A recent paper suggests cooking with spices and herbs could close the 1,000 mg gap between the amount of sodium Americans actually consume on a daily basis and the amount recommended by the government Dietary Guidelines for Americans committee.  

In the study, researchers taught adults to flavor their food with spices and herbs instead of salt. At the end of the trial, the intervention group, who had tools including spices and herbs as well as cooking demonstrations, were able to reduce sodium intake by an average of 956.8 mg/day – which is about one-third of the average sodium adults consume each day.

On average, American adults consume 3,300 mg of sodium a day, which is 1,000 mg more than the 2,300 mg/d recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

"This study demonstrates that a multi-faceted behavioral program including spices and herbs for meal preparation is effective in reducing daily sodium intake," said Dr. Cheryl Anderson, associate professor at University of California, San Diego, lead author of the paper and a member of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. "Teaching consumers to prepare food using spices and herbs with reduced salt is a positive solution that supports a higher quality diet while still enjoying great tasting food."


Centers for Disease Control, Trends in the prevalence of excess dietary sodium intake - United States, 2003-2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly. Rep 2013;62:1021–5.

Anderson CA, Cobb LK, Miller ER 3rd, Woodward M, Hottenstein A, Chang AR, Mongraw-Chaffin M, White K, Charleston J, Tanaka T, Thomas L, Appel LJ. Effects of a behavioral intervention that emphasizes spices and herbs on adherence to recommended sodium intake: results of the SPICE randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug 12. pii: ajcn100750.