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Ways to Make Foods More NutritiousWays to Make Foods More Nutritious


Experiment with spices.

Spices are the key to reducing salt. Adding a mix of spices to beans, sautéed vegetables, soups and stews gives them more flavor so that you can reduce added salt and still be satisfied. Experiment with new spices and keep your pantry stocked with cumin, coriander, curry powder, ground mustard, nutmeg, smoked paprika, chili powders and turmeric.

Stop adding sugar.

Sugar is hidden in more foods than you may realize. Condiments like ketchup, barbecue sauce, relishes, chutneys, marinara sauce, and pickles can be loaded with sugar. When you top healthy foods with sugar-laden toppings, you are adding calories with few nutrients. Read labels closely, and choose condiments that are low in sugar.

Eat sandwiches open-faced.

You don’t have to eliminate bread and buns to eat healthy, but eating sandwiches open-faced is a good way to cut calories and reduce sodium without feeling deprived. Egg sandwiches, lunch meat sandwiches and burgers can all be served open-faced for a healthier meal.

Change how you prepare salads.

Loading dressing onto a salad is an easy way to increase fat and calories. When pouring the dressing over your salad, it fails to coat the lettuce well and encourages you to add more. Try pouring your dressing into a large bowl and whisk for about 30 seconds. Next, add your greens and toss them in the dressing until they are coated. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and enjoy. It’s a simple change in preparation that cuts calories without sacrificing flavor.

Eat raw and cooked vegetables.

Eat your vegetables in a variety of ways to improve nutrient absorption. Both raw and cooked foods have nutritional benefits. While some nutrients are higher in fresh foods (vitamin C), others become more available to the body when a food is cooked (carotenoids in carrots and lycopene in tomatoes).

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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