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Skip the Salt: Healthy Alternatives to Please Your Taste Buds

Stick to just a pinch of salt and reap the health benefits. (Photo courtesy of Peter Ardito)

I love to cook, and thanks to my Italian mother I often use measurements like "five healthy shakes" instead of exact amounts. So when making dinner for a friend that's on a low sodium diet this weekend, (my "five healthy shakes" would probably max out her sodium intake for the next year) I came to a realization -- salt is everywhere, especially in my kitchen!

It's no secret that a majority of Americans crave all things salty. In fact, this ABC News article reports that companies like Campbell's are adding more salt to their Harvest Select soups after consumers complained they were too bland. With health experts telling us to avoid excess salt, and companies adding more into processed foods, what's a girl to do?

I tested out some salt substitutes to see if I could live without my beloved salt shaker. Below, some of the things I tried and how my taste buds fared.

  • Lemon juice: I used this on almost everything I would normally salt, like pasta, chicken, and veggies. Not only did I find a new condiment I'm obsessed with, I didn't miss my usual salty taste one bit.
  • Vinegar: A quick lesson learned, a little bit of this goes a long, long way. Add to potato salads, regular leafy salads, and raw veggies.
  • Spices: Another tasty substitute, I swapped out garlic salt for rosemary and oregano when making homemade tomato sauce. Not only did the sauce taste basically the same, I finally put my spice rack to good use!

Now tell us: What do you use to substitute salt when you cook?