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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are there any relatively healthy subsitutes for salt?

    Related Topic
    I put salt on everything I eat and my mother always tells me how bad it is for me. Are there any substitutes that can increase the salty flavor but that aren't as bad?
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  • 7


    Denise Burbidge

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Denise is an Accredited Practising Dietitian working in private practice in Melbourne, and consulting to aged care facilities throughout Victoria. Denise has a particular interest … View Profile

    Salt has two main funtions in foods, it is a preservative and a flavour enhancer. High salt diets, either by added salt or hidden sources of salt in processed foods can lead to increased risk of high blood pressure or hypertension. Alternative healthier options to flavour a meal include fresh or dried herbs, spices and curry. By reducing or avoiding added salt from our diets our tastbuds overtime adapt and appreciate other flavours of foods.

  • 9


    Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private … View Profile

    Great answer from Denise- absolutely agree that using more herbs, spices and curry are a healthy option for replacing salt in foods.

    One thing to remember also is that it doesnt matter whcih type of salt you buy- salt is still salt so it will still have the same health effects. I mention this to all my patients as I have heard some say that they ‘rock salt’ or ‘pink salt’ etc becuase they believe it is healthier. This is not the case- you should be reducing your intake of all kinds of salt.

  • 5


    Peta Adams


    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian locally born and working within the Riverina.I have a passion for helping people to achieve their nutrition goals, coaching … View Profile

    I totally agree with Melissa and Denise, however there is lower sodium alternative on the market called "lite salt: which cotnains 50% less sodium then salt and replaces it with potassium chloride. 

    Small amounts of this can still provide a somewhat flavoursome dish with 50% less sodium.

    However just because of this dones't mean you can use liverally and I agree that limiting foods high in sodium and the addition of it to meals be restricted.

  • 8


    Penelope Armes


    I am a Naturopathic Nutritionist dealing with the public on a daily basis. I enjoy discussing food as medicine with customers, empowering people to help … View Profile


    I am a Naturopathic Nutritionist with a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine).

    For salt alternatives, increase flavour rather than sodium content is the key. A lite salt with no sodium is Herbamare Diet low salt (contains Potassium chloride, leek*, paprika*, onions*, lovage*, parsley*, celery*, lemon*, spinach*, horseradish*, thyme*, rosemary*, kelp, basil*, marjoram*, garlic* and magnesium chloride.*organically grown) - a good alternative due to potassium content but the metallic taste is quite strong, so use sparingly! Bragg Organic Sprinkle is a mix of 24 herbs and spices, lots of flavour and no salt! Better to experiment with dried and fresh herbs and spices!

    The salty taste of foods depends not only on the salt content of the food but your sensitivity of the taste receptors in your mouth. Reducing your salt intake initially foods tend to taste bland, but after two or three weeks your taste receptors become more sensitive. You then get the same effect from less salt and taste the delicious natural flavours in foods. Weaning yourself off salt can be done gradually, preferably try the above suggestions but if you cannot resist adding a sprinkle while reducing salt then substitute normal table salt(sodium chloride) with Himalayan or Celtic salts (as they contain many other beneficial minerals and flavour, though still high in sodium chloride). Keep reducing your usage and measure it to ensure you are adding less.

    A great resource full of low salt recipes was put out by the World Action on Salt & Health(WASH) found at this link:

    Good luck and hope this is helpful!

  • 1




    Geoff Walker

    Exercise Physiologist

    “Taking the Hustle Out Of Your Muscles”Sydney Massage Time practitioners are degree qualified Exercsie Physiologists practicing Remedial Massage and Soft Tissue Rehabilitation. This means you … View Profile

    Let your Mum know that ‘what science knows’ changes daily! Only 2 days ago, the idea that ‘low salt’ intake is better than ‘high salt intake’ was turned on it's head by the Centre for Disease Control in the USA. Whether this proves to be right or wrong (for most people) remains to be seen.  Here is a link to the original article:

    As for substitutes; we have used Herbamare for years. You can read about it here: and use the store locator to find somewhere close, that stocks it. :)

  • 6


    Elizabeth Newsham-West is committed to optimising the health and well-being of people across all ages within the Mount Tamborine community.  She works as a domicillary … View Profile

    I think that adding salt to all your food is teaching you to like salty food which can also be high in fat sugar and can be very processed. A small amount of added salt in the cooking or with low salt sauces and condiments is fine but I would encourage you not to add it to the food after, as a general rule. It is important to enjoy food for its natural flavour rather than disguising it with salt, sugar and flavour enhancers.

    We are recommending sodium intakes to be around 2300mg sodium a day. This is meaningless to the general population because most of us do not know how to work out how much sodium we are eating . Most people in Australia are consuming very much more than this through an increasing consumption of processed foods which contribute up to 75% of the sodium in our diet.

    Despite the comments of the above post the Centre for Disease Control in the USA still does support the guidelines that we need to reduce the salt in our diets because we consume very much more than the recommended . They say “A substantial body of evidence supports these efforts to reduce sodium intake. This evidence links excessive dietary sodium to high blood pressure, a surrogate marker for cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, and cardiac-related mortality”. However this group are also questioning in some health groups that the therapeutic recommendation of lowering salt intake below 2300mg/d may not be that helpful and more research is required for these groups to see if this related to the sodium intake, medications or the disease itself. It is hard to have a diet lower than this anyway because sodium is found naturally in many foods and other foods we eat regularly in our diet such as bread. So to have these lower salt intakes it requires quite a restrictive diet.

    As a Dietitian our health message is to reduce processed foods which not only reduces salt intake but has other health benefits as well being lowering fat and sugar, avoid adding excess salt to foods and enjoy foods for their natural flavour that are fresh and less processed .

  • 2



    HealthShare Member

    Trocamari and Herbamare help you ‘flavour up’ your food as you reduce salt intake. Sea salt is said to contain minerals - in its ‘wetter’ and unrefined form. Table salt has a chemical added to make it dry and ‘pourable’. People with adrenal syndrome and other stress conditions, can crave salt so make this sodium come from celery, parsley and other sodium rich foods - totally different to ‘salt’. It is also required in some forms of arthritis - but remember, in this food source!
    Potassium needs to be increased where salt is still too much in the diet - to aid with the ‘potassium pump’ -

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