Straighten up, you salty dogs!
Welcome to No Sodium Wednesday.
Today, I’m adding a new page to my site even though it’s starting to look like the inside of my underwear drawer (an overcrowded, crazed jumble of random cast-offs and mania-inducing clutter, which I suppose is also a pretty fair description of my mind, come to think of it), but I do this in the name of service to mankind. Really, I am all about selflessness, just ask me.
So here’s the thing: As I have mentioned in the past, some people are sensitive to salt and some are not. If you have high blood pressure, you need to deal with it, no question. Sodium is also a problem for people with kidney disease. One of the the simplest things you can do is cut back radically on sodium, though it’s easier said than done because it is in EVERYTHING (breakfast cereals, condiments, dairy items, processed foods, and restaurant meals to name but a few).
For the past year or so I have stopped adding salt when I cook (it can easily be added at the table) and started reading labels to choose the lowest sodium options. Baking is another matter, as I find sweetness unbalanced by salt to be a complete waste of calories and not remotely worth the gym time required to get rid of it. Whether you indulge your sweet tooth is a personal choice, and I for one, would rather have a slice of chocolate cake than a heap of salty fries. Mr. Slattern abstains from both, God love him.
If you’re sodium sensitive, you may very well see a drop in your blood pressure over several months (as Mr. Slattern did) after cutting way back. My better half has always been a big exerciser and has long abstained from beef and pork; however, it wasn’t until he all but eliminated sodium from his diet that he was able to get off the meds, under his doctor’s (surprised) supervision.
If you don’t have a BP issue or have no trouble tolerating salt (as I don’t), you’ll find that you can actually taste your food in fairly short order. Win win.
On my NO SALT page you’ll find a list of foods that contain little or no salt if you choose to go that way, and really what have you got to lose by trying it — a little water weight? revived taste buds?
For guidelines on diet and treatment of high blood pressure, consult your doctor and have a look at the government’s DASH diet. If you have kidney disease, your doctor should also be the source for advice and treatment.