Swap-ortunity

Best Tasting Salt Substitutes

by David on July 12, 2018

Lower your overall sodium has been proven to help improve your overall health. These heart-healthy Salt Substitutes will help you to ditch the white stuff!

Sodium chloride, or salt, is linked to heart disease, hypertension, and other heart-related issues. A 2010 study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that if people reduced their intake of salt by 3 grams each day, they could greatly reduce their risk of developing heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 44,000 lives could be saved each year if people reduced salt consumption and used heart smart herbs and spices as a replacement.

Spices and Herbs

Using different spices and herbs in cooking can help serve as a salt substitute. These options are full of varied and unique flavorings, and some herbs even have health benefits. Garlic, for example, is shown to reduce inflammation, prevent heart blockages and assist with many chronic joint and yeast overgrowth conditions. For newbie’s, start by acquiring a variety of dried and fresh spices, and begin cooking using these elements for flavor. Safe bets are oregano, pepper, tarragon, and sage. Herbs and spices are a natural salt substitute, and a flavorful alternative.

For people who enjoy a spicy kick to their food, try Hungarian paprika, cinnamon, curry and cayenne pepper. The Culinary Institute of America hosts many recipes on their website that use herbs and spices instead of salt.

Citrus

Lemon and lime juice can also serve as a natural salt substitute. They provide an interesting twist to chicken and fish dishes and imbue flavor when used in marinades. No salt substitute can completely mimic the actual taste of salt, but they can add enough elements to make dishes tasty and satisfying. Citrus activates the same taste buds as sodium chloride, so it tricks your mind into thinking you are eating salt without taking on the heart risks of sodium.

Oils

Oils such as truffle oil, walnut oil, extra virgin olive oil and pumpkin seed oil are some of the best salt substitutes. Cooking meats and vegetables in these flavor-packed oils make your food a taste explosion. They coat the food with interesting tastes, and when mixed with herbs they are a delightful salt substitute.

How to Make the Switch

Our taste buds are fairly easy going. If you have a hankering for salt, it is easy to teach your taste buds to like salt substitutes. Try cutting back a little at a time in the beginning of your journey to zap salt from your diet. Begin with cutting your salt intake by 25 percent. Make sure if you eat a lot of packaged and processed foods, that you are noting the sodium amounts in these foods. Sometimes cutting salt is as easy as giving up these shelf stable products, which are packed with sodium. Begin swapping out salt for garlic, herbs, lemon and other sodium-free products. Play with flavored oils and vinegar, and find combinations that please your palette.

What Will I Do With My Shaker?

There are products available in grocery and health food stores, which replace salt. One of the best-tasting salt substitute products is Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Salt-Free Seasoning. Other options include Morton Salt Substitute, Benson’s Gourmet salt-free seasonings, Nu-Salt and Morton Lite Salt. Herb-based brands considered some of the best salt substitute products are Mrs. Dash, Spike and Penzey’s.

Take your salt shaker and fill with one of the above items, so whenever you shake you are using a heart-healthy product.

You can also try the recipes below to create a homemade salt substitute:

Super Substitute

1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons celery seed
2 tablespoons onion powder
4-½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon ground dill
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
½ teaspoon dried cayenne pepper

Spiced Up

4 teaspoons onion powder
3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
3 tablespoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons ground oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder

Place all ingredients in a coffee grinder. Grind together until they form a fine powder. Store in a salt shaker in a cool, dry corner of your kitchen.

Substitute with a Kick

3 tablespoons dried tarragon
3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 ½ tablespoons paprika
1 ½ tablespoons sage
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground dill

Place all ingredients in a coffee grinder. Grind together until they form a fine powder. Store in a salt shaker in a cool, dry corner of your kitchen.

The most important part of ridding your diet of salt is to not be afraid of trying new spice mixes to accommodate the loss of salt. With these tasty natural salt substitue options, you may find your food tasting better and more interesting and salt will become a complete afterthought. Reducing your intake of sodium chloride will reduce your risk of heart attack, hypertension and a swathe of heart-related diseases. Less sodium will also reduce bloating and edema in the feet and ankles.

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With BBQ and grilling season upon us – there are some easy swaps and changes you can make for healthier BBQs!! With just a few small tweaks you can cut calories and help you stay on track!

With warmer weather just starting to arrive it’s time to uncover and clean off the barbecue and commence with grilling!  While it is a bit healthier to grill foods (usually not many fats are needed) the sauces that are used can increase the sugar content too much and make a healthy cooking option not so healthy after all.  Items like lean meats, chicken breast, fish, vegetables, and even fruit, all taste fantastic when grilled and sometimes the flavors of certain items are even enhanced when cooked over an open flame.

The way you cook on the grill is almost as important as what you cook.  Proteins (meat, chicken, and fish) sometimes stick when no fats (butter or oils) are used to a little bit of olive oil is fine…just a little bit though.  Olive oil is a healthy choice and a little goes a long way. There are now nonstick grilling mats and pans specifically made for the barbecue and these, of course, require no butter or oils to prevent sticking…making them a great healthy option.  You can also cook things in tinfoil “packets”…vegetables and fish are good options for this method…so as to keep items from falling through the grates of the grill. It also steams the food so you aren’t having to use anything on the items to prevent sticking.

 

Another pitfall for people looking to eat healthy and enjoy a barbecue are the sauces used to marinate the proteins.  Sugar is usually in large quantities in these sauces as it imparts a lot of flavors when it caramelizes. Even a healthy fish filet can be rendered unhealthy by a high-calorie sauce, so whenever possible use marinades and sauces sparingly and AFTER cooking to minimize damage to your diet.  Also, remove any visible fat from meat and the skin from chicken and turkey for the best option.

 

There are many healthy barbecue recipes to try with a variety of foods and depending on your preference, there are many variations.  Here are a few links to sites offering healthy barbecue recipes that you might want to try:

 

  1. https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/dinner/grilling-recipes/
  2. http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/five-star-grill-recipes
  3. https://www.delish.com/entertaining/g2167/healthy-grilling-recipes/
  4. https://www.bonappetit.com/gallery/healthy-grilling-recipes
  5. https://www.cookincanuck.com/15-healthy-barbecue-grilling-recipes/

 

Side Dishes are also an area where many people eat more calories than they realize and a diet can really be derailed due to a great side dish.  Potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, and baked beans are the traditional sides at most barbecues, but they are loaded with fat and calories (and sugar as well) and aren’t on any weight loss program.  While they’re delicious, it’s best to avoid them and opt for things like grilled vegetables, a leafy green salad, bean and avocado salad, or even a baked potato cooked on the grill.

 

When it comes to dessert, a couple of good things to grill in the fruit category are pineapple slices and peaches.  The fruit sugars in these delicious items caramelize when grilled and they become very sweet. They are great options that are still healthy when it comes to barbecue fare.  Even small changes to your normal barbecue dining can mean positive results for your health and make eating better easier and easier every time you incorporate them.

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Molasses, whether it is pomegranate molasses, sorghum molasses or blackstrap molasses, is a healthy substitute for sugar. Believe it or not, molasses is a staple diet in America. Pilgrims brought molasses in the country when they first visited the continent centuries ago.

Some people find molasses too sour. Others find it too sweet. Meanwhile, there are those who think molasses is too rich or sugary. However different people’s opinions are, the fact is that molasses are difficult to acquire thus the need to find a good molasses substitute.

Molasses is a common ingredient used in pies, cookies, and cakes. Due to its high sugar content and the risk, this brings to one’s health, the following are a slew of molasses substitute you could use.

Molasses is a common ingredient used in pies, cookies and cakes. Due to its high sugar content and the risk this brings to one's health, the following are a slew of molasses substitute you could use.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a decent substitute for molasses in recipes. Though yogurt tastes differently from molasses, it possesses similar properties once it is utilized in cooking or baking.
Yogurt is also a good source of calcium as it contains healthy proteins. Yogurt is also ideal for vegetarians. When this molasses substitute is used in baking, make sure that it is properly strained. Proper straining requires that you put a cheesecloth over a bowl, pour the yogurt through the cheesecloth and allow it to strain overnight through the cloth. If you want to acquire the best and healthiest yogurt source, make sure you use brands, which indicate that the yogurt is made using nonfat or low-fat milk. Such yogurts not only help fight obesity, it also prevents chronic disease such as cancer or stroke.

Applesauce

Applesauce is another molasses substitute that serves as a healthy alternative. However, applesauce is not as sweet as molasses, its moisture and texture is similar. Plus, applesauce contains large amounts of critical minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It also contains fiber essential to treat and prevent stroke, obesity and other cardiovascular diseases. As much as possible, use applesauce that is low in calories and sugar.

Feel free to make your own applesauce. All you have to do is combine sliced and peeled apples in a large pot. Add water, cinnamon, and sugar. Heat this mixture until it boils. Decrease the quantity until the sauce thickens. This applesauce will definitely be nutritious as much as it is delicious.

Honey

Honey is considered as the most healthy and popular substitute for molasses in recipes. This golden liquid is naturally produced by bees and was used for centuries as a preservative and sweetener. It is also a good antioxidant and possesses anti-bacterial properties, which boosts the immune system. Honey also helps prevent fatigue when exercising. The main reason why honey is a good molasses substitute is due to its good taste. While molasses could either be sweet, bittersweet or unpleasant, honey is always sweet and pleasantly delicious. The best-tasting honey is raw honey since it has not been treated after being removed from the beehive. Take note that pure or natural honey is not really natural or pure as it has been processed thus it is inferior to raw honey.

Barley Malt Extract

Barley malt – similar to honey – is gold in color, has a thick consistency and is sweet. It is utilized to improve and sweeten foods such as ice cream, bread, cereals, and bagels. It is also used to sweeten tonic beverages and is essential in brewing non-alcoholic and alcoholic beer. Barley malt is a molasses substitute in baking due to its aesthetic qualities and nutritional value. It is also rich in easy-to-digest protein. It is similarly high in vitamin B and amino acids. Barley malt is also used to soften stool and treat children’s constipation. Barley malt could also serve as a standalone supplement and critical substitute for molasses in recipes.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is the preferred sweetener for numerous generations. It is essentially a molasses substitute that is usually used in porridge, pancakes, waffles, French toast, and oatmeal. Maple syrup is also healthy as it contains calcium that is essential for tooth and bone health.

Other equally effective and tasty molasses substitutes include brown rice syrup, golden syrup, corn syrup, Karo syrup and muscovado sugar. Brown rice syrup is amber-colored syrup that tastes half as sweet as actual sugar. Meanwhile, golden syrup is a classic syrup that is lighter in flavor compared to molasses. Corn syrup is a type of syrup that comes from maize starch. Karo syrup is also corn syrup that is available in light and dark varieties. Muscovado sugar tastes like molasses but is actually an unrefined version of brown sugar.

All in all, recipes which require molasses include pecan pie, gingerbread, and even barbecue sauce. Molasses are specified for these recipes due to its unique color and taste. Though molasses substitution is essential, these alternatives could not duplicate the unique taste of molasses.

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Grab a warm comforting cup of tea and ENJOY! Because there are many amazing benefits of tea and even one cup a day can help improve one’s overall health.

Tea has been around for centuries as both a beverage as well as a medicine. It’s said to originate in Southwest China around 2737 BC as a medicinal drink and it spread across Europe during the 16th century. Tea was originally brewed using loose leaves but with the invention of the tea bag in about 1903 it became faster and much easier to brew a cup…thus increasing its use. Today tea is almost as popular as coffee since more people are generally more health conscious and recognize the many benefits of tea, both for health as well as weight loss, that a cup can provide.

Some of the many benefits of tea include its antioxidant content, it may boost the immune system, it can soothe the digestive system, it helps with weight loss, may help protect bones, can help brighten your smile, may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, might help manage diabetes, and it has a lowered caffeine content compared to coffee. With all of these many benefits of tea, it’s no wonder many more people are becoming interested in adding tea to their diet.

The beneficial element in tea is called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)…the most abundant catechin (an antioxidant) in tea, and is a polyphenol (another antioxidant) important for its potential to affect human health and disease. Polyphenols have antioxidant properties as well as catechins but they also play an important role in preventing and reducing the progression of certain diseases like diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, they play an important role as a prebiotic, increasing the ratio of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which is important for health, weight management, and disease prevention.

With so many types of teas out there here is a quick overview of some you might like to try first:

  • Black Tea: Made with fermented leaves and has the highest caffeine content and is the base for many flavored teas like chai; studies have shown it may have health benefits in protecting the lungs from damage caused by cigarette smoke and may reduce the risk of stroke. Caffeine = 60-90 mg/8 oz. cup
  • Oolong Tea: Made with partially fermented leaves and has more caffeine than green tea but less than black tea; studies have shown it can help lower bad cholesterol levels and can aid in weight loss. Caffeine = 50-75 mg/8 oz. cup
  • Green Tea: Made with steamed leaves (unfermented) and has a high concentration of EGCG; it may aid in treating a whole host of various diseases as well as being beneficial for increased metabolism, weight loss, and weight management. Caffeine = 35-70 mg/8 oz. cup
  • White Tea: Made with uncured and unfermented leaves; studies have shown it has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas. Caffeine = 30-55 mg/8 oz. cup
  • Herbal Teas: are made from herbs, fruits, seeds, or roots and they can also include tea leaves as well. They have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, oolong, black, and white teas and varieties like ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile, and echinacea all have a variety of health benefits.

Even if you aren’t trying tea for any health reasons, it’s sure to help you relax by causing you to slow down a bit while you enjoy it…and that’s reason enough to give it a try if you haven’t already. While tea seems relatively harmless compared to prescription medications use caution as some may not interact well with your prescriptions or any treatment you might be undergoing for a particular ailment. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before adding tea to your routine to make sure it’s advisable.

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