food-5Reduce the amount

Sometimes there's a reason for all the salt and sugar: Cooking is chemistry, and the right ingredients create the right chemical reactions. However, you many not need the amounts called for in the recipe:

- Salt: When you're baking, you can leave out up to half of the salt. The one exception: if the recipe uses yeast, use the full amount of salt to avoid dense or flat results. (Baked goods with yeast require salt to help them rise.)

For appetizers, entrees, salads and soups you can often leave out the salt entirely -- especially if you're using other ingredients like soy sauce or soup stock that contain sodium. Try using herbs and spices instead to flavour food.

- Sugar: How low can you go? Experts advise you can reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe by one third to one half, depending on your sweet tooth. Other ingredients like vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon, cloves and allspice already bring out the natural sweetness in foods.

As with salt, yeast also relies on sugar for the leavening process, so avoid altering the amount of sugar, honey or other sweeteners in baked goods that use this rising agent.

In addition, you can reduce the amount of fat in recipes by using the ingredient substitutions mentioned above.

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Elizabeth Rogers