Seasoning Without Salt

Seasoning without salt decreases the amount of sodium in the diet. This can be done by using less salt or no salt, and eating foods with less sodium. Lowering the amount of sodium is often used to help lower blood pressure, and is important for heart failure, liver and kidney problems. Many foods contain sodium for flavor and sometimes, it is added as a preservative. When the amount of sodium in a diet needs to be low, it is important to know what to look for when choosing foods and drinks.


  • Do not add salt to food.

  • Check food labels to learn how much sodium is in one serving. Look for products with no more than 150 mg of sodium in one serving.

  • Avoid convenience items and fast food that are often high in sodium.

  • Choose unsalted snack foods.

  • Buy lower sodium products often labeled as "lower sodium" or "no salt added."

  • When eating at a restaurant, ask that your food be prepared with less salt, or none if possible.

  • Check medicines such as antacids for sodium content. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure.

  • Use herbs, seasonings without salt, and spices as substitutes for salt in foods.


Listed below are herbs, seasonings and spices that can be used as alternatives to salt for giving taste to foods. Next to their names are foods they can be used to flavor.


  • Bay - Soups, meat and vegetable dishes and spaghetti sauce.

  • Basil - Italian dishes, soups, pasta and fish dishes.

  • Cilantro - Meat, poultry and vegetable dishes.

  • Chili Powder - Marinades and Mexican dishes.

  • Cumin - Mexican dishes, couscous and meat dishes.

  • Dill - Fish dishes, sauces, and salads.

  • Fennel - Meat and vegetable dishes, breads, cookies.

  • Marjoram - Soups, potato dishes and meat dishes.

  • Oregano - Pizza and spaghetti sauce.

  • Parsley - Salads, soups, pasta and meat dishes.

  • Rosemary - Italian dishes, salad dressings, soups, and red meats.

  • Saffron - Fish dishes, pasta, some poultry dishes.

  • Sage - Stuffings and sauces.

  • Tarragon - Fish and poultry dishes.

  • Thyme - Stuffing, meat and fish dishes.


  • Chives - Salad dressings and potato dishes.

  • Garlic (NOT garlic salt) - Italian dishes, meat dishes, salad dressings, and sauces.

  • Lemon juice - Fish dishes, poultry dishes, and salads.

  • Vinegar - Salad dressings, vegetables, and fish dishes.


  • Cinnamon - Used in sweet dishes; cakes, cookies, and puddings.

  • Cloves - Gingerbread, puddings, and marinades for meats.

  • Curry - Vegetable dishes, fish and poultry dishes, and stir fry dishes.

  • Ginger - Vegetables dishes, fish dishes, and stir fry dishes.

  • Nutmeg - Pasta, vegetables, poultry, fish dishes, and custard.


Avoid the following foods and condiments, as they are high in sodium.

  • Barbecue sauce.

  • Horseradish.

  • Soy sauce.

  • Teriyaki sauce.

  • Steak sauce.

  • Chili sauce.

  • Cocktail sauce.

  • Tartar sauce.

  • Salsa.

  • Packaged gravies.

  • Pickles.

  • Olives.

  • Sauerkraut.

  • Salted nuts.

  • Canned soups.