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Healthy Alternatives to Salt and Sugar For Healthy Diets

July 20, 2010

When we make the switch to healthier food choices, it can take some getting used to. Let yourself make the shift gradually, cutting down and replacing salty and sugary foods little by little. Here are some tips to make the transition tastier!

healthy diets without salt and sugarSalty and Savory Foods

  • Use sea salt instead of refined table salt. Sea salt has more minerals and nutrients.
  • Cook with garlic, onions and chilies to add flavor – there are health benefits too! Both garlic and onions are natural antibiotics and may lower blood lipids and blood pressure. Onions are a rich source of flavonoids, substances known to provide protection against cardiovascular disease. Onions are also natural anti-clotting agents since they possess substances with fibrinolytic activity and can suppress platelet-clumping. The capsaicin in chilies stimulate blood flow through the membranes.
  • Spice with pepper, oregano, or pre-made spice mixes like Mrs. Dash. Black pepper also has antibiotic and antioxidant properties, plus it aids in digestion and stimulates the breakdown of fat cells. Oregano helps to purify the system.
  • Cut back on salty snacks.

Sweet Stuff

  • Minimize or avoid products with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or corn syrup near the top of their ingredient list.
  • Use sugar that is less refined and processed like brown sugar, molasses, or muscovado sugar. Honey is natural and sweeter than sugar, so you’re likely to use less. All of them come with added health benefits, like additional minerals and nutrients.
  • Erythritol based sweeteners like Z Sweet are natural, and healthier than chemically created sugar substitutes. It’s no calorie and is great for diabetics.
  • Stevia is another alternative that is natural, has no calories or carbs, and is good for diabetics. It even comes in a variety of flavors!
  • Then there’s Splenda, which may be somewhat healthier than other aspartame based sweeteners. (Here's a great article with good info on sugar and alternatives.)