How to Balance Too Much Salt in Cooking

Prepared soup stock can be very high in sodium.

Prepared soup stock can be very high in sodium.

Eating too much sodium can put you in the short-term at risk for water retention or dehydration and, in the long run, put you at risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. Properly salting foods for flavor and compensating for the salt already added in processed foods can be a challenging task. However, a few tips and guidelines can help keep you and your family from eating too much salt.

Step 1

Increase proportionately the amount of ingredients in your recipe to dilute a dish that has been salted excessively. In essence, spread the same amount of salt over a larger amount of food.

Step 2

Peel and cut a potato into large chunks to absorb salt in a liquid-based dish that has been over-salted. Simmer the soup or stew with the potato chunks for 15 minutes and then remove them.

Step 3

Salt dishes gradually throughout cooking rather than adding it all at once. As water cooks out of foods, the amount of salt will get concentrated.

Step 4

Neutralize the flavor of salt by gradually adding sugar or cider vinegar in the dish and tasting until it has the level of saltiness you want. The strong flavor of salt can be minimized by other strong flavors, however, this does not reduce the amount of sodium in the meal.

Step 5

Rinse foods briefly or remove an outer layer when the surface of a food has been over-salted. For example, if you have added too much seasoning to the outside of a baked chicken, the skin may be removed before eating. The outside layer of a salty roast may also be cut off and discarded.

Step 6

Avoid using foods with more than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving. Note that foods marked "Reduced Sodium" or "No Salt Added" may still be very high in sodium. Pay particular attention to the serving size and the amount you will use when preparing a dish.


  • Limit total daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams. However, If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease, are over age 51 or are black, you should limit your total daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg. Less is better.

About the Author

Chris Daniels covers advances in nutrition and fitness online. Daniels has numerous certifications and degrees covering human health, nutritional requirements and sports performance. An avid cyclist, weightlifter and swimmer, Daniels has experienced the journey of fitness in the role of both an athlete and coach.

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