Salt was originally used as one of the only effective methods to preserve foods for long periods of time. Eventually, widespread use of refrigeration in homes and businesses in the 19th century made that purpose unnecessary. However, by that time people also had begun to appreciate the flavor salt added to their food. It is important to realize that “salt-free” usually means no additional salt has been added to your recipe. It is not the same as “sodium-free” since many foods have naturally occurring sodium, which cannot be removed.