How to replace the salt on our plates

The French eat too salty. While the commission of inquiry on industrial food wants to tax the products richest in salt, we take stock of the alternatives that replace it on our plates.

“The average consumption of the French fluctuates between 10 and 12 grams of salt per day. This is twice as much as the 5 grams recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) “, indicates to Le Figaro Michèle Crouzet, LREM deputy and rapporteur of the parliamentary commission of inquiry on industrial food. This commission, whose report is expected at the end of September, will propose to introduce a tax on the saltiest foods. The goal? Encourage manufacturers to lower the salt levels of their prepared meals and other artisan bread. And for good reason, according to Michèle Crouzet: “the consumer has no choice: most of the salt he absorbs is found in ready meals whose consumption has exploded in recent years”.

MEPs are considering copying this charge on the soda tax model, which is to say in proportion to the sugar level in the drink and not from a fixed threshold. In the meantime, to avoid eating too salty, we take stock of the possible alternatives.

Five alternatives to salt

Herb quinoa
healthy and delicious recipe to feast on without having a heavy hand on salt. 
See the recipe for herbal quinoa. Photo Bernhard Winkelmann / Madame Figaro

To avoid eating too salty, the dietician Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache explained to us in a previous article on this bad habit that we had to “re-educate our palate”. So, what could be better than finding substitutes to help the latter adapt to our new way of cooking?

Aromatic herbs: parsley, dill, lemongrass or even basil, all-natural herbs that bring plant scents that enhance our recipes.

Condiments: Besides their nutritional benefits, garlic, onion, and shallots are proving to be a great way to add flavor to all of our dishes. Salads, risotto, meat, they can be cooked or left raw.

Spices: Widely used in Indian or African cuisine, they are natural flavor enhancers. Curry, saffron, ginger, pepper or turmeric, you choose the one that best suits your dish.

Seaweed: In Asian culture, it is customary to flavor our preparations to bring some seaweed. The one that comes closest to salt is the Nori seaweed, used when making sushi. Others have an iodized scent that is not unpleasant on the palate like kombu or wakame.

Seeds: Gourmets of good food will only tell you about gomashio, a surprising blend of sesame. The latter still contains salt but in less quantity. Otherwise, we are inspired by the seeds of squash, flax or pine nuts to reinvent our favorite recipes. Goodbye, too salty additions!


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