About The Buzz: Lemons can be a S’alternative?

TheBUZZ Lemons can be a S’alternative?


Sodium intake can be reduced by replacing salt with lemons when cooking.


Research shows that using lemons while cooking can allow for significant salt reduction in recipes while boosting flavor.1 Several dishes were made without altering the recipe, followed by re-creating the same recipes with salt in decreasing amounts. The dishes were made adding lemon juice only, lemon zest only, and a combination of the two to the reduced salt dishes. Taste tests were conducted to see if people could tell the difference between recipes where the use of lemon juice and zest had replaced salt.

Participants in the study were asked to try the dishes and could easily distinguish the no-salt added recipes. Interestingly, individuals in the study found the use of lemons with reduced salt to be more flavorful, and actually preferred the recipes with lemon juice and lemon zest to the original full-salt recipes. This finding is important because depending on the type of food being cooked, replacing salt with lemon juice and zest can allow for a 30 to 75 percent reduction in sodium per recipe.


In the United States today, 9 out of 10 Americans consume too much sodium.2 1,500 milligrams or less is the recommended daily allowance of sodium, and 3,400 milligrams is the amount of sodium that the average American consumes. This is an issue due to the host of adverse health effects that result due to excess salt intake. You’re at a higher risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, kidney disease, kidney stones, an enlarged heart muscle, and headaches.2 Additional side effects of excess sodium intake can have an impact on your physical appearance, leading to puffiness, bloating and weight gain.

The chief health concern, however, is high blood pressure. It is the leading risk factor for death in WOMEN in the United States, contributing to nearly 200,000 female deaths each year, which is more than five times the 42,000 annual deaths from breast cancer.2


The main sources of sodium come from foods that are high in sodium such as ready-to-eat chicken dishes, pizza, cold cuts, cheese, and condiments, but also due to frequent consumption of foods that contain lower amounts of sodium, such as bread. One way to reduce your sodium intake is by cooking your own meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables and replacing salt with lemon juice or zest in recipes.

Try this new tip out and see if you can taste the difference!

Lemon Substitutions in Recipes Calling for Salt

View some of recipes using these techniques at Sunkist Salternative or Sunkist Recipes.


1 Wickham, Joan. “Sunkist Growers and Chefs from Johnson & Wales University Release New S’alternative® Research.” (2014) Sunkist Growers and Chefs from Johnson & Wales University Release New S’alternative Research. View
2 “The Effects of Excess Sodium on Your Health and Appearance.” (2014) The Effects of Excess Sodium on Your Health and Appearance. View

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