A Tasty Holiday Special at Healthyheartmarket.com

Healthyheartmarket.com is a good online source for all things low- and no-salt. The one caveat is that shipping is usually expensive, especially for heavy liquid items. So I always look locally first for items I see here before buying online.

Recently though, I saw a special for an item I haven’t seen locally. The Market has an offer for $20 off cases of Francesco Rinaldi No Salt Added Pasta Sauce. That means 12 jars for $39.88

Baked mostaccoli, or do you call them ziti?
Baked mostaccoli, or do you call them ziti?

I make my own pasta sauce (and in my Italian-American family, we called it gravy). I use low-salt, imported Italian tomatoes. If you’re not accustomed to making your own, this Rinaldi brand could be a good alternative.

Trader Joe’s also sells its own brand of low-salt marinara sauce, another alternative if you have a TJs nearby. Hunt’s also has a pre-made low-salt sauce, although many main-stream supermarkets do not carry it or only carry small cans of it.

Opt for a whole wheat pasta, add gravy and you have a great crowd-pleasing meal for the holidays.

Thanksgiving is a time to think about turkey (burgers)

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house, there’s likely a giant turkey somewhere nearby just awaiting its moment. But if you’re planning to eat out, or going to someone’s else’s home as I am this year (my son is cooking!!!), you might have an urge for turkey when you get home.

My Applegate turkey burgers with low-fat cheese on a whole-wheat bagel.

So Thanksgiving time could be the ideal time to try turkey burgers, which can be low in fat and salt and satisfy your craving without all the mess of making an entire turkey.

Turkey burgers generally are a good substitute for hamburgers as well since they are generally lower in salt and fat. One caveat, read the package label, some turkey burgers include dark meat and even skin which sends their fat content souring. Many add salt too, especially when they’re flavored somehow.

Applegate Natural & Organic Meats recently sent me some of its turkey burgers to sample. I like them. They pass the fat content (8 grams per burger) and salt content (105 mgs a burger) for a low-salt, low-fat diet. I broiled mine in the oven and was surprised to see them browning. Other turkey burgers I’ve tried usually remain a dull white color.

I think I left them in a bit long, so carefully monitor when you’re cooking them. I had two in a whole wheat bagel (the only whole wheat product in my local supermarket bakery the day I went). I added a slice of low-fat mozzarella cheese and used Localfolks low-salt, low-sugar ketchup to top them off. I also added a side of steamed asparagus.

Applegate turkey burgers are relatively low in fat and salt and have a very clean label in terms of ingredients.

It was a simple meal but delicious, sometimes simple is best, especially after elaborate Thanksgiving feasts. Thanks Applegate, I’d buy these burgers and serve them to company, especially when I do summer grilling.

Remember safe food-handling tips for July 4th

Lots of people will be touching lots of food this July 4th. So it;s a good time to review how to keep all the food you make and serve that day safe for people to eat, notes the Partnership for Food Safety Education. It’s created this flyer on using thermometers for grilling. It also has some general food handling tips, such as:

  • Not just the grill master, but everyone at the gathering should wash their hands with soap and water before and after handling food.
  • Always use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of grilled meat and poultry. Print the temperature chart (below) for your refrigerator.
  • Keep your cooler filled with ice, so picnic perishable foods stay chilled to 40 °F.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood. Be sure to have plenty of clean utensils and platters on hand.

Happy grilling and a happy 4th to all our readers!!!

Worried about your blood sugar? Here are some helpful tips to help control it

While this blog is called No Salt, No Fat, No Sugar, most of my efforts go to controlling my salt intake because I’ve seen how salt directly impacts my blood pressure. But I recently came across this piece that is directed at those worried about their blood sugar levels and thought it worth sharing.

Cutting sugar, as found in treats like this, is extremely tough work, confirms a new study.

6 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar With Breakfast has some tips that sounded obvious, like eating complex carbs. One tip that surprised me, though was to not exercise before breakfast. I routinely do that because I want to get the exercising done before I start my day. I’m also routinely hungrier after exercising. Continue reading “Worried about your blood sugar? Here are some helpful tips to help control it”

Mushrooms get a memory boost from recent study

Mushrooms are a great add-in for salads and can make a great side dish for any meal. I use slices of large portobello mushrooms in my salads as a meat substitute because they give me something more substantial than lettuce to bite into. A recent study now is saying mushrooms also may aid with mental health as we age.

Trout, with mushrooms as a garnish.

I’m not one to believe in so-called superfoods because we really still know so little about how eating impacts our health or how that impact varies from person to person. Someday doctors may be able to custom tailor healthy diets for us based on our genetic makeup, but that day is far, far away.

Still, it’s always nice to see something positive written about foods that I like and that are healthier than most. Continue reading “Mushrooms get a memory boost from recent study”

Salt is salt, isn’t it? I say yes

Salt is my food arch-enemy, driving up my blood pressure and likely contributing to my need for two stents in the past seven years. That’s why I have an entire page devoted to low-salt recipes and another that looks at how to minimize salt when eating out. But some people like to distinguish between types of sale, saying the most highly processed kind we normally consume is worse that other, more raw products that have other minerals in them.

Himalayan pink salt, yes there really is such a thing, fits in that category of the supposed better-for-you salts. Or does it? This article recently caught my eye on the website care4you.com.

Is pink salt better for you than regular salt? Don;t count on it.

“Many ads for Himalayan pink salt claim that it contains 84 minerals. This appears to be true, based on spectral analysis of the salt. But, most of these 84 minerals are found in very trace amounts. Also, not all 84 are beneficial minerals. Himalayan pink salt also contains trace amounts of toxic and radioactive substances, such as arsenic, mercury, uranium and plutonium,” the article states. Continue reading “Salt is salt, isn’t it? I say yes”

A crack is appearing in eggs’ healthy image

Food science is inexact at best. I’m constantly reminded that as different nutritionists or diet proponents say they know what’s healthy and it may not be what the other person is pushing. The humble egg is a great example of that. Once it was considered bad, then good, but now bad again, according to a new study.

Time to switch to egg white omelets, according to a new study saying eggs aren’t all they were once cracked up to be.

For years, doctors and nutritionists told people worried about their cholesterol levels not to eat eggs, or at least not egg yolks which contain relatively high levels of cholesterol. But then eggs started making a healthy comeback, spurred I’m sure by studies paid for by the egg industry.

The last few nutritionists I’ve heard from actually touted eggs for their protein content and their ability to make you feel fuller after eating them. Continue reading “A crack is appearing in eggs’ healthy image”

What the dates on food actually mean

If you’ve ever felt confused about the dates on food products, you’re not alone. Roughly 84% of consumers toss a product if the date on the package, whether called “Use by” or “Sell by” or “best if used by” is reached or passes, found a study of 1,029 consumers done back in 2016, reports the journal Waste Management.

The problem is those terms are not regulated, so food processors are free to sue whatever language they want. And they say the dates just indicate “peak flavor” or when a store should stop displaying a product. None of the terms relates to food safety, reports a story on the survey in Time.

So how do you know when food is spoiled? Follow the old expression “The Nose Knows,” the article suggests. If something smells bad, it is. If it taste bad or looks bad (IE visible mold), toss it.

It’s still consumer beware.

Women may benefit more from low-salt diets than men

Women may benefit more from low-salt diets than will men when it comes to reducing their high blood pressure, a study published in the research journal Hypertension.Salt can lead to stomach cancer, one more reason to get it out of your diet.

As all too often happens, past research has looked primarily at men and their reactions to salt, the study authors note.

The researchers worked with male and female rats and found It all has to do  with levels of a hormone called aldosterone. If you want the scientific specifics, click here.

The point is women need to watch their salt intake, especially if they’re already dealing with high blood pressure. We have plenty of low-salt and salt-free recipes on our recipe page, start your efforts to dump the salt there.

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