Top 4 Salt Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Salt substitutes can be found in many forms, and since salt is in nearly every meal we eat, there are plenty of great substitutes available if you’re looking to reduce your intake

Salt is the white, crystalline mineral used to season food. It is in almost every dish from every country in the world and can be found in several different forms, including fine ground table salt, coarse kosher salt, sea salt, or even pink, black or red varieties. Salt provides one of the five fundamental taste profiles and is also a mineral that our bodies need to survive. Over time, however, excess salt from commercial or processed foods can have a serious negative impact on health.

Best Salt Substitutes

If you’re worried about your food tasting bland, here are some of the best substitutes such as potassium chloride, MSG, various spice blends, and nutritional yeast that will keep your meals flavorful. Let us take a detailed look at them below.

Bottles of dried, whole spices stacked next to each other, against a white background

Spices are a must-have for flavorful dishes. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Salt Substitutes with Potassium Chloride

Low or no-sodium salt substitutes made using potassium chloride claim to taste similar to table salt. Using too much may give your dish a metallic taste, so sprinkle sparingly.

Potassium chloride also poses a health risk to people with kidney or heart problems and those with diabetes and can cause reactions to certain medications. Always consult your doctor before adding salt substitutes with potassium chloride to your diet.

MSG

This may be the most controversial flavoring additive in western culture. Monosodium glutamate is made from glutamic acid, which is naturally occurring in foods like tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Although people have complained of headaches or respiratory issues after eating significant amounts of this substance, scientific studies have been unable to prove a correlation.

With just one-third of the sodium of table salt, MSG is valued by professionals and is a useful staple in your home kitchen when reducing sodium is one of your health goals.

Spice Blends

Try a premixed spice blend, or even make your own! Combine garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, parsley, and pepper for use on meats or veggies. A blend of cumin and smoked paprika with a pinch of cayenne will also add tons of flavor. Fresh herbs, garlic, and shallots sautéed with sesame oil will pack a punch too, while also providing a healthy boost to your meal.

Nutritional Yeast

This inactive yeast is a favorite of health-conscious people because it is high in protein and vitamin B12 and adds a great umami flavor to food. Sprinkle some onto a salad or veggies, use in place of parmesan on pasta, or even toss it in with popcorn!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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