Ordering Meal kits/meal delivery in the pandemic? Here are ratings to consider

Meal kits, sold by most major supermarket chains these days, are something I’ve avoided because of the generally high salt content of most offerings. I wrote about one that my local supermarket chain was offering, you can read about that by clicking here.

But if you’re a non-cook being forced to eat at home during the coronavirus pandemic, you may have turned to meal kits or home meal delivery services as a way to eat with minimal cooking involved.

Men’s Journal, presumably aimed at non-cooking men, recently rated several of the most popular services, you can read its ratings by clicking here.

You’ll have to check to see which are available in your particular area.

The article breaks them down as best for vegans, best for health enthusiasts, best for too lazy to cook but staying one specific diet. The categories are cleaver, see where you fit and make your decisions accordingly.

 

 

Healthy eating in Hawaii??? You have to work hard to search it out

My wife recently put together a winter vacation for us that had been a dream of mine for about 40 years — going to Hawaii. I’d been there, alone, in the early 1980s and loved it, vowing at the time to go back someday with someone I would want to share it with.

That’s exactly what I did with my wife in January. But there’s been a major change for me since 1981, my heart issues. And that complicated our eating while there for almost two weeks.

Fast food in Hawaii is inevitably salty and fatty. SPAM on rice anyone? It’s a popular sushi option there as is breaded fish of all kinds, tacos or all kinds and poke, which is highly salted fish. So we had to work hard to find healthy alternatives.

I had expected more fresh fish and fruit, which I remembered from my last visit. We had to search that out, most often in more expensive restaurants. We found some great meals, but had to pay $100 a couple and up for them (and we don’t drink alcohol very much so that was usually without drinks).

I’ll be blogging about our meals the next few days, come read about them. Here’s a tease, a beet salad and sashimi plate I had at Duke’s at the Marriott resort on Kauai.

Meals kits are getting popular but beware the hidden salt!

Meal kits, which have all the ingredients for a given night’s dinner, are gaining in popularity, especially among younger consumers who may not have very developed cooking skills. Several companies will deliver them to people’s home and now supermarkets are stocking their own versions. The idea may sound appealing, but beware and, as always, read the ingredient labels before buying any.

Doing that myself, I found what seemed like a relatively appealing kit — with pasta and tomatoes, was a salt bomb, containing 1,320 mgs of salt per serving or 2620 mgs in the entire package which is supposed to be two servings. Continue reading “Meals kits are getting popular but beware the hidden salt!”

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”

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.

Ever eat at Corner Bakery? If you’re cutting your salt, don’t

Life can have unexpected consequences sometimes. Since the New Year began, I’ve been on a cleaning and organizing binge, likely because of Japanese-super-organizer Marie Kondo and her new Netflix series. My wife and I even organized our kitchen junk drawer, usually a no-mans-land of forgotten items.

And in that drawer I found I had an old Corner Bakery gift card. Corner Bakery was an early entrant in the fast casual category of restaurants — places that tried to be a cut above hamburger joints and positioned themselves as healthier with fresher ingredients than tradition fast food.

But as always with such claims, the devil is in the details. Or should I say the salt is the devil in the menu? The reason I never finished using my Corner Bakery gift card was because of the high salt content of most Corner Bakery offerings. So I’ve had this card for years with about $7 left on it to spend.

So I visited the Corner Bakery site today to see if by chance its menu has changed from the high-salt offerings I remembered. Sadly, it has not. It does have some very cool nutrition search functions, including one where you build a meal and another where you can rank all the menu items by salt content (or any nutrition content). Continue reading “Ever eat at Corner Bakery? If you’re cutting your salt, don’t”

Getting the salt out — it’s everywhere, here are some examples

Salt has become one of the three evils for my body since my first stent in 2012, and the second in 2016. I’ve redone my eating, cooking and food shopping habits to get the salt out of my diet and seen my blood pressure fall as a result.

Salt can lead to stomach cancer, one more reason to get it out of your diet.
Too much salt will be in processed and restaurant foods for years to come.

Americans eat more than the recommended amounts of salt daily because salt is in almost every food we buy, especially at restaurants, If you don’t believe that, take a look at this WebMD slide show about where salt hides in our foods.

Some, like frozen dinners or processed meats, you might already know about. But what about cereals, juices and canned veggies? Yep, there too. Enjoy and learn from the show…and do pass [up on] the salt.

A fall chicken recipe, modified — chicken braised in two vinegars

I keep on eye on the New York Times for recipe ideas, but usually what they feature has too much salt, fat or sugar for my needs. Such was the case when I recently received a Times email entitled 72 Recipes You Should Make This Fall.

The Times suggests serving this chicken over polenta, I’d do it with a side of green beans or asparagus.

 

Looking through them, I didn’t see many heart-health choices until I came across this chicken braised in two vinegars recipe. The Times uses thighs, high in fat, so I’d substitute breasts and leave off the salt mentioned as something you can add for serving.

The ingredients (with my changes): Continue reading “A fall chicken recipe, modified — chicken braised in two vinegars”

One way to keep your salt under control — a new gadget

As my blog has become more popular, I’ve heard from more public relations people pushing all sorts of foods, books, and gadgets. I’ve started doing some book reviews and occasionally write about the gadgets as well.

The Taste Stick is that white tower-like implement.

This one, Taste Stick, came to me in May, so I’m not sure if they’ve reached their fundraising goal as yet, but I hope they do. This seems like a great way to know how much salt you’re adding to anything you eat. Continue reading “One way to keep your salt under control — a new gadget”

Deli shop much? You shouldn’t, but if you do, check this list

It’s literally been years since I regularly shopped in the deli section of a supermarket. The processed meats there are loaded with salt and fat plus other additives most people, not just those of us with heart issues, should avoid.

But if you still get the urge once and awhile, at least avoid the worst of the worst. WebMD recently posted this Best and Worst Choices From the Deli Section.

Among the best– rotisserie chicken, low-sodium turkey breast, roasted vegetables, bean or lentil salad, coleslaw (the kind without mayo), veggie Quiche and sushi with brown rice.

No more bologna for me, bye-bye old friend.

I’d avoid some of those as well because of high salt content.  I once had a long conversation with cooks at Mariano’s, an upscale chain here in Chicago which specializes in prepared foods and has large buffets in its stores, and was told all their offerings would be considered high in salt content for someone like me. Continue reading “Deli shop much? You shouldn’t, but if you do, check this list”

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