Low-salt ketchup: Westbrae vs. LocalFolks

As a point of comparison, traditional Heinz ketchup has 190 mgs of sodium per tablespoon, so if you use 6 tablespoons in a day you would be taking in your day’s sodium. That’s a good reason to switch to a low-salt alternative.

Ketchup (or do you say catsup) is one condiment that I initially found it extremely difficult to live without after being put on a low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet following my angioplasty in 2012. Regular varieties are high in salt and sugar.

But I’ve since found several alternatives and thought I’d post a product comparison here, much in the spirit of my low-salt teriyaki sauce review last September.

I've found two brands of low-sodium,low-sugar ketchup, Westbrae and LocalFolks Foods.
I’ve found two brands of low-sodium,low-sugar ketchup, Westbrae and LocalFolks Foods.

The first brand, Westbrae unsweetened, vegetarian ketchup, I found online and subsequently at Whole Foods and Sunset Foods in the northern suburbs of Chicago. A tablespoon of it has 70 mgs of sodium and less than 1 gram of sugar. Continue reading “Low-salt ketchup: Westbrae vs. LocalFolks”

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Processed meats: they’re yummy but stay away from them

Today’s topic is processed meats — you know, hot dogs, salami, sausages, cold cuts of all kinds. I loved them all and ate them all regularly until my 2012 angioplasty. Now they’re just a distant memory for me.

This is turning into healthcare week on the blog it seems. A lot of health-related items seem to be filling my e-mail box, hopefully they can help you, although my intent here is to write more about food than health because health science is a moving target that I don’t often completely trust.

Processed meats, like this sausage I had in London a few years ago, are ff my menu now.
Processed meats, like this sausage I had in London a few years ago, are ff my menu now.

Today’s topic is processed meats — you know, hot dogs, salami, sausages, cold cuts of all kinds. I loved them all and ate them all regularly until my 2012 angioplasty. Now they’re just a distant memory for me. That’s because they’re high in salt and other things that are thought to be less than healthy for us. Continue reading “Processed meats: they’re yummy but stay away from them”

FDA salt guidelines will shake up the food industry: a guest post

On average, Americans consume about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day – 33% more than the FDA’s recommended intake and 50% more than what the American Heart Association advises. Such unhealthy eating habits increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

This is a guest post that crossed my desk at my day job writing for a healthcare magazine. I asked for permission to use it on my personal blog, hoping it will help others wrestling with getting the salt out of their diets, as I am. It was supplied to me by Diane O’Donnell, senior public relations specialist at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y. A video also is available, simply click here to see it.

New FDA guidelines aimed at reducing the level of sodium that food companies and restaurants put in their fare can’t come soon enough for one New York nutrition expert.

Demon salt. keep it out of your diet.
Demon salt. keep it out of your diet.

“This is a long time coming,” said Nancy Copperman, a registered dietitian and corporate director of Public Health Initiatives for the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “Much of the sodium that we eat is hidden in foods, and we don’t realize how much we get from just the processed foods that we buy,” Continue reading “FDA salt guidelines will shake up the food industry: a guest post”

Heredity vs. environment for heart disease: which do you think causes it?

I’ve never gotten past thinking the real cause of my problems is simply heredity, given that my father and several aunts and uncles have died of heart attacks.

I started this blog after having an angioplasty in 2012 because current medical science thinks what we eat, our food environement, can impact such things as how or if cholesterol builds up in our arteries to cause the type of major blockages I experienced.

Doctors have put me on cholesterol lowering drugs, even though my cholesterol levels were never in a danger zone prior to my heart troubles, and they’ve advised me to cut the salt, fat and sugar from my diet.

A graphic view of angioplasty
A graphic view of angioplasty

While I’m doing all that hoping it will help, I’ve never gotten past thinking the real cause of my problems is simply heredity, given that my father and several aunts and uncles have died of heart attacks. My heredity argument got some serious reinforcement recently when I read of two studies linking a gene to the possibility of heart problems. Continue reading “Heredity vs. environment for heart disease: which do you think causes it?”

Stuffed Peppers That Will Richly Stuff Your Belly

I’ve stuffed peppers with quinoa but this adds some nice extras. I’d leave out the nuts though, I can’t eat them.

Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork

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Hello my dear Health Fighters,

it’s been a while since I’ve posted some sexy, delicious, colourful, and mainly, super healthy recipe that would brighten the mood of your mind and tummy. This time, I went for a purely vegetarian recipe which is colourful enough to paint smile on your face; difficult enough to taste more deservedly; healthy enough to make your tummy dance and sing “Hey, Hey Hippie” from joy; and charming enough to flirt with all of your senses.

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Fish fest: mix and match for a fun dinner selection

Try several types of fish for a dinner for family and or friends and let them sample some of each. You’ll be eating low-salt, low-fat, and hopefully enjoying it too.

Many fish are considered healthy these days but everyone has their own favorites and types they won’t eat. I recently wrote about how I’m enjoying walleye these days but my wife didn’t like the flavor.

So one recent Friday, I did a fish mix and match dinner, making walleye for me and tilapia for her.

My mix and match fish dinner cooking away, walleye in the white pan, tilapia in the black with peppers and onions in the third.
My mix and match fish dinner cooking away, walleye in the white pan, tilapia in the black with peppers and onions in the third.

The side dish of peppers and onions, cooked down on the stove until the onions go limp and get slightly sweet, and the peppers, cut into strips, become soft, goes wonderfully with any fish. Continue reading “Fish fest: mix and match for a fun dinner selection”

Walleye: a tasty fish alternative

I made some peppers and onions as a side dish to cut the somewhat fishy flavor of the walleye. It all went together quite well.

Walleye is not a fish I heard much about growing up next to the Atlantic Ocean in New York. But since I’ve lived in the Midwest, it’s a fish name that pops up frequently, especially in my college days in Wisconsin, since it’s a fresh water rather than a salt water specie.

I’d never had occasion to try it until recently, but loved it at a restaurant in the Wisconsin resort town of Lake Geneva. So when I saw it for sale at Costco recently I bought some for home.

My walleye with peppers and onions.
My walleye with peppers and onions.

I made it with a light breading of panko breadcrumbs after washing it in egg whites so the crumbs would stick. I then applied a Mr. Spice salt-free honey mustard sauce to add some flavor as it was finishing cooking. Continue reading “Walleye: a tasty fish alternative”