Oreo maker plans healthy snacks? Really? Here’s the rub

Mondelez International, maker of Oreos, caught my attention last week when it said it wanted to make more healthy snacks.

“Management stated that it plans to offer more good-for-you snacks and expects 50% of its product portfolio to comprise “well-being” items by 2020 instead of one-third at present.

Mondelez has to compete with fruit for the healthy snack trade, can it?
Mondelez has to compete with fruit for the healthy snack trade, can it?

“Apart from simplifying the ingredients and improving nutritional benefits of the existing products, the snacking giant will also develop products to cater to the growing consumer demand for healthier and natural items,” reported investment site Zacks.

Welcome to the dilemma facing major food processors today. I love Oreos, absolutely love them so know that I am not a Oreo basher by any means.

But I no longer eat them since having an angioplasty in 2012 because of my concerns about clogging my arteries and/or driving my blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Continue reading “Oreo maker plans healthy snacks? Really? Here’s the rub”

New York says hold the salt — it’s about time

New York City is taking steps to let consumers know how much salt is in the restaurant foods they buy. The city’s Board of Health voted unanimously Wednesday (Sept. 9) to require chain restaurants to post salt shaker symbols on menus next to offerings that have more than the daily recommended 2,300 mgs, about a teaspoon, of salt in them.

Subway's spicy Italian, avoid it like a salt plague!
Sandwiches like this are loaded with salt, now chains in New York City will need ot tell that to custoemrs.

“This really represents, to me, the next step in allowing usable information for our community to make better health decisions,” said board member Dr. Deepthiman K. Gowda. “My hope is that this impacts not only consumer practices but also impacts the practices of our restaurants.”The quote appeared in an Associated Press report on the vote.

The move will impact restaurants serving about a third of restaurant meals in the city, AP reported. I wish it was extended to all the food establishments in the city, including movie theaters selling obscenely salted popcorn; maybe someday.

New York moved early on getting calorie counts posted on menus too. I’ve seen mixed reports on whether that’s getting people to eat less.

Let’s hope this new regulation gets people to finally start thinking about the salt they consume. Heart disease is the number one killer in America and salt plays a role, even if the industry’s trade group, the Salt Institute, is saying such thinking is outdated.

I’ve seen the impact on my own blood pressure of cutting the salt I eat and so I offer a long list of ways here to cook without salt and to find the lowest salt restaurant meals you can buy when dining out.

Good luck trying to slay your personal salt beasts.

John

Lemon chicken — here’s a low-salt marinade you can use

Chicken with a lemon dressing of some sort is a classic Greek restaurant dish that you can also make at home.Greek marinade1.jpg

I prefer to buy pre-made marinades when possible just to save my self some time in the kitchen. But most anything pe-made is loaded with salt. But if you scan the shelves at Whole Foods, or elsewhere, you may find this product which I purchased recently, Strompolos extra virgin lemonaki marinade.

The label tries to appeal to everyone, listing that the product is gluten-free, vegan, low sodium, has no sugar, no high fructose corn syrup…the list goes on and on. It’s a reminder  of how fearful everyone is about eating these days, so sad. Continue reading “Lemon chicken — here’s a low-salt marinade you can use”

Red lentil pasta — another gluten-free choice?

Fears about gluten, fears which are misplaced for most people by the way, are fueling a boom in non-wheat-based pastas. I’ve written about an edamame pasta I bought at Costco after sampling it there and finding it quite tasty.

Costco now also has red lentil pasta. I took the accompanying pictures of it on a recent shopping trip. I go to Costco weekly and am always on the lookout for low-salt, low-fat new products.

Red lentil pasta at Costco, trumpeting that it has only one ingredient.
Red lentil pasta at Costco, trumpeting that it has only one ingredient.

The package trumpets that the pasta includes only one ingredient, red lentil flour, a nod to the search for simple labels and simple ingredients these days.  Continue reading “Red lentil pasta — another gluten-free choice?”

A low-sodium seafood cocktail sauce, wow, thank you Trader Joe’s

Shrimp is one great food I can still eat. The days of telling people with heart problems to avoid shell fish seem to be past, at least among the nutritionists I’ve seen.

But normally shrimp gets dipped in cocktail sauce to add some flavor. Cocktail sauce is, you guessed it, high in sodium, however.

Trader Joe's sells a seafood cocktail sauce that's low in sodium.
Trader Joe’s sells a seafood cocktail sauce that’s low in sodium.

A tablespoon of traditional Trader Joe’s Shrimp Cocktail Sauce has 155 mgs of sodium, for example. Others I’ve seen are much higher, too high for me to eat them. Continue reading “A low-sodium seafood cocktail sauce, wow, thank you Trader Joe’s”

A great option for eating at a friend’s house — cook your own

Eating at someone else’s home when you’re on a  low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar diet can be a bit excruciating. I’ve written about how I went hungry one July 4th at a cookout with traditional holiday fare, all of it high-fat, high-sodium. I actually dread being invited to friends now and prefer having them over to our house where I can control the menu.

Our host allowed me to cook alongside him, so the back tray has salmon marinated with Mrs Dash salt-free marinades, the front with his home-made, high-salt marinade.
Our host allowed me to cook alongside him, so the back tray has salmon marinated with Mrs Dash salt-free marinades, the front with his home-made, high-salt marinade.

But an acquaintance recently gave me a great alternative. After first asking me what I could eat, she invited me to simply cook my own at her house, working in the kitchen alongside her husband who was doing the cooking for everyone else there.  Continue reading “A great option for eating at a friend’s house — cook your own”

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