View Full Version : Tricks to reduce salt intake?

Bo Bolund
12-18-2007, 02:44 AM
How do you go about reducing your salt intake?

What spices do you use in cooking?

Garrett Smith
12-18-2007, 05:26 AM
Dulse flakes are great to add to dishes somewhat in place of salt. If there is a little bit of salt in the dish, the dulse makes it seem like there is a lot more. No salt added, you just get dulse taste. It's a synergistic thing, I'm sure.

Oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, dill, chives, rosemary, sage, cilantro, tarragon, marjoram, ginger, mustard powder, wasabi, garlic powder/crushed/fresh, onions, mixed fresh ground peppercorns.

I make my own "curry" with equal parts turmeric, ground coriander, and cumin, add that to dishes with some dulse and just a bit of salt.

The dulse has been very helpful in reducing my salt intake.

Also, use a really good sea salt, it has the other trace minerals and is only something like 86% sodium chloride, as opposed to table salt (or cheap sea salts, which aren't really "sea" anymore they're so white!) at 99%+ sodium chloride.

Scotty Hagnas
12-18-2007, 12:53 PM
I'll second Dr. G's suggestion to use dulse. I use it often to "salt" up foods.

If you eat canned salmon or tuna with salt added, you can drain the water, then add more fresh water and drain again to remove some of the salt. Repeat several times if you like.

Limit dining out, as it is very hard to avoid salt in restaurants.

Gittit Shwartz
12-18-2007, 02:38 PM
I'm curious, why do you try to avoid salt?
Dr. G, can you explain salt cravings? (An indication of some mineral deficiency?)


Garrett Smith
12-18-2007, 03:36 PM
That's a big topic.

Humans and animals crave salt. Why, I don't know. We also seem to crave sugar, again, not really a benefit nowadays.

I'm still undecided as to what amount of salt is necessary OR good. I do think it is a lot less than what people are eating these days. I was reading somewhere an article by Cordain (I believe) on what high sodium does to blood pressure over a lifetime (it goes up steadily). I noticed a while back that my BP was getting higher than I liked (I'm definitely a salt craver, forget about sugar!). So I made a conscious decision to reduce my added salt to foods. Last time my BP was checked, it was back to where it had always been as a teenager/twentysomething. So, something changed.

Cravings can be an indicator of deficiency. I also think that drinking too much plain water depletes the body of any/all minerals over time, thus potentially creating a craving for salt (and the following water one will want to drink after a lot of salt intake). That's why I drink nearly all my water in the form of herbal tea now, it already has some minerals in it. Men tend towards craving salt, women tend towards sugar--that's just a yin/yang thing.

Wish I had better answers, I just don't claim to know everything like some folks out there do...

Gittit Shwartz
12-18-2007, 03:49 PM
We actually discussed salt cravings a bit a while back, in the PWO scenario:


I felt when I was taking ZMA I had less salt cravings in general.
Also, when I was craving salt, eating table salt never seemed to actually satisfy the craving. So I'm guessing the salty taste is linked to some other mineral, which either has a salty taste or is found together with NaCl in nature?
There are just observations of myself, I wouldn't vouch for any of it...

Garrett Smith
12-18-2007, 04:34 PM
Considering that the main mineral after sodium in "real" sea salt is magnesium, the ZMA craving reduction association would seem to make sense.

Table salt is on par with white sugar in its negative effects on the body, IMO.

Bo Bolund
12-19-2007, 07:37 AM
I'm curious, why do you try to avoid salt?
Dr. G, can you explain salt cravings? (An indication of some mineral deficiency?)


Salt is not a natural part of the paleo diet. High salt intake is associated with ischemic heart disease and stroke.

Salt cravings could be a sign of adrenal fatigue where the body fails to produce aldosterone to retain sodium.

Garrett Smith
12-19-2007, 08:10 AM
Bo is correct.

We have issues these days with excessive salt intake AND adrenal fatigue. Sleep would help the adrenal fatigue issue, which could also explain why the ZMA, by increasing quality of sleep, may have reduced your salt cravings.

Bo Bolund
12-22-2007, 03:46 AM
Has anyone used Nutritional Yeast powder? ...or is it non-paleo?