Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Substitute Ingredients for Lighter Cooking


9
Herbs and Spices
You won't miss salt when you infuse your recipes with a variety of herbs and spices.
You won't miss salt when you infuse your recipes with a variety of herbs and spices.
Gallo Images-Images of Africa/Getty Images

A little bit of salt can go a long way toward increasing the risk of high blood pressure, which often results in potentially deadly heart disease. Salt, also known as sodium, is necessary in small amounts because it aids muscle function and keeps fluid levels balanced.

But many people don't know when to say when where salt is concerned, opting instead to sprinkle it heavily on everything from deli sandwiches to pastas that already contain it. Nutritionists understand that people enjoy a little extra flavor; however, they caution salt enthusiasts to exercise other options. Many recipes, including those for stews, casseroles and other entrees, don't actually require the salt they call for. Take the healthy route by omitting salt altogether. (This option doesn't work for baking, which really does require salt to turn out a pleasing finished product.)

Nutrition experts recommend the use of herbs and spices (fresh or dried) to add a little extra zing as needed. Fresh herbs, such as oregano, rosemary and thyme, have a bold flavor and also contain beneficial antioxidants. Citrus fruits like lemons and limes can also liven up a dish in place of salt.


More to Explore