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10 flavourful salt substitutes

Enhancing flavours without the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke

14 Sep 2023
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10 flavourful salt substitutes

Partner content: Content has been reproduced with the permission of, and is wholly owned by Singapore Heart Foundation. Great Eastern does not own or claim to own any rights to the content shared.

Do you find yourself turning to the salt shaker for just a touch more flavour when cooking? Do you know that when you do that, you could end up consuming more salt than you should?

The daily salt intake of an average adult in Singapore is almost twice the recommended amount of 5g. Instead of going heavy-handed on the salt, add these lesser-known salt alternatives to your cooking repertoire to enhance the flavour of your dish without piling on the sodium and keep cardiovascular disease at bay.

Surprise! Dried shiitake mushrooms turn into a seasoning packed with umami when powdered. Naturally-occurring glutamate in shiitake gives its rep as a flavour enhancer. Adding it instead of salt to your food reduces sodium content without sacrificing taste.

As crucial a flavour-enhancer as salt but often overlooked, are lemons which work similar magic on your tongue as salt. Like saltiness, acidity increases salivation and makes food more mouthwatering. So a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprinkle of lemon zest or citrus bits is as good as a pinch of salt in enhancing the flavours of meat and seafood dishes.

These flavourful bulbs hold an onion-like aroma and a distinctive taste, serving a powerful punch when eaten. Add a generous amount of garlic to your soups, sauces and marinades instead of salt for a sodium-free kick that lingers. There’s also hope for the sodium-laden French fries – simply season with garlic powder instead of salt!

Love it or hate it. Garnish with its dried or fresh leaves (Cilantro) for an extra earthy, lemony flavour. Ground coriander seeds have a similar ability to salt – they accentuate the taste of both sweet and savoury dishes.

With slightly sweet and peppery undertones, this warm spice is a suitable salt replacement for baked goods. You can also use it to deepen the flavour of curries, roast vegetables, bolognese sauce or stewed fruit, or add a hint of warmth to cooked oats and lattes.

Adding this spicy root in replacement of salt adds a bite of sweetness and some heat to any dish. It can be grated into stir-fries and curries during cooking and mask the unpleasant odours of fish.

Introduce thyme into your soups, stews, omelettes, and forgo the salt in these sodium-rich dishes. It is no wonder that thyme takes centrestage in classic French and Mediterranean herb blends – it is an excellent seasoning, working well with other herbs like rosemary, parsley, sage, and oregano.

Just a pinch of this concentrated spice is sufficient to turn up the heat on any dish. This excites rather than overstimulate the tastebuds when more salt is added.

A little turmeric goes a long way; as it cooks, its flavour intensifies. Ground turmeric can be added to soups, smoothies, teas, and sauces. You can also create a healthier rendition of roast veggies by tossing turmeric with potatoes, cauliflower or carrots instead of salt.

This incredibly aromatic, evergreen, and versatile herb pairs well with almost anything. Best known for giving roast and grilled meats a pine-like fragrance, rosemary also comes into play in these common salty-heavy food items such as marinades, roasted veggies and even crackers.

A balanced diet is crucial to maintaining good health. Take it a step further and safeguard your journey with these products.

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