10 Low-Sodium Substitutes

10 Low-Sodium Substitutes
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10 Low-Sodium Substitutes

Soy and Teriyaki Sauce and Miso Paste Substitute

When a dish calls for soy, fish, oyster, or any other Asian-inspired sauce, look no further than your friend molasses. When combined with unseasoned rice-wine vinegar and other seasonings, the molasses mixture provides a satisfying replacement for marinades, mixes, and even teriyaki sauce.

Credit: Sodium Girl

Bread Substitute

According to the CDC, bread is one of the top sodium culprits, clocking around 80 milligrams to 230 milligrams of sodium per slice. Although no-salt-added bread does exist, use this as an excuse to think outside of the breadbox. Wrap your next sandwich in corn tortillas, strong leafy greens, or large cabbage leaves.

Credit: Sodium Girl

Milk Substitute

Most milk products — hemp and soy included — can contain upward of 100 milligrams of sodium per cup.That may fit within most people’s dietary limits, but it can also add up throughout the day. If you’re looking for a lower-sodium switch, coconut milk (now in cartons!) works well for cereal, curries, and even your morning cup of joe.

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Mayonnaise Substitute

Mayonnaise contains more than 100 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. Try these substitutions; Soy-based yogurt, sodium-free silken tofu and hemp seed oil-based mayonnaise. Blend with spices to pack some extra flavor.

Credit: Sodium Girl

Canned Broth & Stock Substitute

When a recipe calls for this high-sodium ingredient, put down the can and whip up some quick mushroom broth. After only 30 minutes of boiling these fungi, dried or fresh, you’ll end up with an earthy broth that’s full of natural umami flavor (not salt).

Credit: Sodium Girl

Olive Substitute

When your next pasta, Greek salad, or cheese plate calls for the tang of olives, look no further than baked grapes or pickled cherries to take their place. Sure, they’re not salty and they aren’t olives, but they’ll add a fun and unexpected twist to traditional olive-rich dishes.

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Parmesan Substitute

Take a page from vegan friends and get your hands on nutritional yeast, often sold in flake or powder form. Sprinkle it on popcorn, mix it into this year’s Thanksgiving mash, or knead it right into homemade pizza dough for a familiar zesty kick.

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Tomato Sauce Substitute

There’s good news and great news. The good news: no-salt-added tomato sauce exists and there are many brands to choose from, including cans of puréed pumpkin or sweet potato that add flavor to homemade pasta and pizza sauces. The even better news? It’s very easy to give these sauces some spice with your own herbs and seasonings.

Credit: Sodium Girl

White Sauce Substitute

When you’re looking for a cheese sauce without all the butter, cream, and sodium, try puréed cauliflower instead. It pairs well with macaroni, pizza, and spoons.

Credit: Sodium Girl

Want to take a look at some of our top recommended low-sodium recipes? Click through and select your favorite to test out.

Seared Scallops with Crispy Leeks

Herb-crusted scallops served with crispy baked leeks make an easy yet impressive dish to serve to friends. You may have seen “frizzled” or fried leeks on a restaurant menu before, but you might not guess how easy they are to make at home. Here we toss thinly sliced leeks with paprika- and garlic-seasoned flour and bake them until crispy.

Get the Recipe: Seared Scallops with Crispy Leeks

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime.

Get the Recipe: Vegetarian Taco Salad

Slow-Cooked Provencal Beef Stew

The flavors in a slow-cooked beef stew improve as it sits for a day or two, so it is a perfect make-ahead for a dinner party. Buy nicely marbled meat, such as chuck, for this recipe.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooked Provencal Beef Stew

Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter

Lime juice, chili powder and pepitas give this salmon Mexican flair. Serve with wild rice and steamed vegetables.

Get the Recipe: Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter

Quick Chicken Cordon Bleu

To make traditional cordon bleu, you layer prosciutto (or other ham) and cheese in between thin slices of chicken or veal, then bread and sauté the whole stack. This quick, easy version keeps the flavors the same, but skips the fussy layering and breading steps.

Get the Recipe: Quick Chicken Cordon Bleu


Socks, buttons, and significant others: many things in life are (thankfully) replaceable. And as it turns out, the same can be true in the world of cooking, especially with high-sodium ingredients.

Click here to see America's Most Popular Recipes of 2012

Nine out of 10 Americans need to lower their sodium intake, and many more want to eat less prepared foods, so it's clear that eating healthy is a number-one priority for many people and is more important now than ever. Reducing sodium not only cuts some calories from your diet but helps lower your blood pressure, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease.

Thankfully, cutting sodium out of your diet is really not as challenging as you may think. Even better, there's ways to create flavor-substitutes that will satiate even the zaniest salt-craver's taste buds. Here we've gathered some of the biggest sodium culprits that you'd find on the grocery store shelves, and come up with creative substitutions to take their place. In other words, we're helping you dial back your salt intake while still enjoying your favorite recipes.

Check out the slideshow above to learn the top ten low-sodium substitutes!

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