Taste Bud Makeover

Americans eat up to 3 times the recommended sugar allowance every day, and over twice the suggested sodium. It seems our palates just crave far more salt and sugar than necessary.

While advocacy groups urge manufacturers to reduce amounts, you can dial back your intake. Sample some of these tips for tweaking your taste buds:

  • Start with minor adjustments so the flavor shift isn’t drastic. For example, cut the 2 spoons of sugar in your coffee or tea to 1–1/2, gradually scaling back to 1 or 1/2.
  • Try seasonings that enhance foods without salt or sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal instead of brown sugar. Use cayenne pepper and garlic to dazzle soups. Experiment with different vinegars and new spices or fresh herbs. Introduce flavors to help train your mouth to enjoy a broader selection.
  • Cut back on condiments. Ketchup and soy sauce bust in salt and sugar content. Use less, period.
  • Add a little honey when you need sweetness, and use sea salt, which requires less to achieve the same flavor as table salt.
  • Look for low–sodium options. Read labels so you also can avoid high–salt compounds like monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking soda, baking powder, disodium phosphate, sodium alginate, and sodium nitrate or nitrite.

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