“If it doesn’t taste good, people won’t eat it.” – Chef, Jacques Pepin
Advice to consumers to improve their diet works when solutions balance convenience and cost with good taste. Using herbs and spices more widely in preparing food is one way to great tasting healthy choices. They provide flavor without adding salt or calories. Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND, summarized “The Importance of Flavor in Dietary Counseling” as part of a series of articles in a special supplement to the journal Nutrition Today entitled “Spices and Herbs: Improving Public Health Through Flavorful Eating.”
He points out consumer research suggests a contrast in consumer’s images about food and nutrition. Consumers equate food with flavor, fun, enjoyment, taste, and motivation. On the other hand, nutrition is equated with rules, boring, and being not-so-tasty. To overcome these challenges, Dr. Ayoob offered the following messages for use by health professionals.
[F]lavor can be added easily and economically to every food group” using herbs and spices.
Herbs and spices allow “consumers to season foods to their liking with less salt, fat, and sugar.”
In addition to adding herbs and spices when preparing dishes, get them out of the pantry and onto the table for a use on single portions and even single bites.
Think of the possibilities of a bite-by-bite culinary experience.
When it comes to eggs, some familiar egg and spice pairings come to mind, like paprika on a deviled egg. Opening the spice drawer leads to even more opportunities to switch out the salt sprinkled on eggs.
Think about egg and spice pairings like chives in omelets, oregano in a microwaved coffee-cup scrambler, or fresh mint in the classic eggs-poached-in-tomato sauce known as shakshuka. And, when making those deviled eggs, switch in smoked paprika for that plain paprika.
Using herbs and spices daily can add up to better food choices, eaten with fun – not just ‘boring’ good nutrition.
KT Ayoob. “The Importance of Flavor in Dietary Counseling” Nutrition Today. 2014;Vol. 49(5S):S15-16.
Serena Ball, MS, RD, is a nutrition writer, social media consultant, and co-founder of TheRecipeReDux.com. She blogs at TeaspoonOfSpice.com. Serena is part of the Egg Nutrition Center Health Professional Advisory Board, for which she receives compensation in exchange for contributing to this blog. However, all opinions reflected in this post are the authors’.
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