How to Decrease Salt in Your Diet

| Health, Recipes

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When it comes to making dishes flavorful, salt is top dog. There’s Kosher, sea, pink Himalayan, and that super fancy French finishing kind. But we have to be real- salt is linked to some not-so-delicious health effects like increased blood pressure and dehydration. But it’s all good- flavor isn’t a 1-man show; it’s an orchestra. All you have to do is ask the spice ensemble warming up in your cabinet to take the show from here. To get you started, we’ve put together some delicious swaps for some of the saltiest offenders.

Instead of a Taco Seasoning Packet- 430mg sodium (18% DV) per 1tbsp serving

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
137mg sodium (6% DV) per 1tbsp serving

Instead of Teriyaki Sauce- 610mg sodium (25% DV) per 1tbsp serving

Homemade Chinese 5 Spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted & ground
1 tsp ground star anise
1 tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns
0mg sodium per any size serving (but a little goes a long way- start with ¼ tsp)
*Great when mixed with oil and used as a marinade

Instead of Italian Dressing/Marinade- 450mg sodium (19% DV) per 2 tbsp serving

Homemade Italian Seasoning Blend
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp salt
77.5mg sodium (3% DV) per 1 tbsp serving

Instead of Frank’s Red Hot- 190mg (8% DV) per 1 tsp serving

Homemade Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1 ½ cup white vinegar
18 cayenne peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
24mg (1% DV) per 1 tsp serving

And savor these pro tips:

-Instead of salt, sprinkle fries with a dash of smoked paprika for a flavor reminiscent of home fries.
-If a recipe calls for a specific volume of salt, try subbing sea salt. The crystal size is larger, so you’ll be using a little less without (let’s be honest) sacrificing much taste.
-When picking a cheesy blanket for your burger, opt for varieties like Monterey jack and mozzarella, which have a much lower sodium content than your typical super-salty American or Provolone.
-Salsas are often laden with salt. Lucky for you, there are multiple options on that shelf. Always check the sodium line on the nutrition panel.