Healthy Ways to Flavor Foods - #HealthyEating

Posted on Jul 22nd 2013 by Florida Blue

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Remember that phrase "you are what you eat"? Sure, we all know it's important to eat healthful, nutritious foods for a healthy heart. But there's no reason heart healthy foods need to be bland to be nutritious – just to cut down on those unhealthy yet flavorful ingredients like salt. Here are some healthy ways to flavor foods, so you don't feel deprived.

The American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendation for a heart healthy diet includes reducing sodium, sugar and fat in our foods.

Consuming too much sodium causes fluid retention and requires the heart to pump harder, leading to a rise in blood pressure. And, we all know high blood pressure can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack or stroke – a risk that even people who don’t have a family history of high blood pressure should be concerned about.

So, let's cut the sodium, not the flavor. Eating more meals prepared at home allows you to control the amount of sodium you consume. You can substitute dozens of different seasonings and ingredients to spice up your low-sodium meals to keep them tasty and heart healthy.

Here are some tasty ideas to try:

  • Replace salt in a recipe with another herb or spice (curry powder, thyme, tarragon, onion or garlic powder, etc.
  • Marinate chicken breasts or pork chops in lemon juice, orange juice or wine
  • Roast vegetables such as red peppers, parsnips and squash to bring out their flavor
  • Spice up a stir-fry with garlic, ginger, chili pepper, rice vinegar and/or lime juice
  • Toss your pasta with freshly chopped garlic
  • Choose fresh mozzarella or cheeses labeled “low-sodium”

You can also use a commercial salt-free seasoning blend, or make your own seasoning mix with this flavorful recipe from the AHA:

  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. of each: mace, basil, onion powder, black pepper, thyme, sage, parsley flakes, marjoram and savory


Filed under: Healthy Living  

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