One of the best reasons to curb your salt intake is to control high blood pressure. The CDC’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a maximum sodium intake of 2,300 milligrams per day about (1 tsp). If you are over 51 the recommendation is 1,500 milligrams less than a (1/2 tsp) per day. This lower amount also applies to you if you already have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease. Read the labels, foods that contain 140 mg or less per serving are defined as low sodium. Reality is only about 10% of our daily salt is added during cooking or from the salt shaker on the dinner table. Most of our salt is in the processed foods we eat everyday. For many of us, daily consumption of salt is two to three times higher than the recommended amounts.
Studies have shown those that cook regularly and use herbs daily will reduce their salt intake long term. I'm like most cooks I have a cupboard of herbs and spices but I don't really know what and how much to add to my recipes.
According to the American Spice Trade Association
These spices are the most effective in replacing salt in your recipe:
Black pepper, garlic powder, curry powder, cumin, dill seeds, basil, ginger, coriander and onion.
How Much To Add At First
1/4 tsp. of most ground herbs and spices for 1 pound of meat (4 servings)
1/8 tsp for 2 cups of soup or sauce
When it comes to cayenne pepper or garlic, add in small increments because it intensifies in flavor. Remember it's easier to add more than to remove.
As a general rule, when using dried herbs use half the amount compared to fresh herbs.
When To Add Fresh Herbs
Add fresh herbs at the end of the cooking time or just before serving as the flavor can be lost during long periods of cooking. Add delicate herbs like basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, marjoram, mint and dill leaves at the end of cooking or just before serving. Herbs like oregano, rosemary, tarragon, thyme and dill seeds may be added
around the last 20 minutes of cooking.
When To Add Dried Herbs and Spices
Dried herbs and spices that have been ground will loose their flavor quickly and it's best to use in short cooking recipes or near the end of longer cooking recipes. Mild herbs such as basil and parsley are best added near the end of the cooking. The more robust herbs such as thyme will hold up to longer cooking periods.
Open your cupboard and use some of those herbs and spices they're only getting older. I have found I need to add more herbs and spices to my dishes to get the WOW factor from the recipe.
The Fine Art of Salt Substitution: Herbs and Spices Are the Key to Cutting Sodium Intake at Home
Cooking With Herbs: http://www.med.umich.edu/pfans/docs/tip-2013/cookingwithherbsandspices-0513.pdf