I think my husband salts his food too much. How can I stop him from using salt?


I think my husband salts his food too much. So I switched to Lite Salt. He doesn’t have a blood pressure problem yet, but I think he uses too much salt. I don’t put the salt shaker on the table, but he goes and gets it anyway. How can I stop him from using salt?

Remember the saying, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”? Well, the same is true for changing another person’s eating habits. It has to be up to him to cut down on added salt.

Your body can do fine on just the sodium found in uncooked foods as they are found in nature. This amount would be about 1,000 milligrams of sodium if all foods were cooked without salt.

Salt as we know it is actually sodium chloride. Sodium contributes about 40% to the weight of the compound. So 2,500 milligrams of salt is actually only 1,000 milligrams of sodium.

What you can do is provide a food environment with less salt in it and allow your husband to make his food choices. Use the following buying and cooking guidelines to reduce salt intake.

If you want to cut down on your husband’s salt intake, buy and cook foods that are as close to how they grow on the farm as possible. Eliminate all or most salt-cured meats (hot dogs, lunchmeats, sausages, ham, bacon and pickled and smoked meats). When you cook or bake, add none or half of the salt called for in the recipe and be sure to use a measuring spoon. For instance, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat cooked. Don’t add canned or dried soups or bouillon cubes to recipes. Make a white sauce from scratch or add your own blend of dried spices and herbs to recipes. Switch to the salt-less version of spices (e.g. onion powder instead of onion salt). Don’t buy salted snack foods or salted crackers. There are many crackers available in grocery stores with salt-free tops or low salt ingredients. There are even reduced sodium dry roasted peanuts. Pickles and olives are high in salt.

Yes, leave the salt shaker off the table. Don’t even fill the salt shaker with salt. If your husband chooses to get the salt shaker, let him be. No amount of nagging or angry looks will change his behavior.

Since you have switched to Lite Salt, you should know about those type of products. Most reduced sodium salts are half salt (sodium chloride) and half salt substitute (potassium chloride).

The potassium chloride causes a person to produce saliva and enhances the taste of food much in the same way salt does. If used to excess, potassium chloride can leave a bitter aftertaste. One-half teaspoon of salt substitute equals the potassium found in one large banana, one-half winter squash and one cup of orange juice or 1 large potato. A word of caution about a potassium chloride salt substitute. You need normal functioning kidneys so that the excess potassium is excreted. A high potassium level in your body is as dangerous as high sodium.

By substituting Lite Salt in your salt shaker, you may achieve a reduced salt intake for your husband, but he has not changed his shaker habit. I would suggest a pamphlet from the American Heart Association called “Shake the Salt Habit”. It is available from your local heart association or public health department. Suggest your husband read it. Food habits are more likely to change with information, not force.