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Addict to salty food, how to cure ?

Suggestions and ideas welcome.

I wish to help my friend to eat more healthy
 

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Hi Vrindavan1,

It kind of depends on what sorts of food the person is eating that they feel a need to salt.

Salt is used as a way of enhancing flavor, so one of the tricks that I've used in my cooking is to enhance flavor through the use of foods that have natural sweetness. For example, when making soups, rather than adding salt, you can use fresh vegetable juices that are naturally sweet, mixing them with water, as a base for your soup. Alternatively, you could add a lot of fresh tomatoes to give sweetness. I have a lentil and tomato soup recipe I enjoy that contains no salt. This one is actually best during the summer months though, when the freshest organic tomatoes are available locally, as it is the quality of the tomatoes that really makes the soup. Today, for lunch I am having black beans that were homemade without salt. They were cooked in a pressure cooker in a mixture of 1/2 celery juice, and 1/2 water, with eggplant and celery and spices, and then I added very finely chopped tomatoes, and a little tomato paste, and it is quite delicious!

There are a couple of books that might be helpful to you as far as salt-free cooking goes. The first one I want to recommend is called "The Health Promoting Cookbook" by Goldhamer and Lisle. The recipes in this book are 100% vegan, and contain no added salt, oil, or refined sweeteners. Another book that you may find helpful would be "Eat to Live", by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. The recipes in this book are mostly vegan, and do not contain any salt. Most vegetarian and vegan cookbooks do tend to use salt, so these two really seem to be the exception to the rule. As a vegan who avoids salt, I rely on both of these books very heavily.

Hope this helps, and perhaps if you tell us more about your friends habits I can be of further assistance.

Claudia
 

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Try to reduce your intake slowly. Resist to use industry products. Use freshly grounded spices and herbs.
 

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Try to reduce your intake slowly
That's what I did and it worked. I adjusted my recipes for the minimum amount of salt to satisfy (not quite as much as I like but satisfactory). Before long they tasted plenty salty to me and I lowered the salt in them again. By doing this I reduced my salt intake by about 1/3 and the food tastes great.
 

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The only way to really do this is to slowly reduce salt intake. Your taste buds will adjust. I used to salt EVERYTHING. Now I use very little.
 

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Vrindavan1,

There is another book I really have to tell you about. It is called "The Pleasure Trap" (by Goldhamer and Lisle), and one of the things it talks about is how our modern society has gradually adapted to saltier foods over time, until we have gotten to the point where we can't even taste the natural flavor of foods anymore without salting them. The salt is a flavor enhancer, but it actually dulls or de-sensitizes the taste buds over time so that you get to a point where you can't even taste the flavors in your food anymore without sprinkling salt on everything. Anyway, this book talks about various strategies for eliminating the salt. Interestingly, they suggest that the fastest method for totally resetting and retraining the palate is to do a therapeutic water-only fast. Once you have fasted, natural food that is free of salt will be quite flavorful and delicious!

The book is actually about ridding ourselves of all the unnatural and unhealthy junk we eat, and not just the salt. It helps us understand that there are good reasons for why we behave the way we do, and it suggests solutions. It is a very well written and fascinating book, which I found enjoyable to read.

Claudia

p.s. - I totally agree with those who have said to avoid the processed, and pre-packaged foods, as they are much higher in sodium than what we find in natural un-salted whole foods.

p.p.s. - BTW, I no longer have a salt shaker in my house, and do not use salt in any of my cooking. When I go to the grocery store, I read labels because we live in a very toxic food environment where many of the pre-packaged foods contain shockingly high levels of sodium, and you would never know this unless you read the labels.
 

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drink more water

one of the reasons people crave salt is that they are dehydrated and need to retain water
 

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Originally Posted by acfj View Post

drink more water

one of the reasons people crave salt is that they are dehydrated and need to retain water
Actually, I think most people already drink a whole lot of water because they are eating too much salt and the salt makes them thirsty. They are driven to drink a lot of water just to try to flush the excess salt out of their body, and if they don't drink a massive enough quantity of it to flush out the salt, then the salt will cause excess water to be retained and they may weigh more from the extra water they are retaining (known as 'water weight'). In the U.S., it has commonly been recommended that we drink 8 glasses of water per day, however, I think this is only necessary for those who have too much salt in their diet.

What is kind of interesting is that once you totally give up salt, your body adapts really well, and becomes very efficient at retaining exactly the amount of fluid that it needs on the salt-free diet. Salty food does make you thirsty, and because I'm salt-free, I don't tend to get thirsty, and need to drink very little water. I eat a whole lot of fruits and vegetables, which have a very high water content, so I am getting lots of fluid from my diet. The only time I really feel any need to drink water is when I'm getting some vigorous exercise, which makes sense since you lose some fluid through sweat. On a salt-free diet, there is no excess retention of water causing bloating or water weight, and at the same time my body seems to be properly hydrated from the high water content of the foods that I eat, as I just don't feel much need to drink water.
 

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Originally Posted by veggielove View Post

The only way to really do this is to slowly reduce salt intake. Your taste buds will adjust. I used to salt EVERYTHING. Now I use very little.
same here...

I don't know how I did it, but I basically went from salt freak to no added salt at all in a relatively short period of time.

I guess it was in combination with going vegetarian/improving my health, diet, lifestyle; etc.

as for advice, I guess the best thing to do would be to either try to reduce your intake over time or maybe try some "lite" salt products.
 

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If you have a salt craving eat tomatoes. I don't know if tomatoes contain any salt, but I find that their salty(ish) taste satisfies cravings for salt.
 
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