Ingredient alert: Mrs Dash salt-free marinades now at Food 4 Less

I was recently pleasantly surprised to see them on the shelf at a Food 4 Less store where I live in Evanston, just north of Chicago. Food 4 Less is a discount chain owned by supermarket giant Kroger.

I’ve written about my quest to find local food stores that sell Mrs. Dash salt-free marinades, the ingredient I now use probably more than any other in my no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar quest. My wife and I have been making special treks to Sunset Foods in the northern suburbs of Chicago to buy them.

Mrs. Dash salt-free marinades, two varieties, is now available at Food 4 Less. I grabbed them
Mrs. Dash salt-free marinades, two varieties, is now available at Food 4 Less. I grabbed them

But I was recently pleasantly surprised to see them on the shelf at a Food 4 Less store where I live in Evanston, just north of Chicago. Food 4 Less is a discount chain owned by supermarket giant Kroger. It carries many Kroger store brands including some of its new organic line. But it’s also set up like a warehouse store, which means smaller selections in each product category but lower prices for what it does stock. Continue reading “Ingredient alert: Mrs Dash salt-free marinades now at Food 4 Less”

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Sugar is demonized in latest dietary guidelines

All these new guidelines tell me is that we really know very, very little about how what we eat affects our health, and in my case, our heart health. I will continue to avoid foods high in salt, sugar and fat.

Friends who follow this blog likely were wondering how I would react to the latest dietary guidelines that came out last week. My basic reaction: are you kidding me????

Sugar came out as the big demon now, specifically added sugar, as if our body can tell the difference between added sugar and the sugar that is naturally in fruits and other things we eat. Sugar is sugar, I saw my mother’s diabetes worsen because she was eating too many mashed potatoes which essentially produce sugar in our systems after we eat them (the science is more involved, but I’m not a scientist). The main reason a nutritionist told me not to eat simple carbs was because of the sugar implications. So there’s a lot more to worry about than added sugar.

Congress wants to keep American School children addicted to salt. Shame, shame shame on them.
Americans eat too much salt, period. These new guidelines just give restaurants and others cover to say that’s ok. Shame on these guidelines for that.

Salt got a pardon from the food police in these new guidelines, which also stunned and angered me. I know from personal experience that wringing the salt out of my diet has helped my blood pressure and my weight, so I’m not going to go back to more salt in my diet as the new guidelines suggest, I think that’s absurd for anyone over 55 and especially anyone over 55 with heart troubles like I’ve had. Continue reading “Sugar is demonized in latest dietary guidelines”

Oscar party menu that is low in sugar, fat and salt

Oscar night is a big event in my movie-oriented world and household. So I’m starting to plan my Oscar party menu with a wide array of low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar specialties from my recipe page.

Oscar night is a big event in my movie-oriented world and household. So I’m starting to plan my Oscar party menu with a wide array of low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar specialties from my recipe page.

Preparing salmon with Mrs. Dash no-salt marinades.
Preparing salmon with Mrs. Dash no-salt marinades.

Appetizers will be low-fat puff pastry mini-shells filled with low-salt salsa. We’ll also have out cherry tomatoes, celery and home-made, salt free, fat-free potato chips. Continue reading “Oscar party menu that is low in sugar, fat and salt”

Healthy movie snacks? Bring your own, here are some options

Popcorn, candy and other movie staples are out for me now. I splurge with a diet Coke when we go now, but have taken to bringing my own snacks instead.

If you’re a regular movie goer like I am, chances are you have bought snacks at the theater to munch while you watch. My wife and I were big popcorn eaters before my angioplasty. I joke now that popcorn oil is likely what clogged one of my arteries 80% closed.

So obviously, popcorn, candy and other movie staples are out for me now. I splurge with a diet Coke when we go now, but have taken to bringing my own snacks instead. Most movies forbid bringing in outside food, I should warn you.

My take-along healthier movie snacks include sugar-free pudding, high fiber cereal and lite while wheat English muffins.
My take-along healthier movie snacks include sugar-free pudding, high fiber cereal and lite while wheat English muffins. Also pictured, low-fat cookies from Whole Foods.

I haven’t been caught yet but if and when I am, I plan to say there are no healthy choices for me at their food counter just to get an on-the-record reaction. Continue reading “Healthy movie snacks? Bring your own, here are some options”

Sugar-free syrups are not all the same, check the salt

Pure maple syrup, by the way, has only 5 mgs of sodium per quarter cup but it has 50 grams of sugar, so anyone who needs to be on a low-sugar diet should avoid that like the plague, sorry.

Regular pancakes and waffles are out for me since my angioplasty because the nutrition nazi I saw told me nothing with white flour. Salt content also is high in such offerings. But I can have the occasional whole wheat offering, especially if I buy low-fat, low-salt pre-made ones like Van’s whole wheat lite variety.

Check sodium content for any sugar-free syrup you use.
Check sodium content for any sugar-free syrup you use.
Maple Maid syrup has 150 mgs of sodium per quarter cup, more than some, less than others.
Maple Maid syrup has 150 mgs of sodium per quarter cup, more than some, less than others.

Butter is out too, but I can go with sugar-free syrup for some flavor. If you go the sugar-free route too, do read the labels. Salt content can vary tremendously in such offerings. I have found Cary’s sugar-free the best choice at home. It has 115 mgs of sodium per quarter cup, which is two ounces. A Jewel store brand lite version, in comparison, has 180 mgs of salt. Continue reading “Sugar-free syrups are not all the same, check the salt”

Clarke’s in Evanston offers a great egg white, veggie omelet

The Belmont location is pretty run down, likely from high use. The Evanston place was redecorated in the recent past, even to the point of having TVs in the booths in the back room, so I prefer eating there.

Clarke’s is a long-time Evanston stand-by right next to the Northwestern main campus. I went there for many years and enjoyed burgers and other diner food, but since my angioplasty I’ve taken a new look at its menu searching for something that’s relatively low-fat, low-salt and low-sugar.

Clarke's Big and Tasty veggie, egg white omelet. I don't know how many egg whites this took, but it actually fills me up, a good trick these days.,
Clarke’s Big and Tasty veggie, egg white omelet. I don’t know how many egg whites this took, but it actually fills me up, a good trick these days.,

I’ve enjoyed a giant fresh fruit bowl there as well as the only whole wheat waffle I know of being served on the North Shore these days. True the waffle likely has more salt than I’m supposed to eat, but I miss waffles tremendously, so I splurge on it now and again.

More recently, thought, I’ve tried an egg white, veggie omelet called the big and healthy and fallen hard for it. It contains carrots and broccoli, no cheese which would muck it up, salt and fat-wise. Also no cauliflower, which I dislike but which seems to pop up in omelets at restaurants for some unknown reason. The thing also is massive, served with a side of fresh fruit, it actually fills me up, something most dishes don’t do these days. Continue reading “Clarke’s in Evanston offers a great egg white, veggie omelet”

More places to find no salt, no fat, no sugar recipes

We can’t attest about whether the recipes on these other sites taste good or not. We’ve tried everything on our recipe page and endorse it. A lot of other sites have recipes I would never eat. But your tastes are likely to be different, so search around, and let what you find that you enjoy.

We’ve just expanded our no salt, sugar, no fat recipe page to make it easier for you to plan your meals and to cook for occasions but many other sites also can supply you with recipe ideas.

To make those other sites easy to find, we’ve done searches for you and listed the results on our new recipe sites page. We’ve listed sites by the search terms used to find them, so you can easily scan for what you need, be it low fat, low sugar sites or low fat, low salt sites or any combination of the evil three of fat, salt and sugar.

Interested in a spicy veggie stir-fry recipe? Click on the link for the Family Circle recipe page to see details.
Interested in a spicy veggie stir-fry recipe? Click on the link for the Family Circle recipe page to see details.

One caveat, we can’t attest about whether the recipes on these other sites taste good or not. We’ve tried everything on our recipe page and endorse it. A lot of other sites have recipes I would never eat. But your tastes are likely to be different, so search around, and let what you find that you enjoy.

Bon appetit!
John