Salts without sodium (and with little “salt shaker”): for hypertensive?

Image result for salt On many occasions hypertension or increased risk is related to the consumption of a significant amount of sodium in the diet. However, on the role of sodium in hypertension, many controversies about the quantification are related. A priori, it seems that there are people whose hypertension is more “sodium dependent” than in others . In the former, a reduction of this element in the diet could provide a considerable benefit, however, in the others, not so much. There is no lack of data to support this possibility, stating that only a third of hypertensive patients could benefit from a low sodium diet, compared to the remaining two thirds who would not see this hypertension modified by the aforementioned sodium reduction. In fact, current perspectives point more towards a balance between excess sodium and potassium deficit , both together , as a situation of increased risk, rather than the excess of sodium itself .

Be that as it may, most of the most recent consensus concludes that in our current dietary pattern we end up introducing a considerably high amount of sodium in our diet and that without a drastic restriction being necessary, it is advisable to reduce their consumption , as I say, our current habits.

The Problem

Image result for cannot controlMuch of the problem, I already told you in this post , is that to some extent the dietary sources of sodium in our diet are beyond our direct control . This is so due to the (bad) food choices that characterize the current pattern of food consumption , curdled in excess of processed foods that in turn incorporate a high amount of sodium from its ingredients.

However, another of the typical points to control the amount of sodium in the diet is found in the hands of the consumer when he prepares or ingests food , using the salt shaker. For them, not long ago there are a series of “substitutes” or “substitutes” of table salt in which the amount of sodium has been reduced more or less considerable.

The most common presentation consists in replacing part of the sodium chloride (a compound that characterizes 99% of 99% of most typical salts regardless of their name) by potassium chloride … another “salt” that substitutes sodium for potassium. Honey on flakes that would say that … remove sodium and put potassium, the first low and the second goes up. In fact, some studies have shown a decrease in mortality caused by cardiovascular diseases when common table salt was replaced by potassium-enriched salt … was that not? Yes, but no.

It is a “yes” with three nuances to consider

  • On the one hand, potassium chloride does not “room” so much food in the sense that the diner is waiting for it to do so, or at least not as much as sodium chloride (the salt of all life). Thus, most of the preparations sold as “salt substitutesreplace a more or less significant amount of sodium chloride with potassium chloride (or other salts … of calcium, magnesium, etc.). Part of the problem is that these salts do not salt as much as the table salt itself and therefore, for the same amount, for the same gesture (that of shaking the salt shaker on the plate) the result is not the same. Thus, the user tends to throw more of this substitute than from the table salt itself until it obtains a result similar to the palate. A kind of “for this trip did not need panniers.”
  • On the other hand, there is the question of its use in the kitchen, rather than in the table itself, knowing that the use of potassium chloride leaves an important bitter aftertaste when heated … a fact that accompanies most culinary preparations.
  • And finally, it is necessary to take into account each case in particular when it comes to significantly increase potassium in the diet from these types of strategies. There are patients who, due to their particular physiopathology , or because of the type of drugs they use, must pay special attention to the amount of potassium they incorporate with their diet. Thus, being essential to consult with the doctor, when making such decisions, should pay special attention to those with diabetes , those with some type of renal impairment , those who suffer obstruction or difficulty in the urinary flow , as well as users of diuretics (which promote potassium retention) or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors .

In summary

Image result for summaryAlthough the use of substitutes for table salt could be useful for certain people, its use should be limited to adequate prior advice by a qualified health professional : always taking into account the patient’s possible circumstances; the possible influence of a pharmacological treatment … and especially not before having managed a change in the dietary patterns in which less processed foods predominate, more “natural” compared to the most processed ones, with a special presence of those of fresh vegetable origin .

If you liked this post, you may be interested in consulting

  • Basic guide to reduce the intake of sodium (salt) and alternatives
  • Most of the salt you drink has been put there by someone other than you
  • More concrete purposes, easier to fulfill purposes
  • Three key elements in processed foods: Sugar, sodium and fat