Salt is in almost everything you eat. Salt in small quantities is necessary for life, the issue is when we use huge quantities of salt and eat many processed foods that use loads of salt to mask poor ingredients. Salt (Sodium) is one of the primary electrolytes in the body. All four cationic electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium) are available in unrefined salt, as are other vital minerals needed for optimal bodily function. Too much or too little salt in the diet can lead to many health issues.

The recommended intake should be no more than 2,300 mg of sodium (5.8 g salt) per day and if you have blood pressure or other sodium related complications then you should keep your intake below 1,500 mg a day. The average intake of salt by most Americans today is 3,700 mg.

Health issues cause by excessive salt intake:

• High blood pressure (which leads to heart disease)
• Damaged digestive system
• Gastric Ulcers
• Cancer
• Renal disease
• Edema
• Osteoporosis
• Stroke
• Heartburn

The key to cutting down on your salt (sodium) intake is to get creative with your cooking and try to eat less outside. When you eat out you don’t know what’s going into your food.

Ten healthy alternatives to salt:

Pepper: Trying using fresh ground mixed peppercorns which add richness, depth and flavor to dishes.
Garlic: Garlic has always been a favorite of mine for seasoning my food. Not only does it have huge health benefits, it can be used in soo many dishes and it always makes your food flavorful.
Organic Kelp granules: If you like that salty flavor than kelp is what you need to use in your food. Kelp is a sea vegetable and it has only 45 mg of sodium per serving!
Chives: This is my sister’s favorite salt alternative. Chives is a member of the onion family, it’s great on salads, fish, and oriental dishes.
Organic Dulse, Laver & Sea Lettuce flakes: Seaweeds provide both the iodine and the salty taste without much sodium. These sea vegetables have only 30mg of sodium so you can skip the table salt!
Oregano: A favorable herb mostly used in Italian recipes. Flavor can range from sweet to spicy. It’s a great alternative to salt!
Ground Bay leaves: Bring a soft warm flavor to your food without the added sodium you get from regular table salt.
Basil: Another herb used in many Italian dishes. It smells great and tastes fantastic, it adds flavor and it’s pleasing to your nose.
Ginger: It has great health benefits and adds a kick to any recipe!
Rosemary: One of my all time favorite herbs! Great on lamb, chicken and fish. Rosemary has an aromatic smell and flavor unlike any other herb.

There are so many alternatives to salt that are healthy for you. Salt is a necessary mineral, but we are consuming way too much of it to the point that it is effecting our health. With all the wonderful alternatives out there, it should not be necessary to add so much salt to our diets since there is sufficient amounts already added to the foods we eat.

Resources: 1- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2- Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 "Sodium and Potassium" American Heart Association 2010 Dietary Guidelines". 3- 2010 Dietary Guidelines. American Heart Association. 23 January 2009 4- “Common herbs for natural health” Juliette De Bairacli Levy, 5- References on food salt & health issues. Salt Institute

Author's Bio: 

I'm a Nutritional Health, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach. I'm the founder of Inspired Wellness, a nutritional health, wellness and lifestyle coaching company in NYC. I have trained with some of the most respected names in the health & wellness field, such as Dr. Andrew Weil, Joseph Mercola, Deepak Chopra, Paul Pitchford, David Wolfe, & Barry Seers (founder of Zone Diet) are just a few of the many knowledgable teachers I trained with. I am educated in Western and Eastern dietary and health & wellness theories.
I am a Reiki Master and a Magnified healing Master and teacher. It is my passion to help others live a healthy and happier life. I also facilitate workshops and teleseminars in the NYC area and surrounding states. To learn more about me and the programs I offer visit: