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Cooking with less salt

Cooking with less salt

You can reduce your salt intake by 20% (or one-fifth) just by making one simple change: don't add salt when cooking or at the table.

This may seem hard, especially if you have been used to "seasoning" your foods with a dash of salt, but there are many ways to make the change easier.

And the rewards are worth it. After a few weeks your tastebuds will start to enjoy the greater range of subtle flavours in your food and you will have lowered your blood pressure.

Ways to cut out the salt from cooking

Make the break: To cut down on your salt intake, it can be helpful to throw away your salt shaker.

Don't add a pinch of salt: Not only should you stop adding a "dash of seasoning" to foods as you prepare them, but it is important not to add salt to the water you use for vegetables, pasta and rice.

Avoid high-salt sauces and stock: most stock cubes, gravy browning, soy sauces and prepared soups are high in salt. If you can, choose low-salt (or low-sodium) alternatives or make your own stock in advance. For more on finding and buying low-salt versions of your favourite foods, please see our Shopping for low-salt foods page.

How to add flavour without adding salt

There are many other flavourings you can add to your foods to delight your tastebuds, without raising your blood pressure.

Why not try:

  • fresh, frozen or dried herbs
  • onions
  • garlic
  • shallots
  • chillies
  • ginger
  • cinammon
  • lemon juice
  • pepper
  • vinegar
  • red or white wine, cider or beer
  • spices - but check the label to make sure that they only contain low levels of salt (or sodium)

How to eat less salt

Practical ideas: from throwing away the salt shaker to cooking and shopping tips

Avoiding salt at the table

How to add flavour without adding salt, plus salt myths debunked

Shopping for low-salt foods

How to find lower-salt versions of your favourite foods

Low-sodium alternatives to salt

If you really can't live without salt, here are the alternatives

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Blood Pressure Association Home Page

Salt and blood pressure

Cutting down on the white stuff could save your life

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