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I cringe every time I'm watching a cooking competition show on TV and the judge says, "This needs more salt." According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90 percent of American adults are consuming more salt than they should be. So, before taking the advice of a food channel judge to grab the salt shaker, try one of these flavor-enhancers instead.

Not only is garlic flavorful, it also has a nice list of health benefits such as possibly reducing blood pressure, boosting your immune system and lowering your risk of heart disease.

Lemons, limes and their citrus siblings (like oranges and grapefruit) add great flavor to dishes. Whether it be salads, meat or veggies, use the zest and fresh juice to up the flavor of your dish.

While black pepper is the most popular, there are many varieties of peppercorns to spice up your food. Ground pepper is bold and adds flavor without upping the sodium content.

Red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar...shall I go on? You could have a whole kitchen cupboard dedicated to flavorful vinegars, each offering its own unique pop of brightness to soups, marinades, salads, veggies, meats and seafood.

Most importantly, taste your food as you go and experiment with new tastes! These "salternatives" offer a much more unique flavor profile than the one salty note of sodium.


  • Ways to reduce sodium in your diet

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Oven-roasted root vegetables

This recipe from Allina Health Patient Education uses a mixture of root vegetables. Roasting brings out their flavor and aromas. Best of all it is heart smart as it is made with heart-healthful fats from olive oil.

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