Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What can I use to give my foods a salty taste on a sodium restricted diet?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat can I use to give my foods a salty taste on a sodium restricted diet?


Due to high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, my doctor put me on a sodium restricted diet of 1500mg per day, and has said that I am cannot use salt substitutes. I understand why I can't have the sodium, and when I do attempt to ""cheat"" and have more sodium than is allowed on this diet, I start having problems with swelling and fluid retention. However, I do not understand why I can't have salt substitutes. I know they are made from potassium chloride, but I have to take potassium chloride supplements. Sometimes I crave a salty taste in my food so bad that I am tempted to cheat, even though I know it's going to be bad for me. Is there anything I can use to give food a salty taste?


So sorry to hear about your difficulties. It's true that there are many people that are restricted with regards to what they can eat and drink without having significant medical problems such as those that you describe. The good news is that, due to the many people that have to adjust their diets in this manner, there are many options available. In fact, most dietitians and nutritionists are well versed in helping people such as yourself so I recommend scheduling a visit. Part of their job is to help people not only find foods that are healthy for people with medical problems, but also to help them find a way to enjoy life despite the changes that are being made. If you are having difficulties with your food and seasoning selections, I would recommend that you speak with either a nutritionist or a dietician for more assistance in the process. Additionally, your doctor will be able to help you with many suggestions about which foods and additives you should avoid and which may be ok. Please speak with your doctor for the next step, and he or she will be able to help you identify additional specialists that may be able to help.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.