Another look at what to eat at restaurants

Almost all restaurant food is awash in salt, far and sugar, so eating out is a challenge for anyone concerned about their heart-health. I’ve created a page of options for eating out that I’ve found, but I’m always on the lookout for other advice. Cooking Light magazine recently ran this piece, These are the Healthiest Meal Choices at 35 Popular Chain Restaurants.

This is what a Costco food court Caesar salad looks like when you unwrap it, a giant cup of fat-filled Caesar dressing and a mound of high-salt, high-fat grated cheese
Stick to salad when eating on the run, and take out the high-fat dressing and cheese. Always carry your own oil and vinegar packets to use instead.

Keep in mind, healthiest doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, it just means least bad.Still, if you find yourself stuck at a Boston Market or an Au Bon Pain, for example, this list may help you.

I was intrigued that the McDonald’s choices didn’t include a salad without the dressings, which are loaded with salt. I always carry my own oil and vinegar so I’m not tied to any dressing served by a restaurant.

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Saturated fat is the bad stuff, here’s where it hides

“Fat, fat the water rat,” is an expression I remember vividly from my childhood as one mean kids would yell at other children they thought were too heavy (including me).

Oddly enough, I can’t find its origins via an Internet search, but I thought of it while reading this piece on where saturated fat hides.

I love donuts, but they don;t love me, they carry saturated fats.

When I started this blog back in 2012, nutritionists were saying avoid fat (hence the blog name includes No Fat). That thinking has evolved a bit, now it’s just saturated fats that need to be avoided. Those are fats that are solid at room temperature, a nutritionist recently told me, like butter (although margarine is bad too, sorry).

Saturated fats are in lots of foods Americans eat as well, and many people miss that fact. This piece from WebMD is a handy way to understand that there are hidden saturated fats in foods like dark meat chicken (not all chicken is good unfortunately), milk, pizza (sorry again), and donuts. Continue reading “Saturated fat is the bad stuff, here’s where it hides”

Big Game low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar menu options

Holidays and special events like the upcoming Super Bowl LII (or the big game as most marketers’ now call it because they can’t use the term Super Bowl) often are the most difficult times to stay on your preferred eating plan, be it low-salt, low-fat and/or low-sugar. I’ve written a lot about this over the years here, trying to create alternatives you can enjoy.

My low-fat, low-salt manicotti, One of these has 128 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 70 mgs of sodium. I eat five at a time

My first post about Super Bowl eating dates back to 2013,  shortly  after I started the blog, and it looked at items I bought, like no-salt potato chips and low-fat cookies.

But in subsequent years, I started making my own treats, like my home-made, no-salt, no-fat potato chips.

I also suggested a great entrée like swordfish steaks. That will dazzle and surprise your guests for sure.

As always though, my go-to Super Bowl entrée is whole wheat stuffed manicotti, using fat-free ricotta and fat-free mozzarella. I was just speaking with a group fo heart patients about eating when one mentioned to me how the thinking about fat being evil is being turned upside down these days.  Continue reading “Big Game low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar menu options”

Top 10 Most-Viewed No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar posts for 2017

Continuing our look at the great year we had in 2017  at NoSaltNoFatNoSugar.com (65.965 views from nearly 35,000 visitors), this post looks at the most viewed elements on our site last year. I’ve already written about the Top 10 Most Viewed Recipes.

Trader Joe's organic low-salt marinara sauce was a bit peppery for my taste but will do in a pinch.
Trader Joe’s organic low-salt marinara sauce was a bit peppery for my taste but will do in a pinch.

This goes beyond that to look at the site as a whole, so our Top 10 non-recipe items for 2017 were:

  1. No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipes. Our recipe page is the big winner for the second year in a row. We’ve made it easier to search by type of recipe which I’m sure helped. Interestingly, an often used search term that brings visitors to that page is ‘no salt, no sugar’ recipes. People don;t seem as concerned about far as they used to be.
  2. Salt-free teriyaki sauce — a taste test of three varieties. Visitors are interested in any low-salt sauce or condiment, as you can see as you continue to read this list. Almost any sauce we traditionally use has too much salt in it.
  3. Finding a low-salt salsa — Hola, they are out there. The search for low-salt sauces extends to salsa.
  4. What Can You Eat on a No Salt, No Sugar, No Fat Diet? An early post to this site, I’ve updated this several times to let people know there is hope even without salt, fat and sugar.
  5. Costco Food Court Salads: you can make them healthier. A good post to read how you can strip the garbage off a salad to make it healthy again. I have one of these every Thursday.
  6. Salt free marinades — they do exist, search online. I’ve since found them in local stores too, but it takes some searching.
  7. How to find a low-sodium Thanksgiving turkey. Any self-basting turkey is loaded with unneeded salt. Who needs it!
  8. Low-salt, low sugar barbecue sauce: a great find. Thank you Localfolks.
  9. Trader Joe’s salt-free marinara sauce: worth a try. I usually make my own but this is great in a  pinch too.
  10. Panko breadcrumbs at Costco: a great deal. Unfortunately Costco doesn’t carry these any longer, but always buy panko instead of regular breadcrumbs to cut salt. Check labels though, some ‘flavored’ panko varieties still have tons of salt in them.

Top 10 No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar recipes for 2017

It’s top 10 year-in-review list time again and we’ll join the trend by writing about our Top 10 Most Viewed No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipes for 2017. Our No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipe Page, featuring scores of recipes we’ve found and/or tried ourselves, was far and away the most viewed thing on our site in 2017, drawing 14,101 views.

Baked mostaccioli, gotta love it, and it’s low salt and low fat.

But I wanted to drill down a little deeper to see which recipes on the page visitors were clicking on most. The results :

  1. Clean Eating Crock Pot Chicken: tried it, loved it.  Unfortunately the source blog for this disappeared, so you’ll have to wing it from the pictures I posted.
  2. Low-sodium Thanksgiving stuffing: here’s how to make it. The secret’s in the bread you start with; you can find sodium-free bread!
  3. Simple can be delicious, try this no-salt chicken recipe.  It’s called Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Baby Potatoes.
  4. 5 low-sodium meals to consider. This links to five recipes on Cafemom.com and thankfully those are still there for you to try.
  5. A Chinese food recipe that actually works as low-sodium? This is a broccoli beef stir-fry recipe form the American Heart Association.
  6. How to make a low-fat, low-salt turkey meatloaf. I love this recipe and make it at least once a month.
  7. Chicken parmigiana for everyone: here’s a low-salt recipe. The secret, again is in the bread, or breadcrumbs in this case. Go with panko, they are generally much lower in salt than other breadcrumbs.
  8. Ahi tuna on the grill, with a lime twist. How can you not love Ahi tuna?
  9. Low-fat mashed potatoes — here’s how. This time, the secret is in the milk and fat used.
  10. Low-salt, low-fat baked mostaccioli. A holiday favorite for me, it’s a splurge but still a lot lower in fat and salt if you use this recipe.

Happy New Year, and check our recipe page for lots more you can cook up in 2018!!!

 

Christmas Eve — Time for the Feast of the Seven Fishes

Christmas Eve is a traditional night for Italians to make the Feast of the Seven Fishes. I’ve written about it before, but the idea seems to be catching on.

Iron Chef Showdown recently had a battle of the feast of the seven fishes and Bon Appetit magazine ran this piece, A Feast of the Seven Fishes Menu That Won’t Take a Week to Cook.

The first question most people ask is ‘what are the seven fishes?’ That’s up to you, and traditionally was up to whatever was available in the local village. So the Bon Appetit take on it is as valid as any other. As a kid, I remember talk of eel and squid and octopus and the horrible-looking salted cod Italians call baccala. Continue reading “Christmas Eve — Time for the Feast of the Seven Fishes”

Cookbook reviews have arrived on the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal

Expect to see more cookbook reviews here in coming weeks and months. We’re planning to add a cookbook section to our recipe page to further help you find low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar recipes.

Regulars to our blog may read a recent cookbook review we featured for a book called The Organic Heart. Expect to see more cookbook reviews here in coming weeks and months. We’re planning to add a cookbook section to our recipe page to further help you find low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar recipes.

We'll soon be reviewing this cookbook from the American Diabetes Association.
We’ll soon be reviewing this cookbook from the American Diabetes Association.

Already on the way for us to review is THE SUPER CARB DIET: Shed Pounds, Build Strength, Eat Real Food by Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper and The Complete Month of Meals Collection from the American Diabetic Association.

We also already have a copy of The Dirty Vegan Cookbook which I’ve asked noted vegetarian food blogger Jenny Frank [ok, she’s my daughter too] to review for us. Check out Jenny’s food blog, Maplehood Kitchen, for vegetarian and vegan recipes.  Continue reading “Cookbook reviews have arrived on the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal”