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Top Tips for Healthier Eating

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13. Use a variety of herbs and spices to flavor your food with less salt and fat.

Herbs and spices not only add flavor to food without the use of fat and salt, but some also confer health benefits. For example, both garlic and turmeric (often used in yellow curry dishes) have been found to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Some spices and flavorings go well with a variety of foods; these include parsley, garlic, onion, lemon juice and “spicy” ingredients like pepper and mustard powder. When using leaf-based herbs, it is best to crush them (or rub them on meat) to maximize their flavor. If you need to substitute dried herbs for fresh ones in a recipe, use about half the amount listed. To introduce yourself to new flavors and spices, try making a recipe from a different culture each month. If you can’t find the flavorings you need at your local supermarket, an ethnic market or specialty food store may have what you need.

Originally Published November 5, 2009

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