Salt substitutes – Can you break the salt habit?

There has been a lot of news in the media recently about sodium and how most people need to watch the amount of salt they have in their diet. It has been estimated that the average Canadian consumes 3,400 mg of sodium each day. This is well over the recommendations of no more than 2,300 mg of sodium each day (the equivalent of 1 tsp of salt) that was set by Health Canada but has been lowered even further to 1500 mg recently.

With the amount of processed foods and items in the market, this level isn’t hard to exceed at all. There are a number of products on the market that people are marketed as salt substitutes. But do they taste any good? We’re about to find out.

For today’s taste test, we took Campbell’s No Salt Added Chicken Broth and added salt and a salt substitute to each sample. We also allowed our taste testers to try the chicken broth without anything added.

There is also another product on the market (Mrs. Dash) that isn’t so much a salt substitute but a seasoning blend of different herbs – could this also be an appropriate substitute for salt?

Here is the list of the salt substitutes that were used:
  • No Salt (potassium chloride)
  • Nu Salt (potassium chloride)
  • Table Salt (sodium chloride)
  • Mrs. Dash

Taste testers:
Please try each sample and indicate which one you like the most.

Would you choose to:
a) switch to a salt substitute due to health benefits
b) stop salt cold turkey and just get used to eating things without salt or
c) stick to salt because nothing can adequately replace it?

Do you think Mrs. Dash could be an adequate replacement?

The results:
Thank you everyone for your great comments! Here are the results:

A: NuSalt
B: Salt
C: NoSalt
D: Mrs. Dash (obviously)

The bottom line:
It is really hard to replicate the taste of salt. Both of the salt substitutes didn’t have the same effect and impact on flavour as salt (and are way more expensive). It would be tough switching over if you had a health condition that required you to limit your intake of salt. It would definitely require some experimentation and creativity in the kitchen.

But remember, that most of the sodium in the average Canadian’s diet comes from processed foods. So the more home cooking you do using fresh ingredients, the better.