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I noticed Heinz Ketchup has a salt substitute version that uses potassium chloride instead of the usual salt. If this is safe and tastes like salt could it be a better additive than sodium chloride? Since it has potassium wouldn't this be a benefit for Heart health or against stroke if not used too much?

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The taste of potassium chloride is not close enough to sodium chloride so the salt substitutes usually contain a mix of potassium and sodium chloride. This is healthier than pure sodium chloride.

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The taste of $\ce{KCl}$ is a bitter and salty, but is not as salty as that of $\ce{NaCl}$, so the idea seems questionable.

Special Remarks on other Toxic Effects on Humans: Actute Potential Health Effects: Skin: May cause skin irritation Eye: Dust may cause eye irritation. Inhalation: Dust may cause respiratory tract irritation. Low hazard for usual industrial handling Ingestion: May affect behavior (coma, change in motor activity, listlessness, vertigo, mental confusion, paresthesias, general weakness, flaccid paralysis), metabolism, blood (change in clotting factor, electrolytic imbalance), cardiovascular (hypotension, circulatory disturbances, cardiac arrhythmias, heart block), and respiratory, gastrointestinal (irritation of GI tract, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, purging), and urinary(impairment of renal function) systems. Acute potassium intoxication by mouth is rare because large single doses usually induce vomiting, and because in the absence of pre-existing kidney damage potassium is rapidly excreted. Maximal nontoxic oral dose of KCl in man varies from 0.2g to 1 g of potassium/kg/day depending upon efficiency of individual excretory mechanism; lower doses sometimes cause impairment of renal function as shown by reduced inulin, and urea clearance. Chronic Potential Health Effects: May affect blood and cardiovascular system.

(c) $\ce{KCl}$ MSDS.

In general, If you are into this, I recommend to consult your doctor. $\ce{K,Na,Mg,Ca}$ ions are vital for cardiovascular and nervous system and affect kidneys. They are not highly toxic, and our body can deal with reasonable doses of each, but in case you have chronic condition, it may cause individual vulnerability.

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    $\begingroup$ These aren't really safety concerns at for normal uses in food. Many commercial products that are blends of NaCl and KCl are available, e.g. nutrasalt.com/Store/low-sodium-products/… . It is true that tons of potassium can cause problems (which is why it's used as part of the protocol for lethal injection), but it's not likely from ingestion. The MSDS for NaCl is similarly dramatic warning of causing abortions and has a comparable toxic dose level. KCl does, of course, taste terrible. To reduce sodium intake, I would think it better to just not use any salt. $\endgroup$ – Michael DM Dryden Sep 6 '14 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelD.M.Dryden Let me put it this way: imbalanced KCl intake may cause extra stress onto cardiovascular system. While not lethal, it still may reduce expected lifespan a bit. $\endgroup$ – permeakra Sep 6 '14 at 16:49

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