Cooking Without Salt: Five Great Alternatives

Even when we know they're bad for our health, we still continue making the same old recipes. Read this article to learn about the benefits of cooking without salt.
Cooking Without Salt: Five Great Alternatives

Last update: 23 December, 2018

We learn new things every day about the health risks of high salt consumption. However, most people feel that cooking without salt isn’t a realistic option. In this article, we’ll show you how to avoid salt without sacrificing flavor when preparing your meals.

Many people are wary of salt, given the fact that excess amounts are very unhealthy. However, it seems like we’re consuming more and more sodium via the processed foods that are becoming a larger part of our regular diet.

A trip to the doctor can change all that. Any physician will recommend adopting a low-sodium diet. When this happens, it’s time to take on the challenges of seasoning recipes without salt.

Remember: there are other ingredients that also offer great taste. Keep reading to learn five great alternatives for cooking without salt.

Five alternatives for cooking without salt

1. Use spices

There are plenty of recipes for making flavorful dishes, and those who love to cook will seek out every last one. Your allies in the kitchen will be herbs and spices, both of which go great with vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, corn, beans, potatoes, and peppers, among others.

They can also enhance meats like beef, chicken, turkey, pork, and seafood.

Some of the best-known herbs include basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, oregano, and rosemary. The most common spices are curry, paprika, mustard seeds, pepper, tarragon, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, among others.

Cooking Without Salt: Five Great Alternatives

2. Cook with fresh vegetables

At the market, you’ll find a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with low sodium content. One example: sun-dried tomatoes, which add lots of flavor to breads and pizzas.

Other low-sodium fruits and vegetables include mushrooms, cherries, carrots, and spinach, which can also be included in nutritious (and delicious) salads.

3. Avoid processed foods

Processed foods have a sodium content of approximately 75%. As such, we should make appropriate adjustments to our diet. Foods in this category include canned goods, rich dishes, soups, and sauces.

One way to eliminate or regulate your consumption of these products is to check the containers to verify the sodium content. Also, if you buy canned beans, rinsing them with water will eliminate excess salt.

Meanwhile, you should also reduce your consumption of fat, olives, cured ham, anchovies and pickles, all of which go through a salting or preservation process. It’s also a good idea to replace frozen vegetables with the fresh kind, even if it’s a bit more difficult to store and prepare them.

4. Avoid certain pre-processed products

Say goodbye to products like pre-processed garlic and onions, as they contain salt. Replace them with fresh seasonings, or try different vinegars, such as balsamic, red, rice, or white wine. To add flavor to the recipe, you need to add them toward the end of the cooking process.

“Many people are wary of salt, given that excess amounts are very unhealthy.”

5. Use citrus

Another option for seasoning your food without resorting to salt is adding a squeeze of lime or lemon vinegar. This will provide the same effect you would get with salt, but in a much healthier way.

In addition, you’ll be giving your dishes an added dose of vitamin C. Adding some citrus is a great idea for soups, salads, chicken, and fish, enhancing the flavor of your meals.

Cooking Without Salt: Five Great Alternatives


The kitchen offers many options and alternatives. We simply need to broaden our horizons to find recipes that can replace certain ingredients without losing flavor. It will be of considerable benefit to our health.

As we mentioned earlier, cooking without salt can have a bit of an unpleasant effect early on. The good news is that your sense of taste will adapt, and very soon you won’t even notice the difference.

After a while, you won’t even consider salt while cooking, and you’ll begin to enjoy the other spices and alternatives for seasoning your food.

Cooking without salt isn’t just possible, it’s also very simple. So try these options today!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Li C., Miao X., Li F., Adhikari BK., et al., Curcuminoids: implication for inflammation and oxidative stress in cardiovascular diseases. Phytother Res, 2019. 33 (5): 1302-1317.
  • Mousavi S., Bereswill S., Heimesaat MM., Immunomodulatory and antimicrobial effects of vitamin C. Eur J Microbiol Immunol, 2019. 9 (3): 73-79.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.