Shake on Some Sweet or Savory

Adding herbs and spices to your foods can help you control blood pressure and reduce your risk of diabetes complications, without sacrificing taste. 

Health Monitor Staff

There’s a rich world of flavors to explore that won’t boost your blood pressure or increase your risk of diabetes complications. Try searing, sautéing or roasting foods—these methods bring out their natural sweet and savory flavors. These herbs and spices will also let you rely less on sugar and salt.


This warm, aromatic spice is perfect to bake with—and adds flavor to stews and chilies.

• Stir ½ tsp into plain yogurt, cereal, coffee or tea

• Add about 1 tsp to beef, pork or chicken stews for an exotic touch


Just a dusting adds a subtle layer of sweetness to soups or sauces.

• Add a pinch to cooked greens, such
as spinach, chard or kale

• Sprinkle onto oatmeal

Lemon verbena

The herb imparts a sweet lemon flavor without adding liquid to your dishes.

• Stir into tea, jellies or baked goods

• Use with chicken, seafood,
pasta or rice


This antioxidant- and fiber-rich spice adds flavor to a variety of dishes, especially Mediterranean cuisine.

• Add to sauces, and zucchini or eggplant dishes

• Sprinkle on roasted vegetables


This golden spice contains curcumin, a substance that may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s often used to make curries.

• Sprinkle over eggs; add to omelets

• Add spice to canola oil and sauté potato cubes or vegetables


Look for tamarind—a sweet-and-sour fruit—in paste form. Popular in pad Thai and other Southeast Asian dishes, it adds umami (an earthy richness) to foods.

• Add to fish, chicken or veggie

• Use in dips or chutneys

November 2013