Craving sugar (I am)? Try these fruits

Of salt, fat and sugar, sugar is the hardest for me to get out of my diet. I live for candy, cake, etc, all of which are bad for me trying to stay on a heart-healthy diet. So what can I do? How about trying some fruit?

This piece from lists eight fruits that can help satisfy your sugar craving.

Try getting your sugar from fruit instead of candy and cake.

Usually these “healthy” lists include lots of things I don’t eat but this list has six fruits, out of eight, that I actually like.

Fresh figs are a favorite for me but I have to limit my intake to avoid stomach issues from them. Dried figs are available year-round, but the sugar is concentrated, so beware if you’re on a sugar-restricted diet. A doctor told me the same thing about avoiding grapes when I received nutrition advice for my diabetic mother.

I don’t think of apples as sugary but they made the list too as did pears.

Good luck trying these, always check with your do

Add olive oil to foods facing a troubled year with higher prices

Eggs became a previous commodity earlier this year as did turkey thanks to bird flu sweeping through American flocks. Now a drought in Spain promised higher olive oil prices.

Olive oil we brought back from Italy in 2017.

“The recent October to February olive harvest produced a yield 50% less than the usual output, tightening global supply and pushing prices upward,” reports CNBC.

“The exceedingly poor weather conditions meant that … Spain produced an olive oil crop of around 630,000 metric tonnes, down from the usual 1.4 to 1.5 million metric tonnes harvest,” Mintec’s oilseeds and vegetable oils analyst Kyle Holland told CNBC recently.

“It appears the ongoing drought in Europe, most importantly in the largest olive oil-producing region of Spain, has caused a global supply shortage of olive oil,” David Valmorbida, president of the Australian Olive Oil Association, told CNBC.

Olive oil is touted by nutritionists as having “healthy” fat that we can eat. Olive oil and vinegar are my regular salad dressing, being much healthier than any high-fat, high-salt prepared dressings.

So if you see olive oil on sale, grab it. And buy in bulk to get better per-ounce pricing

Always, always check your store receipts

Here’s a great way to help keep your food costs in check in these days of higher prices — always check your receipt before leaving a food store to be sure you haven’t been overcharged for something.

Prices are all in a computer somewhere these days, how can you be overcharged, you might ask? It’s the old story of garbage in, garbage out when it comes to computers. Stores may not input proper sale prices, or the right brands, or a myriad of other mistakes.

Jewel, an Albertson’s chain I shop at in the Chicago area, is infamous, in my mind, for not giving the right prices on sale items. Just this week it charged me an extra $3 on a three-pound bag of potatoes that was supposed to be on sale for 99 cents.

Continue reading “Always, always check your store receipts”

When Mrs. Dash can’t help, make your own spice mixtures

I’ma. Bog fan of Mrs. Dash salt-free spice mixtures and its spice packets or such offerings as taco and fajita seasonings.

But lately, the Healthy Heart Market where I order such items has not had the Mrs. Dash fajita mix in stock, so I started looking for a recipe of my own.

I found that, like everything else I suppose, there are lots of options for such recipes online.

Some of the results of my search. You can find many more.

I did a search for “mixing your own fajita seasoning salt-free” and the results poured in.

You can easily do the same, then pick one that appeals to you.

No Salt, No Fat No Sugar Journal breaks annual views record — and there’s still one month to go in 2022!

This blog, the No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar Journal, has attracted more than 80,970 views as of November 29, surpassing the 80,127 views it had in all of 2021. With December still to come, the blog will likely top 85,000 views for the year, predicted site creator John N. Frank.

“we’ve attracted more than 52,000 visitors this year, another record,” says Frank. “This blog started out of the necessity of learning how to eat after heart surgery but it has turned into much more than that.”

Frank, a retired business journalist, started the blog in late 2013 and had only 4,389 views that first year.

Pause to give thanks, remember those less fortunate

I read a very sad Thanksgiving story recently, namely that one in four people are planning to skip Thanksgiving because of rising food costs. At this time of year it’s easy to forget those less fortunate than we are.

This report from changed that for me. Findings included:

  • 45% of all respondents this year felt Thanksgiving was causing them financial stress.
  • 54% of Gen Z and 51% of Millennials feel the strain more so than their older counterparts

Asked how they plan to save money this Thanksgiving, respondents said:

  • 37% Cook more from scratch
  • 36% Have fewer side dishes
  • 35% Have fewer dessert options
  • 27% Cut out alcoholic beverages

I’ve posted about how to save money food shopping during these inflationary times. Think about donating some of your savings to a reputable organization that will help people who need help.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

2022 low-salt turkey update for Thanksgiving

Low-salt turkeys seem a bit more widely available in 2022 than they were in 2021. That means you might actually spend less per pound on a turkey this year than last, like I did, despite inflated food prices.

Whole Foods has low-salt turkeys, the same farm that I bought from last year, for $3.99 a pound. A little steep I thought, especially considering that mainline supermarkets often offer high-salt turkeys for 69 cents a pound as a loss leader to get you to buy other things.

So I checked a local Jewel supermarket and found a low-salt turkey for $2.19 a pound. At just over 15 pounds, that meant a considerable savings compared to what I would have spent at Whole Foods.

I look for turkeys with only 60-70 mgs of salt per four-ounce serving (I normally eat a lot more than four ounces). Turkeys at Jewel and elsewhere can have more than 200 mgs of salt per serving because they’re injected with a salt solution that self-bastes the turkey, making it unhealthy in the process.

Continue reading “2022 low-salt turkey update for Thanksgiving”

Trader Joe’s is dead to me; its low-salt products are gone

Trader Joe's high fiber cereal is my go-to breakfast choice every day, high in fiber, low in sugar and sodium.
Trader Joe’s high fiber cereal is gone, a very, very sad loss for people trying to eat healthy.

I’ve been eating Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal for breakfast for longer than I can remember, definitely longer than the 10 years since my first stent was put in. It was lower in sugar and salt than competitors and tastier too.

But I say was because it’s disappeared from Trader Joe shelves for the second time this year and I fear this time its gone for good. I visited three Trader Joe’s in Cook and Lake Counties, Illinois, recently and the cereal is nowhere to be found.

I also discovered that Trader Joe’s has dropped it’s no-salt-added salsa.

The two losses join a string of Trader Joe product disappearances. Here’s what I once bought regularly at Trader Joe’s:

Salt-free whole wheat bread

No-salt-added marinara sauce

No-salt added shrimp sauce

High fiber cereal

No-salt-added salsa

Trader Joe’s has decided to make it easier for Americans to continue eating more salt than is healthy for them.

I have no reason to shop there any longer so #traderjoesisdeadtome.

It’s very sad to see a food store abrogating its responsibility to offer at least some healthy offerings.

Our grocery shopping habits are a’changing

A recent Chicago Tribune story about the planned Albertson’s takeover by rival Kroger included a chart (see below) that was a dramatic reminder of how our grocery shopping habits have changed over the years.

The chart shows that while traditional supermarket Jewel still maintains the top spot in the Chicago area in terms of number of households that shop there, discounter ALDI has the second largest share of the area’s grocery shopping market, followed by Walmart and then Mariano’s, a Kroger brand.

A few decades ago, the Chicago market belonged to Jewel and traditional rival Dominick’s, two supermarket chains that were Chicago born but eventually were bought by national chains (Dominick’s no longer exists, local say Safeway drove it into the ground before shutting it down).

You can see why traditional chains like Kroger want to get bigger. They mistakenly think being bigger will protect them from all the rivals — Walmart, Target, Costco and let’s not forget Amazon which didn’t make this chart — trying to grab more marketshare. Sadly, getting bigger hasn’t worked in traditional retailing, so why would it work in food retailing?

The Pandemic drove many people to try online grocery shopping. Some are abandoning that. Indeed a new survey shows online grocery sales were down 3%, year-over-year, in October. The survey is from

But that’s still $7.8 billion nationally being spent online. Expect that to increase as all the stores on the Chicago list try to hold onto or gain marketshare as well.

Aldi, Walmart promise Thanksgiving food price breaks

Aldi and Walmart have captured media attention recently by saying they’re rolling back prices on their Thanksgiving offerings to 2019 or 2020 price levels. The moves come in response to what seems like a public obsession with inflation these days. (That obsession is overblown in my opinion, you can adapt by how and where you shop to still find food deals as I’ve written about here).

Checking their sites for more details, I found that Walmart is very specific in terms of what prices will be held down.

“We’re removing inflation on an entire basket containing traditional Thanksgiving items. We made significant investments on top of our everyday low prices so customers can get a traditional Thanksgiving meal at last year’s price at Walmart*,” according to a press release on the Walmart site.

Having covered Walmart as a food business journalist, I can tell you its senior execs are very serious about always offering the lowest prices. Their buyers get continually pushed to find lower prices. So this move doesn’t surprise me, it fits with the DNA of the brand.

Aldi is less specific about what prices are being rolled back. When you click on its Thanksgiving Price Rewind graphic (on the Aldi website), it simply takes you to an online shopping page. Aldi is claiming to roll back prices to 2019 levels, significant since we did express price increases in 2020 and 2021.

I’m going to be checking both locations to see if either is offering low-sodium turkeys, fat-free gravy, or healthier butter substitutes for prices lower than the local supermarket chains. I’ll let you know what I find.

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