Can I reduce sodium intake with lemons?


Yes! Live that S’alternative® life and pass the lemons instead of the salt.

The average North American consumes nearly twice the recommended amount of sodium.1 Luckily, there is an alternative that can help reduce sodium and improve flavor.

With the average American consuming twice the recommended amount of sodium, and high sodium intake linked to high blood pressure, cancer and osteoporosis, increased use of lemons could play a major role in reducing Americans’ dependence on the salt shaker.

Recent research by master chefs at Johnson & Wales University revealed that Sunkist® lemons could be used to reduce salt in recipes up to 75%. The study examined the use of Sunkist lemon juice and zest in various dishes, including meat, grains, soups and salads. After creating control dishes, recipes were recreated using salt in decreasing amounts along with lemon juice and zest to find the ideal combination. Study participants preferred recipes made with reduced salt and added lemon juice and zest to the original full-salt recipes, adding that there was more flavor in the lemon-infused recipes.

The Optimal Blend

For any 2-4 serving recipes calling for salt, reduce salt by using this blend:

  • Before/During Cooking: ¼ tsp salt + ½ tsp Sunkist lemon zest
  • Finish with: 2 ½ tsp Sunkist lemon juice

Pro Tip- Add zest before or during cooking and add juice after cooking. Adding the juice after cooking creates a more flavorful punch. It also allows green vegetables to keep color better and it protects the texture of meats.

While the optimal blend works for any recipe, avid home chefs who want to put their best plate forward can follow these specific Sunkist® lemon substitutions in recipes calling for salt:

Additional photo:

Lemons could really make a case for ‘hardest-working’ citrus. They are in-season year-round, make for one of the most versatile varieties around-cooking, baking, beverage-ing, and sodium-reducing. Maybe the most fitting title for lemons is ‘MVP.’ For more information on Sunkist S’alternatives® or recipe ideas, click here.

1 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Government

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