Salt and Sugar – How to Enjoy Less of Both

Salt and Sugar – How to Enjoy Less of Both

If you have a penchant for salt or a sweet tooth, one of the last things you want to hear is you need to dial back on these ubiquitous additives. In fact, for some of us, it can seem almost impossible to reduce our intake. But here’s the thing – no one’s saying it’s easy, but there are a few tricks which can help. Check out the following because they may just work for you!


Ditch the deli When heading to the supermarket for meats and fish, steer clear of the deli. Smoked, seasoned, and pickled meats and fish are usually high in salt. Head for fresh cuts and fillets instead.

Freshen up! Fresh fruits and vegetables have their own delicious flavours, and they won’t be masked by the salt-laden sauces and seasonings often accompanying processed produce. Choose in-season produce because it will be fresher and more flavoursome.

Become a label reader The same products often carry higher or lower levels of sodium, so be sure to read the label to find out which one is for you. After all, why choose a butter laced with salt when another packet has none!

Savour salt-associations! Herbs and spices are ingredients often providing a satisfying ‘salt-association’ without the sodium. Use sodium-free garlic and onion powder in soups and stews, and salt-free rubs on meats and fish. Go to town with the Italian flavours of rosemary, basil, and oregano on your home-made pizza. Use bay leaf to enrich casseroles.

Build your base Soups are so satisfying. Use salt-free bouillon cubes as your base, and build in rich flavours with smoked paprika, salt-free tomato concentrates, and low-sodium brewer’s yeast.

Same but different Look for low-sodium switches for the products you use most often. For many, this means breakfast foods. Even your otherwise healthy wholegrain toast bread can be high in sodium, so check labels carefully, and adopt a new brand where necessary. Grill your toast with a brush of delicious olive oil rather than spreading it with salty non-dairy spreads or butter, and opt for no- or low-sodium breakfast spreads such as salt-free peanut butter, and Natex instead of Vegemite and Marmite.

Citrus saviour! Enjoy your fish and chips with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of oregano, instead of the salt. If lemon isn’t available, go with vinegar.


Dressing up! Salad dressings are often packed with sugar. Use stewed apple as your dressing sweetener instead, and whip it up with balsamic vinegar, tahini, and a pinch of garlic powder.

Sweeties Use spices which we associate with ‘sweetness’ (such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg) to replace sugar while still giving a satisfying boost to porridge, stewed fruit, and hot, milky drinks.

If you usually enjoy sugar in your black coffee, try a pinch of salt (if salt is not an issue) instead. It will reduce the bitterness of the usual dark Kiwi roast.

Coconut combo! Coconut has a rich creaminess which can help stave off sugar cravings. Use it in home-made muesli, sugar-free yoghurt, baked apple, and crumble topping.

Going sour When we first ditch sugar, our regular bread can seem bland. Sourdough-based breads can solve the problem because of the extra flavour they provide. Start a sourdough brew today, or look for a salt-free sourdough bread in your supermarket.

Ferment Soda drinks are a Kiwi favourite, but unless you want to go sugar-free (bearing in mind the additives this entails), check out fizzy home-made ferments such as water keffir and and kombucha. These virtually sugar-free fizzies are delicious and fun to make. And if you’re not sure how to begin, head to a health food shop for a starter kit. Alternatively, you could try soda water with a (small) squeeze of lime or your favourite fruit.

Pop it! Popcorn has a sugar-association, and when sprinkled with cinnamon, it’s super satisfying. What’s more, plain popping corn is so inexpensive to purchase

Going crackers Even savoury goods, such as crackers, are likely to have added sugar. Check the net for home-made options, and don’t be afraid to omit the salt.

Skip the syrup! Canned fruits are almost always available in no-added-sugar options. Allow extra time in the supermarket so you can read the labels carefully (they all look so similar).

Same-same Don’t be fooled by ingredients that are ‘sugar by another name.’ These include agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, caramel, and coconut sugar. Read ingredients carefully!

When it comes to reducing or ditching salt and sugar, become a detective and an experimenter. Sometimes it can take your tastebuds a little while to adjust, but it is worth the effort. Your interest in this new subject can aid your endeavours to do what needs to be done!

Kitchen Aid Ad