Too much salt can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Sodium causes your body to lose calcium from your bones. Salt substitutes are a great way to lower sodium intake. Using it as a salt substitute can help reduce your blood pressure and prevent other heart-related diseases.
How much salt should you eat?
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating no less than 2,300 mg of sodium each day. This amount is about a teaspoon of salt. But most Americans consume up to one and a half teaspoons of salt daily.
Foods that are high in salt include:
- Frozen meats, prepared dinners, pizza, and burritos.
- Smoked beef, canned chicken, bacon, cold cottage cheese.
- Canned chili, ravioli, or other canned items
- Salted peas or seeds
- Canned food
- Canned soups
- Cottage cheese
- Prepackaged potatoes, rice, or pasta
- Salad dressings, ketchup, and other condiments
- Butter or margarine
How do you know if you need to switch to salt substitutes?
You should look for these signs if you’re using too much salt.
- You feel thirsty
- Puffy face or hands
- Swollen feet or legs
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Not sleeping well
- A lot of pee
- You feel weak
- An upset stomach
20 Salt substitutes to improve blood pressure
Here are twenty different salt substitutes to help you reduce your salt intake.
1. Lemon juice and zest
Lemon juice can perk up any dish. The acidic taste of lemon juice is so delicious that you won’t even notice it. Squeeze lemon juice into your brown rice, salads, soups, and stews. Use the zest in mashed potatoes, fried vegetables, and ground meats.
2. Nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is a popular salt substitute. It has a seasoning flavor that tastes great in cooking, casseroles, and meat dishes. Sprinkle over popcorn, salad, or roasted vegetables. In addition to its salt-replacing taste, nutritional yeast also contains healthy B vitamins. These vitamins boost your mood. So if you want a healthy sodium replacement, nutritional yeast is a good start.
Any seaweed, kelp, or kelp can work as a salt substitute. These dried vials taste like brine and have 96% less sodium than regular salt. Seaweed is a good source of nutrition. For example,
Flasks of seaweed aren’t everyone’s favorite. Therefore, it may be necessary to use them only in certain foods for the desired taste.
4. Liquid amino acids
Acetic acid is produced from soybeans treated with an acidic solution. Sometimes they are made by fermenting coconut husks with water. Amino acids have a salty taste.
Suitable for veggies, stews, or meat. Be sure to check the label of the brand of amino acids you are using. Soy versions may contain a lot of salt. Coconut amino acids have less salt than soy. Amino acids have a unique taste. Not everyone likes the taste. So try to check if it is for you.
5. Infused oils
Here are other famous sodium substitute-infused oils. There are a wide variety of delicious oils to choose from. These infused oils are usually extra virgin olive oil infused with lemon, cayenne pepper, garlic, or herbs.
These hundred salt substitutes are healthy choices to avoid hypertension or high blood pressure. For example, you can prepare such a herb-infused oil:
- Run your bottles or jars through the dishwasher to clean and sterilize them.
- Fill these jars with herbs like rosemary, dill, or thyme.
- Slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil into the jars. Add enough oil to cover them completely.
- Put the lid on the jar. First, make sure it’s tight. Then put it in a cool place in your kitchen.
- Shake the jars every two days to mix the oil and herbs.
- Let the herbs dry for 3-6 weeks.
- Strain the oil through a strainer into another clean glass. Squeeze the herbs to remove all the fat.
- Put the lid on the jar. If you store this infused oil at room temperature, it should last up to a year.
6. Chili pepper
Your food can taste better without salt. Low sodium doesn’t mean your food will be tasteless. If you want spicy and spicy food, add chili pepper to your food. Chili peppers add flavor to popcorn, salads, and soups. You’ll get a bold taste without the unhealthy side effects.
Dill is a tasty alternative to salt. Delicious over salmon, squash, or potatoes. Dill herbs are related to sele. Dill seeds can reseed themselves and take over entire grass beds. You can use dill seeds to add flavor to pickles, egg salad, or cucumber salad.
8. Smoked paprika
Smoky paprika spices up any dish. Its fiery flavor works well in things like tacos, soups, chili, or salsa that usually call for salt. Smoked paprika contains vitamins E and C. It is good protection against heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. This tasty salt alternative also contains phosphorus, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
You probably don’t intend to use mushrooms as a salt substitute. This is good; not many people do. Mushrooms add a meaty flavor to your vegetable dishes. You can caramelize them and add them to the meat or delicious rice dishes. Combine your sauteed mushrooms with balsamic vinegar for unique flavors in your favorite dishes.
Vinegar adds zing to unsalted dishes. All types of vinegars are polyvalent. Use apple cider vinegar in salad dressings. Experiment with balsamic vinegar in sauces or gravies. Red wine vinegar works well in marinades or reductions—champagne vinegar spices chicken, shrimp, or fish.
11. Beer or Wine
Beer or wine is another tasty salt substitute. Either libation works well in soups, pasta sauces, meat marinades, or soups. Beer adds a carrot flavor to your dishes, while wine adds sweetness and tartness. If you are cooking for your children, don’t worry about the alcohol, it evaporates during cooking.
A note on sodium in alcoholic beverages. Beer and wine contain some sodium. So if you must follow a sodium-free diet, check the label. Therefore, although they help reduce cooking salt, they do not eliminate it.
Salsa made with tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime is a great salt substitute for omelets, fish, meat, appetizers, and more. However, store-bought salsa can be high in salt, so it’s best to make your own or look for a low-sodium canned version.
Cinnamon is a common ingredient in baked goods, but it’s a great alternative to salt. It has a hot and spicy taste. Many cultures mix carrots with cinnamon to spice up delicious dishes like:
- Meat marinades
- Savory rice dishes
14. Garlic powder (one of the most accessible salt substitutes)
Garlic powder adds flavor to dishes. Blends better than minced garlic. It’s fine when you want a hint of garlic. Add lettuce, mac and cheese, and salad dressing instead of salt.
15. Fresh ground pepper
Salt and pepper usually go together, but ground pepper can go solo and still add great flavor to your dish. Be careful to go slowly with the black pepper. It can harm your stomach and change the taste of your food. But a few shakes of carrot pepper will add flavor to salads, soups, sauces, casseroles, or stews.
If you are cooking Italian or Greek food and want to skip the salt, add oregano to the dishes to add flavor. Use pizza, red sauce, chicken, or fish. Using this tasty herb is a delicious way to remove salt without losing taste.
17. Low-sodium broths
Store-bought broths are high in sodium. The salty taste can overpower the flavor of your food. If you don’t have time to make broth, try a low-sodium version to lower your salt levels. These broths work with both high salt versions. Use low-sodium broth when cooking mashed potatoes, gravy, sauces, or brown rice.
Turmeric has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties, but salt is a good alternative. Suitable for curries, fried vegetables, soups, and egg dishes. It is best to buy organic turmeric at your local store. This guarantees that there are no additives in the seasoning.
19. Parsley (if you prefer lightly flavored salt substitutes, make this herb go-to)
Fresh parsley adds a bright flavor to a variety of dishes. Its fresh taste adds a little zing to rice, savory sauces, soups, and pasta dishes. Parsley contains vitamins K, C, and A. It’s a healthier choice than salt and can help reduce your risk of:
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- Kidney problems
This somewhat unknown spice has a mild citrus flavor. It is often paired with chicken or meat. Many Indian or Mexican dishes contain coriander. Besides being a great salt alternative, coriander has other health benefits. For example:
- Help lower blood sugar
- Improve your heart health
- Rich in antioxidants
- It helps digestion and intestinal health
- Protects your skin
- Fighting infections
Are commercial salt substitutes healthy?
You may have seen salt substitutes at your local grocery store. Many of these contain a lot of potassium chloride instead of sodium. However, potassium is not safe for everyone.
Indeed, too much potassium can cause kidney problems. If you have kidney, liver, or heart disease, check with your doctor before using one of these salt substitutes. Better yet, skip the store-bought brands and use a natural alternative to lower your sodium intake.
Final thoughts on using salt substitutes to control sodium intake
The FDA estimates that the average American’s sodium intake is about 3,400 milligrams per day, so it’s understandable if dropping to 1,000 milligrams sounds like a big leap. But the researchers found that even something as small as a 10% reduction in salt intake was enough to move the (blood pressure) needle. And these 1-to-1 salt substitutes aren’t the only option for boosting flavor in meals while keeping sodium consumption in check.
Overeating salt is dangerous for your health. Excessive sodium intake can lead to hypertension or heart disease. You may not salt your food. But pre-made pickles, ketchup, and store-bought salad dressings give you more salt than you need. These twenty salt alternatives can help you reduce salt, get healthy, and feel good.