Be Spicy, Not Salty

Making and sticking to healthier eating choices is easier when the food you’re choosing tastes good. Reducing sodium intake is important, but most of us depend on salt to enhance the flavor of our food. The truth is, there are plenty of seasonings out there to bring out the best in what you’re eating without reaching for the salt shaker. Here is a list of foods along with seasonings that complement them. Give them a try!

BREADS: Anise, caraway seeds, cardamom, fennel, poppy seeds, sesame seeds

DESSERTS: Anise, caraway seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg, poppy seeds


Beef: Allspice, bay leaf, bell pepper, cayenne, cumin, curry powder, garlic, marjoram, mushrooms, dry mustard, nutmeg, onion, rosemary, sage, thyme, wine

Pork: Apple, applesauce, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, garlic, ginger, mint, onion, sage, savory, wine

Poultry: Basil, bay leaf, bell pepper, cinnamon, curry powder, garlic, lemon juice, mace, marjoram, mushrooms, onion, paprika, parsley, lemon pepper, salt-free poultry seasoning, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, sesame, thyme, tarragon, wine

Seafood: Allspice, basil, bay leaf, bell pepper, cayenne, curry powder, cumin, fennel, garlic, lemon juice, mace, marjoram, mint, mushrooms, dry mustard powder, onion, paprika, saffron, sage, sesame seeds, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, wine

SALADS: Basil, chervil, coriander, dill, lemon juice, mint, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, sesame seeds, turmeric, vinegar, watercress


Asparagus: Garlic, lemon juice, onion

Beans: Caraway seeds, cloves, cumin, mint, savory, tarragon, thyme

Beets: Anise, caraway seeds, fennel,ginger, savory

Carrots: Anise, cinnamon, cloves,mint, sage, tarragon

Corn: Allspice, bell pepper, cumin, pimiento, tomato

Cucumbers: Chives, dill, garlic,vinegar

Green Beans: Dill, lemon juice,marjoram, nutmeg, pimiento

Greens: Garlic, lemon juice, onion, vinegar

Peas: Allspice, bell pepper, mint,mushrooms, onions, parsley, sage,savory

Potatoes: Bell pepper, chives, dill,garlic, onion, pimiento, saffron

Squash: Allspice, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, mace, nutmeg, onion, savory

Tomatoes: Allspice, basil, garlic, marjoram, onion, oregano, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme

Keep experimenting until you find combinations that you like. Both your heart and your taste buds will appreciate your efforts.

The information in this table is reprinted with permission from American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook, Fourth Edition, Copyright © 2011 by the American Heart Association. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc. Available from booksellers everywhere.

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