Salt Substitutes are not all the same

A lot of us are trying to cut back on our sodium intake. A salt substitute might be the way to go, but they're not for everyone.

As Dr. John Swartzberg at the U.C. Berkeley Wellness Letter explains, most salt substitutes are made with potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride, so they don't raise blood pressure.

"Potassium's fine to get, unless you're taking medications that make you hold on to potassium a lot more," he said.

These would include some hypertension medications, like ACE inhibitors, and certain diuretics. Dr. Swartzberg says a salt-substitute high in potassium could be dangerous to someone with chronic kidney disease.

And remember, "lite" or "low-sodium" salts still contain sodium. An herb and spice blend, like Mrs. Dash, is a better alternative

"It really does add flavor to the food and it doesn't add any risks to your diet," Swartzberg noted.

Eating salty food is really a habit. Studies show it's a habit you can break.

"Within about six weeks of not adding salt to your diet, you no longer miss it," Swartzberg said.

Remember, most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and restaurant meals - a much bigger worry than the salt shaker.

More Info: How Salt Substitutes Shake Out