Let’s stop the sea salt nonsense

Sea salt has become a cooking darling in recent years, but unfortunately that has come with the myth that it is somehow less salty than salt mined from the ground. Salt is salt folks and if you have high blood pressure, or if you don’t want to get high blood pressure, cut the salt today, period.

Salt is salt, whether from the sea or underground. Cut it from your diet.
Salt is salt, whether from the sea or underground. Cut it from your diet.

I was glad to see this piece in Recordonline.com which tried to debunk the sea salt myths.

“Contrary to some popular belief, sea salt and table salt contain the same amount of sodium chloride. Switching won’t help you with your high blood pressure,” wrote Fred R Cicetti in his column, The Healthy Geezer.

Continue reading “Let’s stop the sea salt nonsense”

Here’s what to do with the salt you’re not eating

Cutting salt from your diet is a major part of what this blog is all about. Since trimming my salt intake after a 2012 angioplasty I’ve lost weight and gotten my blood pressure down.

Here are some salt uses that won;t hurt you -- they all involve cleaning.
Here are some salt uses that won’t hurt you — they all involve cleaning.

But we still have salt in the house, for when guests ask for it. It seems to get little use otherwise, just taking up space in my pantry. So I enjoyed this video a friend sent me called 7 Salt Life Hacks You Should Know. Continue reading “Here’s what to do with the salt you’re not eating”

New nutritional guidelines not tough enough on salt, target sugar instead

Anticipated U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines came out Thursday and, as I wrote last February, they let up a bit on salt concerns to focus on sugar as the worst of the evil three of salt, fat and sugar that we all eat too much of in the typical American diet.

“The average person eats 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, and the guidelines say everyone should lower that to 2,300, or about a teaspoon,” notes the New York Times report on the guidelines, which are issued every five years.

Salt gets off easy in the new dietary guidelines, too easy, I think.,
Salt gets off easy in the new dietary guidelines, too easy, I think.,

“Lowering sodium intake was the major push of the 2010 guidelines, and that document recommended that those most at risk of heart disease, or about half the population, lower their intake to 1,500 mg. The new guidelines delete that lower amount as part of the top recommendations. Later on, though, the report says those with high blood pressure and prehypertension could benefit from a steeper reduction,” the Times reports. Continue reading “New nutritional guidelines not tough enough on salt, target sugar instead”

A noble experiment to help shoppers find low-sodium options

Finding low-sodium products in supermarkets is a constant battle I’ve been fighting and writing about for more than three years now. Items labeled healthy or even low-sodium may still have too much salt depending on how much you’d normally eat in a meal (serving sizes on packages bare little resemblance to what actual servings are for most people).

So I was interested to see a Connecticut supermarket is teaming up with a local hospital in Norwich to help shoppers there find low-sodium options.

A ShopRite store is working with a local hospital to give consumers information on low-sodium offerings.
A ShopRite store is working with a local hospital to give consumers information on low-sodium offerings.

I also was encouraged to see that low-sodium is being defined there as less than 140 mgs or sodium per serving. That means double the serving size would mean 280 mgs of sodium, acceptable to someone like me who is trying to eat less than 1,500 mgs of sodium a day. Continue reading “A noble experiment to help shoppers find low-sodium options”

Sugar or salt, which is harder to kick?

I’ve often characterized sugar, salt and fat as the evil triangle of foods — a triangle I have struggled mightily to avoid since my 2012 angioplasty. Of sugar or salt, which is harder to drop from your diet?

For me, its long been sugar. I’ve cut massive amounts of salt from what I eat by eating out less and eating less processed foods as well as by checking for low-salt varieties of such everyday kitchen staples as ketchup, tomato sauce and even olives.

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

So I was happy, if that’s the right term for  sad situation, to see this video report from Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert about a new research that shows it is indeed harder to drop sugar from your diet than salt. Continue reading “Sugar or salt, which is harder to kick?”

Going salt-free: these substitute ingredients are all you need

You might not think it, but there’s a lot of salt that goes into the food we eat! I’m not just talking about the salt you put on your food at home. When you buy “packaged” foods, they often contain some added salt. For example, things like pasta sauces often contain lots of salt.

Most people will know by now the problems salt can bring to one’s body. Examples include kidney stones, raised blood pressure, obesity and even cancer. The shocking truth is that’s just a small subset of conditions caused by a high salt intake.

saltFlickr

If you want to eat more healthily, one thing you can do is reduce or even eradicate salt from your diet. Now, you might be thinking that salt adds flavor to the foods you eat. But here’s the thing: there are plenty of substitute ingredients out there you can use. Continue reading “Going salt-free: these substitute ingredients are all you need”

Fast food breakfast top food story for 2015 — woe is us

Fast food breakfast was named the top food story of 2015 in a survey by Hunter Public Relations, a New York firm that works with food clients, reported Ad Age recently. You can thank McDonald’s decision to offer some of its breakfast items all day for that.

Want half a day's salt in one meal ? Here it is.
Want half a day’s salt in one meal ? Here it is.

Love it or hate it, when McDonald’s does something, the world notices, as this survey confirms. Other reports I’ve seen say McDoanld’s business is up because of its decision, people apparently like buying Egg McMuffins at any time of day.

Maybe they should check the McDonald’s Meal Builder site first to see how much sodium is in an Egg McMuffin — 730 mgs, or about half what someone like me who has heart troubles is supposed to consume in a day. Continue reading “Fast food breakfast top food story for 2015 — woe is us”

Salt or sugar — pick your poison

Sugar has come in for a lot of criticism of late when it comes to health, being blamed for a range of issues. But now Canadian researchers are saying salt is the most demon of the demon trio of salt, fat and sugar.

Congress wants to keep American School children addicted to salt. Shame, shame shame on them.
Americans eat too much salt, period.

“[Sugar is] not of the same impact as salt and not associated with as many diseases. Salt is worse than sugar,” Dr. Norm Campbell with the University of Calgary’s Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta said in a recent CBC News item. “About one-third of hypertension around the world is caused by excess dietary salt, so about 300 million people in the world have hypertension due to excess salt and over two million in Canada,” Dr.Campbell said.

In addition to hypertension, salt also impacts:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and MS
  • Migraines
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Obesity

Continue reading “Salt or sugar — pick your poison”

New York To Salt: Drop dead

The headline of today’s post is a parody of a famous New York Daily News headline in 1975 when then President Gerald Ford refused to back a federal bailout for the financially troubled city.

This sample page from a New York Applebee's menu shows too much salt in every appetizer and both rib options, disgusting.
This sample page from a New York Applebee’s menu shows too much salt in every appetizer and both rib options, disgusting.

New York today begins to refuse to support high-salt restaurant foods anymore and hopefully that will have as profound an impact as the 1975 lack of a federal bailout did. The city today begins requiring chain restaurants to note on their menus items that have more than 2,300 mgs of sodium in them. That’s a day’s worth fo sat for a healthy person. For people like me who have had heart surgery, 1,500 mgs a day is recommended.

I am so glad to see New York act on salt, a killer that most municipalities and even federal regulators are ignoring, in my opinion. Restaurant food has way too much salt. Americans don’t realize what they’re being served when it comes to salt.

Just take a look at this Applebee’s menu that now, in New York, has to show items that have too much salt (noted with the salt shaker in a triangle). Almost every appetizer on the menu has too much salt, as do the ribs. Ridiculous. Continue reading “New York To Salt: Drop dead”

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