency can also be a source of high blood pressure.
A salt that is not recommended for all patients
However, this salt would not be the ultimate panacea. As the scientists point out, “i“It is clear that patients with advanced kidney disease should not use potassium-enriched salts.”. These patients, however, represent a “very small portion of the population” they qualify.
Finally, they point out that this salt is not always available and costs more. Despite these obstacles, they affirm that “potassium-enriched salt can be very cost-effective for disease prevention although it is generally more expensive“.
The opinion of Alexandra Murcier, dietician-nutritionist
When questioned, the specialist is rather mixed. “I find that this is a trap, because if we do not explain to patients that it also contains salt, they will tend to put more in their dishes, believing that it is an alternative. This can be misleading for some people.”
She prefers to give as advice: “Reduce your consumption in general, rather than taking a substitute, which costs more, which you will not find everywhere and which you will not have with you at friends’ houses or when you eat out. . For people who often eat out, this is not applicable at all.”
NO to diets, YES to WW!
Some tips for learning to eat less salty
Our expert makes other recommendations. “I remind you that you must taste before salting your dish, when you cook, but also use more spices such as pepper, aromatic herbs, (be careful, however, that they do not contain salt, by reading the instructions carefully). labels!): it will give a different taste”.
There are also foods that are naturally salty and that you need to know: bread, cheese, cold meats, canned soups, chips, mustard, pickles… underlines the dietitian.
Finally, by making the effort to eat less salty for a few weeks, you quickly become unaccustomed to this taste. “It’s a little difficult at first, but after a while, you realize that you find everything you eat much too salty. So it’s not impossible to eat less salty.”