Why Seaweed is the Best Salt Substitute

Cut the salt, keep the flavour

You’ve probably heard from health bodies that you should eat less salt. But how do you reduce your intake without compromising on flavour? Clue: it’s our speciality.

How can seaweed be so good, when it tastes so salty?

Unlike claims made by premium salts, seaweed really is rich in minerals, and it’s these that create a salty taste. Seaweed is particularly high in potassium and magnesium, two healthy mineral salts that guarantee flavour without excessive sodium.

Mara’s approach to harvesting retains this natural saltiness by carefully selecting healthy plants from pure, clean waters and processing them promptly and safely.

Understanding flavour

Swapping salt and seaweed for flavour requires a psychological shift. Break bad habits by tasting your food before you reach for the seasoning. If it needs something more, increase savoury qualities, not saltiness. Using Mara’s flakes is as easy as adding salt, but brings out umami, an irresistible moreishness.

How to swap seaweed for salt

If your go-to flavouring is stock cubes, cheese, condiments or soy sauce, seaweed can help too. Reduce your use of salty foods by drying or roasting meat and veg with seaweed flakes to remove moisture and strengthen flavours. You can also use a tablespoon of Kombu kelp to create a natural stock, free of artificial ingredients, that will thicken sauces.

Table salt vs “posh” salt

Don’t be fooled into thinking premium salt is a good substitute for regular salt. ‘Posh salts’ like pink and rock salt may be perceived as better tasting, but are still almost 100% sodium chloride, just like table salt. Furthermore, an improved flavour doesn’t encourage you to use less. Larger crystals and a gentler saltiness can actually lead to you eating more.

Current health advice

Too much salt can create high blood pressure, which leads to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. The UK government recommends no more than 1tsp or 6g of salt (2.4g of sodium) a day for adults, and less for children. In comparison, a single teaspoon of Mara Seaweed (2g) contains just 0.08g or less of sodium.

(Table from The British Heart Foundation.)

Table showing the recommended amount of salt daily

Hidden surprises

Remember, eating less salt isn’t simply cooking without it, or using less to season at the dinner table. 75% of the salt we consume is found in store-bought favourites such as bread, cereal and ready meals. Individually they may not be very high in salt, but cumulatively the amount adds up.

Why not satisfy cravings for salty food by cooking homemade meals and flavouring them with herbs, spices and seaweed? Try swapping crisps for popcorn and Chinese takeout for stir-fry.

Still sceptical?

If you want some salty flavour you can trust, choose Mara Seaweed. Whether you’re a creative kitchen explorer or a full time worker in a hurry, the many varieties of seaweed offer a number of different flavour profiles. Dulse is iron-rich and smoky; Kombu kelp is deep and smooth; Shony has a balanced sweetness. All make excellent salt replacements, and unlike salt you can add as much as you like, guilt-free.

Don’t believe us? Use code SEASKEPTIC for 15% off your first order and check out our recipes for ideas to get you started. Let us know how you get on in the comments.


2 comments

  • Hi Rosemary, you absolutely could substitute a pinch of seaweed! You’ll need slightly more seaweed than salt to get the same amount of flavour though. We’d recommend Kombu powder or Dulse with tomato juice. (And check out our recipe for ‘The Mara Mary’ if you fancy something with a bit more… oomph!)

    Mara Seaweed
  • Another question. I love a tomato juice and have started putting a pinch of salt into the glass. Could I substitute a pinch of seaweed?

    Rosemary Smith

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published