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Salt Substitutes

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2011

What are some salt substitutes? Are some brands better than others?

Salt substitutes typically replace some or all of the sodium chloride (table salt) with potassium chloride, a salty-tasting mineral. We tasted four brands (Biosalt, Morton Lite Salt, LoSalt, and French’s NoSalt) against the real stuff in three applications: cooked into rice, sprinkled on popcorn, and simply dissolved in water.

Three of the substitutes were deemed acceptable, if slightly off tasting, while the fourth, NoSalt, stood out as extremely bitter. Why the difference? As it turns out, potassium chloride is naturally bitter, and the likable salt substitutes buffered this bitterness with varying amounts of real table salt. NoSalt, on the other hand, contains no sodium chloride.

If you want to use a salt substitute, you’ll find that those containing at least some sodium chloride will taste a whole lot better than those that have none at all.