How to Create a Spicy Heart-Healthy Diet
If your doctor has recommended that you go on a heart-healthy diet, then you’re probably wondering what spices you can use in the kitchen. Salt is usually restricted from this type of diet, which means your food is going to taste bland and dull without a little help.
Although there are eating and lifestyle changes that must happen when you transition to a heart-healthy diet, you’ll find that there are still some great things to eat.
This guide will help you begin that process.
Always follow your doctor’s recommendations or directions over something you’ve read on the Internet.
Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings to Use
You are saying goodbye to salt. You will be saying hello to the incredible flavors which are allowed with a heart-healthy diet.
- Spicy Additions: Add cayenne, red pepper flakes, and chili powder to your pantry.
- Flavor Additions: Include curry, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and gloves.
- Everyday Additions: You’ll use garlic powder, Italian seasoning, paprika, and parsley.
There are baking spices you can add to this list as well, such as nutmeg and cloves. Some may want to add some Chinese 5-spice, caraway, black pepper, and Bay leaves.
Your doctor may allow low-sodium or reduced sodium items, such as soy sauce. Look for sodium-free seasonings that you like down the spice aisle of the grocery store.
Sweeteners You Can Use
Many people are asked to say goodbye to sugar when they transition to a heart-healthy diet. That doesn’t mean you need to get rid of the sweets. You need to eat different ones. Here are some ideas.
- Sugar Substitutes: NutraSweet, Equal, Sugar Twin, and Splenda are all usually allowed.
- Sugar Replacements: Honey, Agave syrup, Brown rice syrup, or low-sugar Maple syrup.
- Sugar Alternatives: Truvia, Pure Via, and Stevia can all replace sugar.
Some nutritional plans may ask you to limit added sugars and sweeteners, which means fruits and vegetables will become your primary source of treats. If you choose dehydrated fruits, take care that you choose products which do not include added sugar.
You may be allowed to consume diet or sugar-free sodas, but a better option is to stock carbonated water products instead.
Cooking Oils and Fats You Can Use
In most circumstances, you’ll be allowed to use reduced-fat or non-fat cooking oils, fats, and dressings. There are healthy fats that you’ll be encouraged to consume, such as olive and canola oil.
You are going to be asked to give up butter on most heart-healthy diets. Look for a non-hydrogenated shortening instead that you like. Tub margarines are usually permitted too.
You’ll be using products from assorted raw nuts or seeds more often. Almond butter is an excellent addition to a heart-healthy diet, assuming it doesn’t have added salt or sugar.
Switching to a heart-healthy diet can be difficult. It may even cause feelings of grief and frustration. These emotions are normal.
With a little work and coordination with your treatment team, it is possible to find healthy substitutes for many of your favorite foods. Use this guide to begin that process.