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

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.

My 2021 Pandemic Low-Salt Turkey Quest

I knew this would be a difficult year to find a low-sodium fresh turkey for Thanksgiving because of the
Pandemic and supply chain issues it had caused. But I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to find what I wanted.

Keep in mind a fresh turkey, one not injected with sodium solutions for self-basting should have about 70 mgs of sodium per serving. Turkeys with liquids injected can range as high as 300 mgs of sodium per serving. And, really who eats just one serving of turkey on Thanksgiving.

My medium-sodium pandemic turkey from Costco, $2.99 a pound.

I’d written you might have to buy a bigger bird than you wanted this year. But what I found was the opposite, larger turkeys, those over 14 pounds, were extremely difficult o find, regardless of salt content.

I started at a local Jewel, an Albertson chain in the Chicago area, where I found Butterball premium turkeys that were loaded with salt. I next tried Whole Foods, one had no turkeys whatsoever, the other had only frozen turkeys. A butcher there told me fresh turkeys would be in a few days later. But when I returned on that day, they had yet to appear.

I then swung by a local Mariano’s outlet (a Kroger chain in the Chicago area). Its website listed a low-sodium Jenny O turkey option but there were none in the store I went to.

Continue reading “My 2021 Pandemic Low-Salt Turkey Quest”

A lesson in reading food labels — canned garbanzo beans can be loaded with salt

Canned chickpeas can be loaded with salt, always check the label.

When you’re trying to get the salt out of your diet, you need to be constantly aware of the salt hidden in every food you buy. This was recently brought home to me when my wife asked me to pick up a can of garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas).

She planned to put them into a homemade soup that she wanted to be low-salt for me. Luckily, when I was searching for them, I came across a low-salt variety.

The low-salt chickpeas had only135 mgs of salt per serving. Regular brands had 340 mgs! Multiply that by the number of servings per can and you can see your salt intake rising before your eyes.

For more tips on cutting salt, read my post, Salt is everywhere, beware; become a smart shopper & diner, and check my Ingredients and Smart Shopper pages.

Pandemic food causalities — low- and no-salt products continue to disappear from store shelves

The Pandemic, and how supermarkets and other food sellers have reacted, has certainly made it more difficult to eat healthy. Last Thanksgiving, for example, I wasn’t able to find fresh, low-salt turkeys at Costco for the first time in years.

A recent buy from Healthy Heart Market.

Readers also keep writring me to tell me low-salt products I’ve written about in the past are no longer aavilable at Trader Joes, so I’ve created the hastag #ShameonTraderJoes.

Here’s a list of items I was able to buy pre-pandemic which are no longer available on store shelves in my area:

  • Trader’s Joe’s salt-free shrimp sauce.
  • Trader Joe’s salt-free marinara sauce
  • Mrs. Dash salt-free teriyaki sauce
  • Salt-free fresh turkeys at Costco
  • Low-fat frozen yogurt at Costco (chocolate was dropped pre-Pandemic, but vanilla is gone now too, replaced by ice cream)
  • Low-salt canned olives at several retailers (others still have them)
  • Trader Joes salt-free wheat bread (this disappeared before the pandemic, but its worth mentioning for #ShameonTraderJoes)

Stores are stocking the highest volumes products they sell now, and dropping others to simplify thier supply chain problems. And tjhose of us wanting to eat healthy are suffering as a result.

eI’ve turned to more stocking up when I do find items that can be stored. I’ve also done more shopping online at Amazon and Healthy Heart Market, despite the higher prices and shipping costs involved. I’m willing to pay those prices now, I want to survive this Pandemic and that means not letting the virus, or salt kill me.

Looking for a low-sodium Thanksgiving turkey during the Pandemic — shop early, buy big

Time to eat all those turkeys! Happy Thanksgiving!
Finder smaller, fresh turkeys under 16 pounds could be a challenge this year, shop early, and buy bigger.

Shortages, and talk of soon-to-happen shortages, have become a regular feature of the Covid Pandemic over the past two years. Already, stories are emerging about turkey shortages for Thanksgiving.

Doing some research, I found some of those stories overblown. The shortages are likely to be for fresh, smaller turkeys, those under 16 pounds. Of course, fresh turkeys also are low-sodium turkeys. They haven’t been injected with high-salt solutions like many frozen ones. I wrote about salt differences in turkeys back in 2014, read details by clicking here.

So, if like me, you’re planning to buy a fresh turkey, shop earlier than usual and freeze it until Thanksgiving. And think about buying a larger turkey than you otherwise might to get a better selection. I did that last year after a long quest for a fresh turkey, grabbing a 19-pound bird at a local Whole Foods for our small Thanksgiving gathering in the first year of the Pandemic.

You can easily freeze leftovers for a variety of future uses like your own homemade low-sodium soup or turkey fajitas which I made after last Thanksgiving.

Good hunting, and an early Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Walden Farms’ reformulated Ranch Dressing Tastes Good, But Note the Salt Content

Walden Farms recently announced a rebranding of its salad dressings to feature more natural ingredients.

Walden touts the dressings by saying they are “proudly free from artificial flavors and dyes, made with real vegetables, fruit fibers and ingredients. Offering a full line of specialty condiments and food enhancers with zero calories, zero net carbs, zero sugar and zero fat, Walden Farms uniquely provides consumers with unmatched attributes vs. other brands in the marketplace.”

While I applaud the no fat, no sugar message, I also would like to see some salt-free varieties offered. In e-mailing with a Walden representative, I requested a sample of the lowest salt dressing in the line, the Ranch dressing.

Continue reading “Walden Farms’ reformulated Ranch Dressing Tastes Good, But Note the Salt Content”

Pandemic food price gouging – demand advertised sale prices

The continuing increase in food prices throughout the pandemic has been well documented, in posts I’ve written and elsewhere. And I’ve given tips on how to cope, such as shopping dollar stores that stock produce and buying essential items in bulk.

Today, I ran into one of the most egregious examples of pandemic food price-gouging I’ve seen. My local Jewel, an Albertson’s chain in Illinois, had advertised filet mignon for $5.99 for a six-ounce steak.

Filet is normally the leanest cut of steak and so fits in my efforts to minimize my fat intake. Because it is an expensive cut, I’m always watching for deals and so jumped at the chance to buy some 6-ounce fillets for $5.99 each.

When I arrived at the meat counter of the Jewel in Wilmette, Il., a neighboring suburb, however, the signs posted said the filets were $6,99 each, not the advertised $5.99. Asking the meat counter attendant got me no answer, he had to follow what the sign said, he told me.

So I went to the store service counter. The person there had no answer for the disparity and so called the head of the meat department. She replied that store had decided to charge $6.99, not the advertised $5.99. But since I had complained, she would sell me some for $5.99

Continue reading “Pandemic food price gouging – demand advertised sale prices”

The No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal celebrates a milestone — 800 posts!

What you’re reading now is the 801st post in the history of the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal. When we started in late 2012, we never imagined we’d still be going all these years later.

Our initial goal was to help people who, because of heart disease or other ailments, had to radically change their diets to cut salt, fat and sugar. Those three things are in almost everything Americans routinely eat, so eliminating them is a herculean task.

But we have persisted and you have responded, making our No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Recipe Page the most popular thing on our site. Do a search for such recipes and we will be at the top of your search page just under the paid placements.

Happy 800 posts to us!!!!

When the Pandemic hit, we pivoted to posting recipes that would work for families stuck at home together. We also starting labeling posts with topics such as Pandemic Shopping, to let you know about which no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar items were disappearing from local stores shelves and how to find them in alternate outlets.

We’re on track for a record year for views, thank you, and keep coming back! And tell your friends.

Eating less salt, fat and sugar can benefit anyone, not just those with health conditions already. Hopefully eating healthier can help you not get some of the health conditions that originally prompted the launch of this blog.

Stay safe, stay masked, get vaccinated and stay no-salt, no-fat, no-sugar.

Product Review: Organicville No-salt-added dressing — thumbs up!

I’m always searching for new low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar products to add some taste to my otherwise bland diet. I recently found something new at Whole Foods, a store I don’t normally frequent because of its high prices and lack of many low-salt, low-fat products.

But Organicville No Added-salt Italian dressing was not only low-salt, but on sale for Amazon Prime members the day I was shopping. Normally $4.49 a bottle, I got it for $2.49 — still a high price for a relatively small bottle (keep in mind I buy my olive oil in large bottles at Costco).

An interesting new low-salt dressing option.

The dressing has only 5 mgs of salt per two tablespoons, so even if you drench your salad in it, like I tend to do, the salt content is relatively low. Its 4 grams of fat per two tablespoons also is low. And it tastes more interesting than plain oil and vinegar. The label talks about “zest” — I think that’s the pepper you taste.

One note of caution, though. The product is not shown on the Organicville site, so it may be discontinued. Perhaps that’s why it was on sale? I hope not. I’d like to think it’s new and so not yet listed on the site. But given how many low-salt products have been cut during the Pandemic, I’m a little worried. Buy this while you can, it may not be around much longer.

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