How to Use Salt Free Seasonings in Your Cooking
Sodium has become a big nutrition buzzword recently, with many health professionals talking about reducing your overall salt intake and using salt free seasonings in your cooking. You might be wondering, what’s the point? Well, some health conditions, like high blood pressure or kidney disease, may require you to eat a low sodium diet, and if not managed properly can lead to other health complications like stroke or a need for dialysis.
The American Heart Associations recommends less than 2300 mg sodium per day, with an ideal limit of less than 1500 mg per day for those with high blood pressure and kidney disease. Just for reference, 2300 mg is equal to about 1 tsp of salt per day! And remember, that 2300 mg includes all sources of sodium, not just the salt we use to season our food. Other high sources of sodium include bread, cold cuts, canned food, soups and many other packaged ingredients.
Why should I make my own salt free seasonings?
When you are trying to lower your salt intake, every little bit can help bring down the total number of sodium you eat in a day. One quick way to help bring that number down is using more seasonings without salt. And while those pre-made seasoning packets from the grocery store are convenient, often have a lot of sodium in them. So, what is someone to do? The good news is that making your own salt free seasoning mixes is easier than you may think! And you probably have a lot of the ingredients in your cupboard right now.
How else can I give my food flavor when using seasoning without salt?
If you are worried that using salt free seasonings will leave you a flavorless meal, don’t fret! Try adding some acidity to your meal using citrus fruits like lemon or lime, or specialty vinegars (one of my favorites is basil vinegar!) to give your dish unique flavors.
You can also try marinating your proteins with the seasonings and some heart healthy oil such as olive oil or avocado oil to infuse more flavor into the protein. Other dishes, such as chili or stews, develop a better flavor after sitting in the fridge overnight, so don’t be afraid to make it ahead and bring it out the next day for more added flavor without the sodium.
6 Flavorful Salt Free Seasonings
These are some of our favorite salt free seasonings! Don’t be afraid to make a big batch and store in an airtight container so it is ready to use whenever you need it!
Looking for more tips on eating on a low sodium diet?
Take a look at this blog: Heart Healthy Options for National Frozen Food Day
You can also save on sodium by making your restaurant favorites at home. Check out our 15 Healthy Restaurant Recipes.
You can also check out our recipe database, with the search refined to low sodium recipes!
Blog reviewed and updated May 2023.
Whether you are a novice in the kitchen, or a seasoned chef, Dietitian Klara will work with you to help you reach your nutrition goals. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating, Cooking with Diabetes and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Guide.