A reminder about sugar — it’s hiding everywhere in your food


It’s fairly easy to look at a food label and see how much salt is in a product but sugar is another matter. I’ve written before about hidden sugar and so this older piece from Cooking Light that popped up in an email recently caught my eye, 5 Ways Sugar Is Hiding in Your Food.

Cute maple syrup, who doesn’t like it? Well, surprise, it’s sugar!

Most people, I think, know about high fructose corn syrup being sugar. It’s gotten so much bad press in recent years, the word is out about HFCS.

But how about evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, honey, molasses and even maple syrup? They’re all sugars and all covered in the piece, give it a read. And be alert, read every food label.

Nutrition claims will continue to ignore low-salt

Food processors have been rolling out lots of low- and no-sugar products during the pandemic but not low-salt ones, said speakers at a 2022 food outlook presentation hosted by The Food Institute.

The pandemic has Americans thinking more about wellness and good nutrition, but that apparently hasn’t gotten them to realize they eat much more salt than they need every day.

Younger consumers also are concerned about sustainability, so sales of products with sustainability claims are likely to increase as Millennials’ buying power increases over the next five to six years, speakers said. Expect more meat-substitute products as well, including lab-grown offerings created cell-by-cell to resemble fish.

Looking at restaurants, the prediction was that restaurant sales levels would not return to what they were pre-pandemic in 2019 until 2023.

Speakers at the presentation included an old boss of mine, Joan Driggs, now vice president, content and thought leadership at IRI, a market research firm. We worked together at Mintel, another market research firm and were both journalists in our former lives.

Other scheduled speakers were:

Mike Kostyo
Trendologist and Senior Managing Editor, Datassential

Chris Dubois
Senior Vice President, Protein Practice Leader, IRI

Rosemary roasted salmon — another one-pan dinner option

One-pan dinners have become a thing during Covid as people who never cooked before look for simple recipes to make at home. I wrote about one salmon one-pan recently and here’s another from EatingWell.com, rosemary roasted salmon.

Rosemary roasted salmon. All made in one pan.

It includes salmon, asparagus and potatoes, all roasted together in one sheet pan. The sodium per portion, 711 mgs, seems a little high. I’d leave the salt out of the recipe. One teaspoon of salt has 2,325 mgs of sodium, much more than one day’s worth for anyone monitoring their salt intake.

The recipe and prep details, along with nutrition information:

Continue reading “Rosemary roasted salmon — another one-pan dinner option”

Fake chicken is following fake beef into restaurants and supermarkets

Plant-based chicken options are joining plant-based beef and plant-based fish in the American food cornucopia reports The Food Institute. Both KFC and Burger King are offering plant-based chicken offerings in various parts of their worldwide networks, The Food Institute notes.

A Burger Kind UK ad for vegan chicken.

“Plant-based chicken has huge potential because chicken is such a well-loved, versatile and common protein in consumer’s diets,” Marie Molde, a registered dietician at Datassential, told The Food Institute. “Chicken is ubiquitous on restaurant menus, it’s found on 95% of menus in the U.S. today (whereas burgers are found on roughly half as many menus) and is also globally popular.”

Demand apparently is out there for plant-based meat alternatives.

“One in five adults say they want more plant-based foods in their diets, according to The NPD Group’s Darren Seifer, who will be presenting at an upcoming Food Institute webinar on January 18 entitled 2022 Outlook of Plant-Based and Next Gen Protein,” The Food Institute reports.

No word on how much salt and fat will be in these plant-based chicken products.

10 facts about fiber: A guest post

Nichole Dandrea-Russert

Editor’s Note: I have long started my day with high-fiber cereal, acknowledging the need we all have for more fiber in our diets. That’s why I accepted this guest post from Nichole, I think it has some very useful information for you.

Less than five percent of Americans get the recommended amount of fiber each day. If you’re experiencing digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, sugar cravings, weight gain or an array of other health-related complications, it could be due to inadequate fiber intake.

The case for fiber is strong and the list of benefits can be long. I’ve narrowed it down below to 10 good reasons to eat more fiber.

Continue reading “10 facts about fiber: A guest post”

Thumbs down on chocolate frosting mix with alluose

I came across a relatievly new non-sugar sweetener last year, allulose, and sent away for several products that use it to test it out. The latest I tried — a chocolate frosting mix with alluose. My verdict — thumbs down.

I pretty much had the same reaction to a brownie mix with allulose. Sadly, this does not seem the product that will ween me off of sugar. Of the big three devil products — salt, fat and sugar — sugar has been by far the most difficult for me to cut out of my life. Without it, I am chronically depressed.

I’m starting this year needing to lose weight again to counter rising blood pressure that medeications are not fixing. So I’m dropping sugar again, suffering through the pain that comes with that. Wish me luck.

If you crave chocolate frosting, this is not the product for you. It tasted a bit grainy and not like regular chocolate at all. I disliked it so much I scrapped it off three cupcakes I’d topped with it and erefrosted those with regular chocolate frosting.

2022 starting with salad recalls, so beware

The new year is barely upon us and we already are dealing with salad recalls that started in late December. “The FDA announced recalls from Fresh Express, Simple Truth and Nature’s Basket. Many bagged and boxed greens are affected,” reported the Food Network on Jan. 7.

Fresh express announced a recall Dec, 20 of salads bearing its name and store brand names as well because of concerns of Listeria contamination.

My Garden Bar salad
Always wash your lettuce, even if it comes bagged and supposedly pre-washed.

The second recall of Simple Truth Organic Power Greens and Nature’s Basket Organic Power Greens happened early this year. “The CDC posted an outbreak warning of E. coli 0157:H7 on January 6th, 2022 linked to boxed salad greens sold in Washington, Oregon, Ohio and Alaska. The power greens have Use-By-Dates through December 20th, 2021, which means products will not be in grocery cases but could still be in home fridges. They were sold at Fred Meyer, QFC and Giant Eagle grocery chains and should be thrown away immediately,” Food Network reported.

A reminder, thoroughly wash all your lettuce, whether bagged or not. Lettuce can be a great place for these pesky bacteria to hide

No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal sets record with more than 80,000 views in 2021

Our teriyaki taste test is our most popular post.

Our site, the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal, topped 80,000 views in 2021 for the first time in its nine-year history, easily surpassing its previous one-year high of 65,965 views set in 2017.

The number of visitors to the site in 2021 also was a record at 43,500, surpassing the previous high of 34,800 set in 2020.

“The Pandemic has caused people to cook at home more and they’re looking for healthy recipes,” says Journal Founder and Editor John N. Frank. “Our recipe page was by far the most popular item on our site last year with more than 16,000 views, followed by our home page with 11,100 views”

The most popular individual post was once again “Salt-free teriyaki sauce — a taste test of three varieties.”

“People who have dropped salt are looking for flavor alternatives for their cooking. Salt-free teriyaki sauce is a must for anyone trying to do healthier Asian recipes,” Frank explains.

Frank launched the blog in 2013, not long after his first stent was inserted. HE has since survived a second stent as well. More than 234,000 visitors have come to his blog since its founding, with more than 4445,000 views.

A one-pan salmon dinner recipe

Here’s a recipe to combine salmon, tomatoes and zucchini into what looks like a tasty — and with some modification healthy — dinner. The recipe comes from FoodNetwork.com.

Here are the ingredients:

Ingredients

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (leave out the salt)

2 large plum tomatoes, halved crosswise

Nonstick cooking spray (use spray olive oil for a healthier fat)

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

One 12-ounce center-cut salmon fillet, skin removed (about 1 1/2 inches thick) 

And the directions (just leave out the salt wherever it’s mentioned here):

  • Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Toss the panko, Parmesan, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper together in a small bowl. Arrange the tomatoes in the center of the prepared baking sheet, cut-side up (trim a small slice from the bottom of each tomato if they will not stand upright) and spoon the panko mixture evenly over each. Spray the breadcrumbs lightly with cooking spray. Lay the zucchini halves cut-side up on one side of the tomatoes. Drizzle zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the vegetables begin to soften and the panko topping begins to brown, about 18 minutes.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the salmon fillet on the other side of the tomatoes. Drizzle the salmon with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the zucchini and tomatoes are completely tender and browned in spots, and the salmon is cooked through but moist, about 12 minutes more. Divide salmon and vegetables between two plates and serve.

The annual search for low-sodium Chirstmas meals — start here

Every year at this time I do a search for no-sodium Christmas meals” and I get disappointed. There are a few sites that talk about buying low-sodium turkey, which we’ve covered here too.

The Crab Pot seafood feast
We had this seafood feast at a restaurant in Seattle, but you can make your own at home for Christmas Eve.

And there are other sites that talk about healthy recipes, which usually mean lower-calorie alternatives to regular holiday fare.

But sites speaking specifically about low- and no-sodium Christmas meals? Our site is best for that, appearing on the first page of search results for our posts like 5 Sites With Low-sodium Christmas recipes and No Sugar, No Salt Recipes for the 12 Days of Christmas.

Holidays are difficult times to dump the salt, fat and sugar, but we’re here to help.

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