About The Buzz: Use Lemons Instead of Salt?

About The Buzz: Use Lemons Instead of Salt? Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org


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


In the United States today, Americans are still consuming too much sodium. Excess sodium intake results in a host of adverse health effects including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, kidney disease, kidney stones, an enlarged heart muscle, and headaches. Additional side effects of excess sodium intake can have an impact on your physical appearance, leading to puffiness, bloating and weight gain.1

Sodium Recommendation

The chief health concern is high blood pressure, a key risk factor for death in women in the United States. However, you can reduce sodium intake and still enjoy healthy delicious meals by using lemon in place of salt when cooking.


A taste validation study showed that using lemons while cooking can allow for significant salt reduction in recipes while boosting flavor.1 A master chef at Johnson & Wales University led a study testing a range of dishes using lemon in place of salt and compared them to the original dish. 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. Depending on the type of dish, replacing salt with lemon juice and zest can allow for a 30-75% reduction in sodium per recipe!


Reduce your sodium intake by cooking your own meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and replace salt with lemon juice or zest in recipes.

Salt to Lemon … See If You Can Taste the Difference!

For this dish: If original recipe calls for: Replace with: Sodium reduced by:
Vegetables 1 tsp. salt ¼ tsp. salt + ½ tsp. zest + 2½ tsp. juice 75%
Pork, Fish, or Dressing 1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. salt + 1 tsp. zest +
5 tsp. juice
Grains & Soups 1 tsp. salt ⅔ tsp. salt + 1⅓ tsp. zest +
2 ⅔ Tbsp. juice
Beef & Chicken 1 tsp. salt ⅔ tsp. salt + 1⅓ tsp. zest 30%


1 “The Effects of Excess Sodium on Your Health and Appearance.” The American Heart Association. Web 3 Oct 2014. Read Article

2 “Sunkist Growers and Chefs from Johnson & Wales University Release New S’alternative® Research.” 10 July 2014. Web 3 Oct 2014. Read Article

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