Sodium Replacers Like Potassium Chloride Could Help Meet FDA Reduction Guide

Researchers are projecting that in the near-term, replacing sodium chloride (NaCl) in food with a potassium chloride (KCl) could be one tool to help the country reduce sodium intake to better align with federal recommendations and improve public health. KCl also provides potassium which is “a nutrient of public health concern” as detailed in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Sodium intake in the US has exceeded federal recommendations for over 40 years, despite longstanding calls to reduce consumption. According to the authors, “a primary objective in reducing sodium intake is to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The launching point of the IAFNS’ support for this effort was to model what impact the substitution of sodium chloride with potassium chloride-based replacers would have in commercially prepared and restaurant foods.

The research combines dietary survey data with experts’ input on feasibility and practicality. It projects that over the short-term, using salt substitutes like KCl replacers could help decrease sodium intake to around 3,000 milligrams per day, approximating the short-term goal targeted by the Food & Drug Administration. In addition, potassium intake would increase, but remain within the recommended range for generally healthy individuals.

Learn more about our work on potassium chloride as a sodium chloride replacer:

Learn more about the work of IAFNS Sodium Committee