Weight Loss

Homemade Low Sodium Dressings, Marinades, and More

Eating a diet rich in sodium can result in a variety of issues, ranging from increased risk of stroke and heart disease, to high blood pressure and other concerns. Research suggests that people who eat a sodium-rich diet often weigh more. Several factors play into this including how the body regulates sodium and water levels, the foods that are consumed, and potentially how hormones react to elevated sodium levels.

Three reasons behind weight gain in people with elevated sodium intake:

  • Ultra-processed foods (as well as some that are more minimally processed) contain high levels of sodium. These foods aren’t as effective as satisfying your hunger as foods that are high in nutrients, protein, and other essential elements, often referred to as “whole foods”. This in turn may cause people to eat more to satisfy their hunger- and lead to weight gain. Studies have found that the people who eat the most salt often also eat the largest amounts of food and the most calories per day, as well have as a higher BMI than those that eat less sodium.
  • The body is efficient in balancing sodium and water levels. When sodium levels increase, so does “water weight,” where the body holds onto water to counterct the body’s sodium concentration. In addition to holding onto more water, the body also decreases urine output. Studies show that this water retention may cause up to a 2.2-pound (1-kg) difference on the scale.
  • While evidence isn’t conclusive, some studies that observed mice that consumed higher levels of sodium show that their bodies resisted the hormone leptin, which is responsible for signaling fullness and satisfaction after eating. If this dynamic is the same in humans, there is potential for weight gain as people may eat more if hormones can’t efficiently signal to the body that it is satiated..

Making your own dips, dressings, and marinades is one easy way to cut down on sodium intake. Here are 8 delicious recipes to get you started. You’ll notice that while all of these recipes have much lower sodium levels than store-bought options, they include many herbs, spices, and other ingredients that add a fullness of flavor without the sodium.

Honey Mustard

  • ½ cup fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne

2 tablespoons = 45 calories; 52 mg sodium

Citrus Viniagrette

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange or grapefruit zest
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 finely chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons = 33 calories; 22 mg sodium

Green Goddess Dressing

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup tightly-packed parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup tightly-packed tarragon leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp drained capers
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp sherry or champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water, to desired thickness
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Probiotic Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup Organic Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup 2% Organic Milk
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chives
  • 1 pinch black pepper

2 tbsp= Calories: 59.3; Sodium: 21.2

Sour Cream and Onion Dip

  • 2 cup Organic Valley Sour Cream (about 16oz)
  • 1 oz Organic Valley Cream Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

Serving size varies, numbers are for entire bowl: Calories: 593; Sodium: 172mg


  • 1 large avocado soft
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup onion minced
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 pinch salt

1/4 cup= Calories 46; Sodium 29mg

Spinach Dip

  • 1 1/2 cups light sour cream
  • 3/4 cups light mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsps onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsps salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsps worcestershire sauce
  • 3 scallions diced small
  • 8 oz water chestnuts drained and diced small
  • 16 oz frozen spinach thawed and squeezed of all the moisture

1/4 cup= Calories: 98; Sodium: 456mg

Pasta sauce

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 oz tomato paste no salt added
  • 3 14.5oz can diced tomatoes no salt added
  • 6 fl oz dry red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 cup: Calories 79; Sodium 70mg










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