The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-18-2006, 03:29 PM
justqwerty justqwerty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Is there a salt substitute that taste like real salt ?

We do have sugar substitutes ( Canderel among others) that taste pretty much the same as the real McCoy,
why can't I find anything similar for salt ?
Spices,herbs could be used instead of course but the taste would be different.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 12-18-2006, 03:35 PM
Scribble Scribble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
As someone who's been on a low-sodium diet for a long time1, I can tell you that there is absolutely nothing that tastes like salt except...salt.

On the plus side, there are lots of other flavors that you can use instead of salt. The trick is to change your expectations of the way food tastes by changing the kinds of foods you eat altogether, rather than trying to make something familiar (and salty) taste good in a low-sodium version.

If you want tips, suggestions, etc. I'd be happy to help you out. My e-mail's in my profile.





1I don't follow the diet as closely as I used to, because there's not as much need for it now, as far as I can tell. But I've found that my tastes have changed. Unless I'm really craving salt, there are an awful lot of things I used to love eating that now taste far too salty for me!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-18-2006, 09:04 PM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Montréal, Québec
Posts: 8,772
Sugar is a fairly large molecule, allowing chemical variants that taste the same but don't get digested (no calories) to be made using a similar structure. Table salt is an incredibly simple molecule: just two atoms, one sodium and one chlorine. Changing either one results in something fairly different, and therefore different taste. Mixes of spices are about as close as you can get, but I suspect those spices might have natural NaCl in them to help make them salty.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-18-2006, 09:10 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Honestly, I don't find potassium chloride (No-Salt, in one brand name incarnation) to taste that much different from the real thing.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-18-2006, 09:23 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 59,039
But you've got be careful with potassium chloride - the stuff is dangerous.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-18-2006, 09:25 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo
But you've got be careful with potassium chloride - the stuff is dangerous.
Well, true, but I'm not eating big chunks of it and I'm not taking any medications with it in.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-19-2006, 04:31 PM
justqwerty justqwerty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanks to everyone who replied.

Scribble
looks like I just have to live with this.
I'm not much into cooking, but thanks for your concern.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-20-2006, 04:44 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 59,039
Quote:
Well, true, but I'm not eating big chunks of it and I'm not taking any medications with it in.
Yes, but many people who use potassium chloride are unware of how small a lethal amount can be. It's not an amount a person would be likely to consume but it certainly is an amount that is possible to consume.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-20-2006, 12:01 PM
Sapo Sapo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo
But you've got be careful with potassium chloride - the stuff is dangerous.

how so? how much? why?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-20-2006, 03:56 PM
Waenara Waenara is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapo
how so? how much? why?
From Wikipedia:
Quote:
Potassium is vital in the human body and oral potassium chloride is the common means to replenish it, although it can also be diluted and given intravenously. It can be used as a salt substitute for food, but due to its weak, bitter, unsalty flavor, it is usually mixed with regular salt, sodium chloride, for this purpose to improve the taste. Medically it is used in the treatment of hypokalemia and associated conditions, for digitalis poisoning, and as an electrolyte replenisher. Brand names include K-Dur®, Klor-Con®, Micro-K®, and Kaon Cl®. Side effects can include gastrointestinal discomfort including nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding of the bowel. Overdoses cause hyperkalemia which can lead to paresthesia, cardiac conduction blocks, fibrillation and arrhythmias, also sclerotic effects.
Quote:
Orally it is toxic in excess; the LD50 is around 2500 mg/kg (meaning that a 150-lb person would have to consume about six ounces; regular salt is about as toxic). Intravenously this is reduced to just over 100 mg/kg but of more concern are its severe effects on cardiac muscles; high doses can cause cardiac arrest and rapid death. Indeed, a massive overdose of intravenous potassium chloride is used to stop the heart in execution by lethal injection.
(emphasis added by me)

So it looks like the LD50 (dosage at which 50% of the subjects die) is higher than you would be likely to consume, but that article doesn't say at what dosage side-effects start to occur.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-20-2006, 09:09 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
So calcium cloride should be banned like vegemite, because like it, you normaly eat small harmless amounts, but a highly abnormal amount can kill you.

I find that when I make a hamburger or the like that I don't need to add salt. I've reduced the salt intake to minimum on foods over twenty years and I don't like much salt any longer. I now order fries at all restraunts without salt, because I can't stand to eat them with salt. I can not tolerate the taste of the substitute. blahk! pfft! yuck!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-20-2006, 09:21 PM
Sapo Sapo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Waenara, thanks.

Does it build up in your system? I am guessing it is as readily excreted as regular salt.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.