Salt is one of the most common spices.While using it in moderation isn’t usually a concern, excess salt intake has been linked to high blood pressure and other health issues.
Many people with chronic health conditions must cut down on salt, and the American population generally eats too much of it .
Instead, you can try several herbs, spices, and other ingredients to add a burst of flavor to your favorite dish.
Here are 10 flavorful salt substitutes.
Garlic is a pungent spice that boosts flavor without increasing sodium content.
You can cut back on the salt and double the amount of garlic in recipes for tomato sauces and marinades. Garlic tastes delicious in soups and stir-fries, too.
What’s more, this allium vegetable is loaded with health benefits. Studies show that garlic compounds may boost immunity, lower blood pressure, and promote brain health (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
2. Lemon juice or zest
Citrus, especially lemon juice and zest, makes an excellent alternative to salt in some recipes.
As a source of acid, lemon juice acts similarly to salt by bringing out the flavors of a dish. Meanwhile, lemon zest contributes an even more potent citrus flavor. The juice and zest of limes and oranges also have these effects.
Citrus can be drizzled over cooked vegetables and used in salad dressings and marinades for meat and fish.
3. Ground black pepper
Salt and pepper are a classic culinary duo.
Yet, if you’re looking to cut back on salt, simply reach for the pepper shaker instead. Black pepper is a good addition to soups, roasts, pastas, and other savory dishes.
You can likewise try white pepper, peppercorn mixtures, and pepper alternatives, such as jalapeños, chili peppers, and cayenne peppers.
The fresh taste of dill, with hints of celery and fennel, makes it a flavorful alternative to salt.
Dill is an especially good substitute in dishes with fish, potatoes, and cucumbers. You can sprinkle it on top of salmon, use it as the main seasoning in potato salad, or add it to lemon or lime juice for fish dishes.
5. Dried onion or onion powder
Like garlic, onion offers a flavor boost to almost any savory recipe.
In particular, dried onion or onion powder is more potent than fresh onion and can be swapped for salt in stir-fries, soups, stews, dips, and salsas. It offers a bit of spice with a hint of sweetness.
6. Nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast sold as flakes and powder.
Known for its cheesy, savory flavor, it works well in popcorn, pastas, and grains. Despite its cheesiness, it doesn’t contain dairy.
Using nutritional yeast in place of salt may also have health benefits. The beta glucan fiber in nutritional yeast may help lower your cholesterol, potentially lowering your risk of heart disease (6Trusted Source).
7. Balsamic vinegar
Balsamic vinegar has a sharp, tart flavor with a hint of sweetness. It brings out a food’s natural flavors, too, minimizing the need for salt.
Use balsamic vinegar in salad dressings, soups, stews, and marinades for meat and fish. Reducing it in a saucepan over low heat creates an even more flavorful syrup that you can drizzle over fresh tomatoes or roasted vegetables.
8. Smoked paprika
The smoky, spicy taste of smoked paprika is accompanied by a deep red color.
Add it to taco meat, stews, chili, and nachos. You can also use it to replace salsa, which is often high in sodium.
Notably, this spice may have several health benefits. For example, test-tube studies suggest that the paprika compound capsaicin, which makes some varieties spicy, may stop cancer cell growth (7Trusted Source).
9. Truffle oil
Truffle oil is infused with edible fungi for a strong, earthy taste praised by food lovers worldwide.
It’s so potent that you can use just a small amount in place of salt. Drizzle it on pasta, pizza, eggs, popcorn, mashed potatoes, and vegetables.
Rosemary is a popular herb often used in dipping oils.
Consider adding fresh or dried rosemary to soups, stews, and roasts, as well as roasted vegetables, dressings, sauces, and breads.