5 Heart-Friendly Salt Substitutes to Try

Check out these healthy and delicious no salt choices.

Use salt substitute or no salt for heart health.

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Salt is one of the most popular cooking spices on the planet, commonly used in everyday dishes from stews and salads to meat and fish dishes. Salt is a universal ingredient found in regional cuisines across the globe, and nearly everyone on Earth eats some salt daily.

But a study published in the Journal of American Cardiology has linked high salt intake to hypertension, kidney disease, and other health issues, causing many people to start exploring how to cut out salt while still enjoying flavorful meals. Luckily, there are many herbs and spices that can be used in place of salt. 

Check out these heart-friendly salt substitutes, which may offer health-boosting benefits in addition to their delicious flavors.

Ground Black Pepper

A classic combination, salt and pepper go together like peanut butter and jelly. But you might want to try cutting out the salt and enjoying the flavor of ground black pepper on its own. Black pepper’s sharp, hot and woody flavor provides a kick to any dish, and the versatile spice works well in a wide variety of foods, from soups and stews to meat entrees. If that’s not enough of a reason to try using more black pepper, the spice has antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties according to Healthline.

Black pepper is a heart healthy salt substitute.

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The zingy taste of ginger is found in everything from cookies to cocktails, adding a hint of spiciness that’s not overwhelming. The plant is an especially common ingredient in Caribbean and Asian cuisines. Try adding some raw ginger to a dish for a serious shot of flavor, or thinly slicing, then boiling ginger for a milder taste. But ginger has a host of other benefits. 
The herb is also a proven natural pain reliever. A study published in the Journal of Pain found that ginger’s hypoalgesic properties provided moderate to large scale relief for post-exercise soreness, as well as eased symptoms for people with osteoarthritis. So season with ginger instead of salt.

Ginger is a good salt substitute.

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The leaves and seeds of this green herb, also known as cilantro, have a tart, lemon-lime flavor. Commonly used in Mexican and Asian cuisines, coriander seeds are also used in the brewing process for Belgian wheat beers. But besides tasting great, coriander contains the compounds quercetin and terpinene. 

A 2917 study found that these antioxidants may help ease inflammation and boost overall immunity. If you’d like to spice up your dish by adding some coriander, remember that a little goes a long way. Just a few leaves will likely do the trick.

Coriander can replace salt.

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Garlic’s bold, pungent taste makes it a mouth-watering replacement for salt. This cousin of the common onion works well in a large number of dishes. Its strong flavor can be mellowed via cooking or roasting the cloves.

But aside from adding a powerful dose of flavor to your meal, garlic provides a boost to the immune system. In a double-blind clinical trial, daily garlic consumption was found to help prevent the common cold. Garlic eaters who did end up catching a cold had shorter and milder illnesses than non-garlic eaters. Garlic packs a serious punch in both flavor and health benefits. It’s not just for warding off vampires!

Garlic is a healthy salt substitute.

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Leafy green dill springs, also known as dill weed, have a citrus-like, grassy flavor. Often used alongside garlic, dill’s fresh taste is a great replacement for salt. Traditionally paired with fish and potato dishes, dill is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. A meta analysis of several studies found that flavonoids (which are present in dill) help protect heart health and improve mortality rates for coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

Use dill as a salt substitute.

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