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Providing kidney diet advice and recipes to educate and
empower people with Chronic Kidney Disease.
The Irish Kidney Diet website has been developed by CORU registered Renal Dietitians.

Can you give me some alternatives to salt?

There are a variety of herbs and spices that can be used as a substitute for salt from garlic and pepper to basil, oregano and rosemary. You can flavour your meals in many different ways. Remember to use herbs and spices sparingly.

Some suggested flavour combinations:

Food                              Suggested flavouring

Beef:                                  Allspice, dry mustard rubbed into the meat before cooking, oregano, bay leaf, chilli powder, cayenne pepper
Fish:                                   Vinegar, lemon, dill, mint, thyme, garlic, chilli
Pork:                                  Cloves, apple, garlic, onion, sage, curry powder
Chicken:                            Lemon, garlic, tarragon, rosemary, sage, thyme, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, paprika
Stews & casseroles:        Bouquet garni, oregano, sage, thyme, basil, garlic


Low salt gravy


  • Meat juices
  • Gravy browning (to add colour and flavour)
  • Cornflour
  • Flavourings such as herbs, spices, onions


  1. Allow the meat juices to cool and skim off the fat.
  2. Thicken with cornflour.
  3. Add gravy browning until the desired colour is reached.
  4. Don’t use stock cubes or gravy mixes.



  • 3 tablespoons/ 50ml oil (olive oil or rapeseed oil)
  • 2 tablespoons/ 30ml wine vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic – chopped
  • Black pepper
  • Parsley and thyme/ alternative herbs or spices as desired


  1. Place all ingredients in a non metallic bowl
  2. Place the meat/ fish/ poultry pieces in the bowl and cover with the marinade and stir well.
  3. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge
  4. Marinade for 15 min to 2 hours depending on how strong you want the marinade flavour to be.