3 Reasons to Avoid Low-Sodium Salt Substitutes

low-sodium meals

When a sick patient with a history of chronic disease was admitted to BL Kapur Super Speciality Hospital in India, she complained of trembling in her hands.

If you’re following a Low-Sodium diet, you’ll want to read this to avoid making the same mistake this patient made.

Doctor’s ruled out Parkinson’s disease for the 55-year-old female. And then began taking a closer look at her diet and lifestyle habits. Her known conditions included diabetes, high blood pressure, and neuropathy.

But her diagnosed conditions and medications didn’t explain the hand trembling. A closer examination of her diet revealed the cause. Low-sodium salt alternatives.

Are low-sodium salt substitutes healthy or not? It might seem like a good idea when you’re trying to avoid or limit sodium, particularly to support heart health. But low-sodium salt substitutes are high in potassium. And too much of it can create a new set of problems like hand trembling or worse.

In fact, if you consume too much potassium you can develop a condition known as hyperkalemia. And there’s at least three reasons you want to prevent this from happening. The symptoms of hyperkalemia can include:

  1. Weakened pulse
  2. Slow heartbeat
  3. Muscle weakness

Doctors discovered the patient started using low-sodium salt substitutes, because she heard it could help control blood pressure. But she didn’t realize too much potassium could be harmful.

Fortunately, doctors discovered the cause for her trembling hands, and had her stop using low-sodium salt substitutes, and focus more on eating Low-Sodium foods and a plant-based diet.

“Instead of looking for substitutes, one should focus on cutting down salt intake to reduce blood pressure and keep healthy,” says Dr. Anoop Misra, chairman of the Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases, and Endocrinology.

Looking for Low-Sodium meals to protect your heart and your health? Check out our menu.