Assaulted by Salt!

Two peanuts were walking down the street in a bad neighbourhood. One was a salted. 

Salt Vampire with a small craving.

I read in the newspaper a little while ago that Canadians consume more salt that almost any other country in the world. Hmmm. We need sodium! OK, our bodies need it – 1,500 milligrams a day. There was even a Star Trek monster that sucked it out of people. But, like most things, we consume more than we need.

Too much sodium in our day-to-day diet can cause issues. To prevent high blood pressure and heart disease, a healthy sodium goal to strive for is no more than 1,500 milligrams per day. Read your labels. The Dr. read the riot act to Norm, too. His family has a history of high blood pressure and related health issues. I want him around for a while!

Salt Vampire out of control!

I love salt! I love what salt does to certain foods. It’s a wonderful substance and: preserves, enhances, and helps us keep hydrated in high heat. In fact, people can even CRAVE salt. That is one of the things that draws people to foods like: chips, gravy, ketchup, pretzels, pizza, cheese, ham, hot dogs, soy sauce on rice etc. Can you really LIKE popcorn without some salt?

It’s also a very hard thing to reduce in a diet. Your taste buds get used to the taste of salt.  Like I’ve already written, read your labels. Did you know white bread is loaded with sodium! Most prepared foods are also full of it. So what can we do to reduce our sodium intake? Number 1 – hide the salt shaker. I used to have a wonderful set of huge salt and pepper shakers beside my stove. They even had handles on them and held about 3/4 of a cup of salt (or pepper). Norm used to salt everything without tasting first. I put the big salt shaker in the cupboard. I do have a one-handed pepper mill on my table with a small salt shaker integrated with it. If he (or I) need salt on something we use that one. Half the holes are plugged up – automatic reduction of added salt.

But that brings back the idea of tasting your food before a-salting it. Usually we shake first and ask questions later. You can enhance food with other flavours. Whether you’re cooking or eating, you can add things like: spices, garlic, herbs, lemon or lime juice, sesame, vinegar. Your imagination is the only limit. I have three spice grinders with a blends in them. One has garlic and black peppercorns. Another has herbs d’Provence. And I just got a new one that does have a little bit of sea salt and lots of ground rosemary in it. Try them.

Then there’s the whole concept of getting used to the real flavour of food. By cooking fresh and unprocessed foods, you get to taste the foods. And at the same time you are being really nice to your kidneys and heart.

Be careful with “low-fat” and “calorie-reduced” foods. They are usually loaded with extra salt to make things taste better. READ THE LABEL! And don’t forget about drinks. Most pop (sodas) are loaded with sodium sometimes under a different name but sodium will be there. Some sports drinks, beer, energy drinks, mineral water etc also have sodium in them. I said earlier, our bodies only need 1,500 milligrams of sodium but according to nutritionists adults can safely consume up to 2,500 milligrams unless otherwise ordered by a doctor. But we have to watch what we’re doing and what we are eating.

So, what do you think? Can you keep yourself from being a-salted?

Thanks for listening. ;D Diane

~ by 1fatgirlshrinking - Diane Kirby on August 22, 2012.

One Response to “Assaulted by Salt!”

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