Trying to kick your sodium intake but struggling when it comes to no salt snacks? Your snacking days aren’t over -- not even close! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite no salt snacks to make your transition to a low sodium plant-based diet easier (and tasty).
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Actually, your body needs salt. But not all that much.
Sodium, a component of salt (AKA sodium chloride), helps us maintain fluid levels in the body. Thanks to sodium, we retain water when we need it and excrete it when we don’t. Athletes, for example, may need to replenish more sodium than less active folks.
But most of us are consuming way too much salt. The average American consumes 3,400 mg of salt daily; more than twice the American Heart Association’s daily allotment of 1500 mg.
What’s the problem with eating all this salt? Well, it’s taking a toll on our health.
Too much salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and makes it harder for your kidneys to regulate fluid. This extra fluid leads to higher blood pressure and strains the blood vessels leading to the kidneys, which can cause life-threatening conditions -- most commonly heart disease and stroke.
The good news is, you can cut your salt intake drastically (and still easily get all the sodium your body needs) by eating a wide array of whole fruits and vegetables...and we’re here to help you get started with our 10 favorite no salt snacks.
Ok, you came for the snacks so let’s talk snacks! No salt snacking doesn’t have to be hard...or bland. Here are 10 of our favorite no salt snacks (all plant-based, of course!) to get you started.
1. Veggies and No Salt Hummus
Store-bought hummus can be high in sodium so be sure to read food labels. YOur safest bet for no salt hummus? Make your own! It’s super easy with this no-salt hummus recipe.
2. Apples and Peanut Butter Butter
Apples and peanut butter (or any nut butter, really) is a perfect no-salt snack for the kid at heart. Make sure you grab all-natural peanut butter with no added salt or oil -- the ingredients should just say “ground peanuts.”
3. Fresh fruit
Speaking of apples, any and all fruits can be part of your no salt snack routine. Some of favorites to grab-and-go:
- Clementines or oranges
- Fresh berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
- Pineapple chunks
4. Dates and Nut Butter
Another suggestion for those with a sweet tooth: Medjool dates have a naturally caramel-like flavor and when paired with peanut butter you’ve got one tasty nutrient-dense snack. We recommend pairing with your favorite tea for an afternoon treat.
5. Raw Nuts
A handful or two of your favorite raw nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts -- whatever floats your boat!) is a great snack to satisfy that need to crunch.
Smoothies aren’t just for breakfast! They make the perfect afternoon pick-me-up snack. Here are a few of our favorite smoothie recipes:
7. Popcorn with nutritional yeast
An absolute must for your no salt plant-based pantry, nutritional yeast has an umami taste that’s both nutty and cheesy -- making it the perfect add-on to your bowl of popcorn.
8. No salt granola
The flagship “healthy eater” snack, there’s a reason granola’s a classic: it’s delicious! But store-bought versions are often loaded with added sugars and salt. Good news: MamaSezz makes a no salt granola, naturally sweetened with dates and topped with chia seeds for a satisfying crunch.
9. Chia pudding
Speaking of chia, overnight chia seed pudding is a great alternative to yogurt snacks. Bonus: Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation and can improve cognitive performance.
10. No-bake oatmeal cookies
Remember those no-bake cookies your mom made growing up? We gave them a vegan no salt makeover. 4 ingredients, no baking necessary. Here’s the no-bake oatmeal cookies recipe.
A quick note as you embark on your salt-free journey: you may not love food without salt...at first.
Why? Your taste buds are most likely dulled from years of a high sodium standard American diet. When our taste buds are dulled like this, it’s harder to actually taste food, which then has us reaching for that salt shaker to add flavor -- thus, keeping the cycle going.
But here’s the cool part: you can reset your taste buds and break the cycle. And it doesn’t take long at all -- just a few weeks!
As you wait for your taste buds to reset, we’ve got some tips to help you stick with your no salt or low sodium lifestyle.
- Get rid of your salt shaker! One teaspoon of table salt has over 2,300 mg of sodium -- which is more salt than you need in a day. And 22% of us salt our food before we even taste it. We say scrap the salt shaker altogether so you’re not tempted to add more salt to your food when it really doesn’t need it.
- Learn how to season without salt. Here are some of our favorite seasonings without salt.
- Read nutrition labels. A quick and easy trick for understanding if something is high in sodium or not: ideally the sodium mg should be equal to or less than the number of calories per serving size. Here are more tricks for reading nutrition labels.
- Avoid processed foods. 75% of our salt intake comes from packaged foods! Crazy, right? By cutting out processed foods you’ll set yourself up for no salt success.
- Cook meals at home. Unfortunately, many restaurants use a ton of salt. 85 out of 102 meals at popular restaurant chains have more than a day’s worth of sodium. Try making meals at home (at least for the first few weeks of your transition).
- Remember it may take a few weeks for your tastebuds to reset! Give yourself some grace during this transition.
Get No Salt dishes delivered to your door - ready-made with our S.O.S. Free (No Salt) Bundle!
Ready-made meals that give you steady powerful energy throughout your day without the salt, refined sugar, or oil.
Most Americans eat way too much salt!
Over-consumption of salt can lead to hypertension (and stroke), heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity.
A little bit of salt is necessary to balance fluid levels in the body...but you can get all you need just by eating a well-rounded whole food plant-based diet.
You can still get your snack on without salt!
Your taste buds may need a few weeks to adjust to life without salt - but once they do, you’ll be able to fully taste (and enjoy) your food again!
You can get ready-made salt-free dishes delivered by MamaSezz when you order the S.O.S. Free (No Salt) Bundle
By Ali Brown
Ali is a nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.