How Can I Overcome My Salt Craving?

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In order to overcome a salt craving, I sort of view it as sort of a three step process. One thing you have to do, is stop making it so easy and by that I mean the bulk of the sodium or salt that enters our diet, does so through processed foods, whether they're snack foods, salad dressings, nuts, you name it.

They come in through other salted foods. And since the bulk of it is coming in that way, the best way to manage is to get rid of some of that stuff, and don't make it so easy. Get that stuff out of the house. You want chips and salsa, make your own low salt chips, cut up tomatoes and onions and cilantro and add some lemon.

So it doesn't mean you are giving these foods up, but stop buying the process version. And I often start with my clients to tell them, give up 3 the first week, 3 of your big salty problem, so to speak, and get rid of 3 of them that and that could be like getting rid of chips, getting rid of salted peanuts, it might be, for example, getting rid of canned soup and trying that for a week and then each week maybe adding two or 3 more, because over the course of a month you might get out of 10 to 12 of your real problem salty foods.

Number two is to really think about whether this is a deficiency in other nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, zinc or potassium. These nutrients can be found in other foods ranging from leafy green vegetables, to a wide variety of unsalted nuts, to shrimp, to sesame seeds and obviously a wide range of dairy products, fruits, vegetables, all of these foods contain these nutrients.

Start building these into your diet. Not only are they super healthy and wonderful nutritionally sound foods, if you buy the non-salted versions or acquire the non-salted versions and don't add salt while they're cooking then you don't get the sodium hit and you balance other nutrition.

So you're not losing out, in fact, you're gaining with a wider variety of foods. Finally, shake the shaker. Get rid of it. Because what happens is just having it on the table is half the problem. Don't even keep a salt shaker on your table at home and in the morning if you really are struggling with salt? Only put in to about a quarter to a half teaspoon in your salt shaker.

When that shaker is empty, that day your adding of salt is finished. I strongly suggest you consider other kinds of condiments and these would be things like lemon juice, vinegar's or flavored vinegar's, garlic powder, paprika or other spices that don't have added salt. All of these spices give you the zing that you might want to food which is why a lot of people turn to salt and then on top of it you may not hide the flavor.

One thing salt does is it hides the flavor of food, the beautiful thing about starting to lose the salt is now you're going to have all this great new flavors in your life, because now you're finally tasting the food instead of the salt.