5 low-sodium meals to consider

Salt has become my sworn enemy because of its impact on my weight and blood pressure, so I’ve been working hard to redo recipes to get the salt out since my 2012 angioplasty. Check my recipe page for some great recipes that have a minimum of salt.

Recently, I saw this headline, 5 Low-Sodium Meals That Won’t Make You Reach for the Salt Shaker and was intrigued, so I check it out on Cafemom.com.

At least two of these actually sound good to me and don;t seem to compensate for the lack of salt by adding fat and/or sugar. I’d try the Alaskan BBQ Salmon and the Mini Turkey Meatballs. Salmon and ground turkey are two of my go-to proteins these days. I would cut the sugar in the salmon however, honey and sugar seem like too much sweetness and too much sugar. Or use a low-sugar, low-salt barbecue sauce like LocalFolks.

The link to the turkey meatballs isn’t working so I can’t examine the ingredients list, but I like the concept. Try adding Italian seasoning and some low-fat parmesan cheese for flavor.

I’d try the Penne With Cherry Tomatoes, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese but would substitute fat-free feta instead of the goat cheese.

John

 

Simple can be delicious, try this no-salt chicken recipe

Finding new chicken recipes is an obsession of mine that began shortly after my 2012 angiopasty when I cut down on red meat and substituted more chicken and fish meals. So I’m always on the lookout for new chicken recipes.

Sheet Pan Chicken from Cooking Light
Sheet Pan Chicken from Cooking Light

Cooking Light recently sent me an e-newsletter with a top story entitled One-Dish Chicken Recipes, so I immediately dove in to see what it included. Of the three recipes, only one is suitable to become a no salt, no sugar no fat recipe which I’ll eventually list on my recipe page. Continue reading “Simple can be delicious, try this no-salt chicken recipe”

Hospital food is inhospitable to healthy eating

As I write this today I unfortunately find myself in a hospital. A routine surgery I had last week has produced a massive infection in my ear (where the surgery wad done). The infection got so bad, I came to the emergency room at roughly 5 a.m. and am now being kept overnight here in Evanston Hospital.

My Evanston Hospital lunch, stripped of all salty dressings and sauces.
My Evanston Hospital lunch, stripped of all salty dressings and sauces.

After spending about four hours getting some excruciating treatments done in the ER, I was moved to a room and hoped to be able to eat since I’ve been up since 4 a.m. I quickly learned words mean something different here, unfortunately. I spoke to the only nurse who has visited me for the last five hours and she said she ordered me food. Continue reading “Hospital food is inhospitable to healthy eating”

Salt is everywhere, learn where it’s hiding

Helping you get the salt out of your diet is a major reason this blog exists. Americans eat at least twice as much salt daily as they should. And if you eat a lot of processed or restaurant foods, your salt totals are likely even higher. So remember where salt is hiding in your daily diet.

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

The Huffington Post last month had a good checklist of things to avoid because they’re loaded with salt.

The main culprits — soups, bread, cheese, cold cuts, prepared chicken and breakfast foods. I haven’t eaten much soup in recent years because all prepared soups and restaurant soups are high in sodium too high for my post-angioplasty diet. even so-called low-sodium broths can have high levels of sodium. Continue reading “Salt is everywhere, learn where it’s hiding”

Bread and salt — here’s how to break that troubling link

Bread has largely been out of my diet since I began efforts to reduce my daily intake of sodium. Most breads, whether packaged or made fresh at local bakeries, are loaded with salt. I’ve worked hard to find a salt-free whole wheat bread and other varieties like a brown rice bread.

My rice bread find from Minneapolis. A nice low-salt alternative to high-sodium white breads.
My rice bread find from Minneapolis. A nice low-salt alternative to high-sodium white breads.

So I was intrigued to see a Bon Appetit e-mail with the subject line We Asked a Nutritionist: Which Bagged Bread Is Healthiest? Clicking through to the story, I found that headlined How to Find the Healthiest Bagged Bread at the Supermarket.

It’s an informative piece, separating out bread myth from reality and rating various types of bread. I’d hoped it would look at brands of bread too, but no luck on that front. It did take on two of the three food demons — salt and sugar.

“Aim for bread with less than 150 mg of sodium per slice of bread,” Carrie Motschwiller, a registered dietitian and wellness manager in New York City, says in the piece. I’d go further and try to cut out all salt in bread or simply skip the bread. Continue reading “Bread and salt — here’s how to break that troubling link”

Try the new Senor Pan Cafe in Chicago

It’s not often these days that I go to a restaurant the week it opens, but that was the happy case when my wife and I discovered Senor Pan’s Cafe on North Elston Avenue in Chicago recently.

A touch fo Cuba on the wall at Senor Pan.
A touch fo Cuba on the wall at Senor Pan.

Several Senor Pan’s exist in the city, this is the newest and from what the owner told us the night we ate there, the most family-friendly and casual. It’s Cuban cuisine, which amazingly given my love of food, I had never tried before. Continue reading “Try the new Senor Pan Cafe in Chicago”

The FDA’s new sodium guidelines have no teeth

Reports were everywhere today saying the Food and Drug Administration was recommending major cuts in the amount of sodium in packaged and restaurant foods. FDA calls for sharp reduction in salt added to foods, was the Reuters headline. New FDA guidelines crack down on salt was on TheVerge.com.

Salt can lead to stomach cancer, one more reason to get it out of your diet.
Mountains of salt will remain in processed ad restaurant foods for years to come.

First of all, the guidelines are voluntary, not mandatory, so they don’t crack down on or call for anything, they merely suggest guidelines, which is exactly what the food industry, which has been fighting mandatory limits on sodium, wanted. Continue reading “The FDA’s new sodium guidelines have no teeth”

Denny’s Fit Fare menu — loaded with salt

Many national restaurant chains these days are trying to adjust menus to offer what they call healthier or leaner meals. It’s a tall order to full when their menu planners remain addicted to salt! I ran into this with Applebee’s last year and just came face-to-face with it again recently when I went to a local Denny’s for breakfast.

Denny’s has what it has dubbed its Fit Fare menu. Items are labeled as “lite” and their protein amounts are highlighted as well. But when you dig into the nutrition info on Denny’s website, you see the sad salt stories.

My Denny's omelet..get the salt out Denny's!!!
My Denny’s omelet..get the salt out Denny’s!!!

Take the Fit Fare veggie omelet made with egg whites as an example. I planned to get this, but then saw it contains 820 mgs of sodium, basically half my daily limit! Where is all the salt? I discussed it with a very helpful waitress. We agreed the Swiss cheese used and the English muffin that could be a side likely accounted for most of it. Continue reading “Denny’s Fit Fare menu — loaded with salt”

A different option for low-salt, canned tomatoes

I’m a big fan of making my own tomato sauce (we called it gravy in my Italian-American family) to have with whole wheat pasta. Almost any prepared sauce from a store, be it jarred or canned, will be loaded with salt.

Something new to me, extra heavy tomatoes.
Something new to me, extra heavy tomatoes.

Look for the low-salt canned tomatoes when making your own, though, usually any San Marzano tomato will be lower in salt than no-name varieties, as I’ve written before. That said, I was surprised to find a new variation on canned tomatoes at our local Valli Produce.

As you can see, the can calls them “Extra Heavy Crushed Tomatoes.” I thought that was just marketing hype until I opened them. They were really thick, more like a tomato paste than crushed tomatoes. Continue reading “A different option for low-salt, canned tomatoes”

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