5 Easy Ways to Cook with Less Salt

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium (salt) a day, and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. However, the average American consumes a daily average of 3,400 mg of sodium. Most of that salt comes from processed food and eating out. A high salt diet can raise blood pressure, ultimately increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. If you cook at home, you can control how much salt goes into your food without sacrificing flavor and taste. Check out these 5 easy ways to pack a punch to your meals without compromising flavor:

Use citrus

Squeeze lime or lemon juice on foods such as fish, chicken, or steamed veggies. The acidity brings out the flavor and makes food taste “bright.” Plus, citrus juice is great for making your own salad dressing!

Salad dressing idea: Olive oil and lemon dressing

Recipe idea: Baked chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme

Add your favorite vinegar

There are so many different types of tasty vinegars that are sure to add flavor to your dish. Examples include red or white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and sherry vinegar. Try drizzling vinegar on beans, vegetables, soups, and salads.

Recipe idea: Balsamic glazed carrots

Try fresh herbs

Sprinkle finished dishes with fragrant herbs of your choice such as rosemary, parsley, basil, mint, cilantro, dill, thyme, marjoram and oregano. Herbs provide flavor and freshness to any dish. Adding fresh herbs at the end of the cooking/heating process will preserve their bright taste, while adding them during the heating process will create a different, deeper, more earthy flavor.

Recipe idea: Egg salad with fresh dill

Used dried herbs and spices

Dried herbs and spices can be just as flavorful as fresh, but will provide different flavors and aromas than their fresh counterparts. Try spicing up your meals with dried garlic, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, cumin, turmeric, and smoked paprika. As a bonus, many dried herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory properties!

Recipe idea: Herb roasted root vegetables with basil, thyme, and rosemary

Add a little heat

Sprinkle dishes with cayenne pepper or chipotle powder, or use chopped jalapeños or serranos in your dish. If you are sensitive to heat, even a little black pepper can help bring in flavor without adding too much spice.

Recipe idea: Tuna stuffed avocado with jalapeños

Need more tips, tricks, & inspiration? Head on over to your Brook app to set a healthy eating goal, ask questions, and more!

Image of Brook Health Expert Kelsea
Reviewed by Kelsea Hoover, MS, RDN​

on March 14th, 2020. Kelsea is a Registered Dietitian with her Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, and is one of our Health Coaches.