I must go salt free but how?


Ron - In your OP did you mean 12-15 mg/day?

lots of great advice above, to which i’ll add lemon juice or other acid can really brighten a dish.

My father in law is on a similar diet. All of the advice above is pretty much what he does. He gets along fine but it took some time for him to get used to no or low salt. Mustard on his fries instead of ketchup, lemon juice/dash vinegar on veggies, find a salt substitute or commercial blend of spices that you like and use that.


1200 - 1500 mg

Thanks Tom. Makes rough sense based on 1/8 teaspoon.

From the American Heart Association:

Salt vs. Sodium Equivalents
Sodium chloride or table salt is approximately 40 percent sodium. It’s important to understand just how much sodium is in salt so you can take measures to control your intake. These amounts are approximate.

1/4 teaspoon salt = 575 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,150 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,725 mg sodium
1 teaspoon salt = 2,300 mg sodium

1mg = 1/1000 gram (g); 1,000mg = 1g

Try Real Garlic, which has no sodium.

Two words: Soy sauce!


Brian hit the home run, he is spot on.

Our house is salt free for my mother in law and you will find it is AOK soon!

I wish you the best.

Post script: A good truffle oil is also wonderful.

This is not only anecdotally true, it was shown to be true in lab test as far back as the 80’s (maybe before?) at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

Fish sauce, by the bucket. [tease.gif]

I’ve never tried it on eggs, but I would think it would work well.

Mustard is roughly the same sodium content as ketchup, maybe your dad finds he can use less?

Cannot recommend this enough - Chipotle Morita Paste. Fifty mg/tsp salt, but you do not need very much. Probably would not work trying to recreate certain cuisines (maybe so if you are creative), but the depth of flavor it brings to a dish is really quite remarkable. If it is too much heat for you, you can find ancho, pasillo, and guajillo paste with the same amount of salt as well.

I use it in chili, pozole, sauce for cheese enchiladas, tamales, huevos rancheros, meats, vegetables, dips, etc. Substitute this for fish/soy sauce in asian recipes. Add it to sour cream/neufchatel cheese for use as a condiment. You are only limited by your imagination.

Do you cook, or are you limited to buying prepared ? A lot of organic places are sensitive to whats added and will make food with no salt added. I agree that there’s a learning curve of about a month( could be as short as 2 weeks ) for your taste buds to adjust,but they will. If you eat very simple food for a period (5-7 days) of time it will adjust your palate faster. We make our own chile oil/hot sauce that adds a lot of flavor to anything.Sorry to hear about your condition.Good luck
(assume it was 120-150 mgs a day)

Slightly obtuse, but we do it…

I make limoncello and after I get done, I let the zest dry out and then harvest some rosemary and let it dry, then put both in the blender to pulverize them.

I have not made a batch this year, so don’t have any on hand or I’d send it to you to try.

You can buy dried zest at Amazon, perhaps trying a home brew would please you!

Ron, I’m very sorry to hear about this. I thought the acid suggestions were apt as acidity, like salt, decreases bitterness. Then I thought that acid without salt doesn’t taste balanced. I had a thought and looked up the nutritional information for Tabasco. The serving size is 1 teaspoon, which apparently contains only 35 milligrams of sodium. So, you could use multiple teaspoons of this on multiple meals and even with some other trace sodium intake, be well within your limit. I think the peppery spice combines with the vinegar to give a nicely balanced condiment here without much sodium. I often use it in place of ketchup. I don’t know if you like spicy foods, but this is one way I’d be going about the diet change.

You’d be surprised, but a lot of the grilling/bbq rub recipes I’m seeing now are light/no salt, as they get applied post-salting. Common ingredients:

  • Granulated garlic
  • Paprika - smoked / regular
  • Chili powder - I prefer ancho, has great flavor
  • Dried chilies - serrano, jalapeno, chipotle (smoked jalapeno)
  • Ground coffee
  • Dehydrated citrus peels (orange/lemon)
  • Lavender

Another suggestion, if you’re not inclined to create your own rubs, is to go take a look at the spices/mixtures on sale at Home Goods. Odd as it seems, they tend to have a large mixture of interesting things, and more importantly, if you look carefully you can find no salt/no sodium mixes. They have a garlic & onion spice mix that is fantastic and our go to when we’re just looking to quickly add some kick to something.

Otherwise, I’d agree with everything above - look at using various spices, nutritional yeast, etc. Within a few weeks you won’t even notice the lack of salt.

I will second the suggestion of garlic. I chop up about 3 bulbs worth of garlic and sauté it in no salt butter or olive oil…and store it in the fridge so I have a handy seasoner or side dish handy.

Cooking and freezing a few day’s worth of meals is another good strategy. Just pick a day to cook…having a glass of wine will make it less of an effort :wink:

Making homade soup broth and freezing it into small portons is also handy. A good soup stock is an excellent base for any meal.

Hydrate - if your system can handle it. A steady flow of water helps flush out salt in most cases (but not all).

Get your thyroid checked, using a full thyroid panel: free T4, Free T3, and RT3 (hard to get docs to do this one). Most docs just want to do the TSH test…but that is not adequate…insist on a full panel. Since treating my hypothryoidism, my salt tolerance has increased.

I have thyroid related hypertension as well as stage 3 kidney disease…so I feel your pain. As others have said, your palet will adjust to your new diet…and soon most prepared food will seem far too salty. Good luck.