Saturday, January 2, 2010

Back from obscurity with a little diatribe on salt and processed food

Happy New Year!

Alright, it's been 4 months since I've posted and I feel bad (that's if anyone actually reads this).

I just wanted to talk about an issue that I've been taking to heart lately. What motivates me to write this blog is the fact that most single folks rely way too much on "convenience" food; take-out, microwaveable, prepackaged, tinned, etc... And hey, most of it tastes good! The craving for a McChicken comes up far more often than I care to admit.

The problem with most pre-made food is that it is full of two nasty elements: fat and salt. Easy way to get rid of the first is to eat the low-cal diet food. Fine, sure, it's not going to pack on the pounds. But it's by no means healthy. Think about a real simple example: pasta sauce in a jar.

Prego's "Chunky Garden Combo" sauce sounds kindy healthy to me - it's got chunks of garden in it! And at only 140 calories per cup, pretty diet-friendly too. Yeah, and then check the sodium content: 940 mg per cup. The daily recommended intake for adults is 1500 mg of sodium per day, so the sauce itself covers nearly a third of that. Add to that the salt you may have used to cook the pasta with, the numbers add up pretty fast. And that's in ONE MEAL! (Well, if you eat a cup's worth of sauce per meal...)

So, what does this have to do with making awesome meals that gets the ladies' knees a-quivering? Well, next time you're fixing up a bowl of pasta or a stir-fry or whatever I figure to show how to make next time (stew and/or soup, methinks), keep in mind to leave the salt shaker out of reach. A pinch to a teaspoon of salt is usually enough for any recipe, or even less, depending on ingredients and amounts.

Let's say you're cooking something and are adding olives. Each olive has somewhere between 30-60 mg of sodium (depends on size, preparation, etc.). The salt will permeate whatever dish you're making and flavour it just fine without adding any more.

Most meat and seafood is salted before it ever gets to your table, so you really don't need extra. And don't get me started about all that ketchup you're eating with your fries...

So, from now on, less salt. You want flavour? Raid that spice rack dude!

Bon appetit!

No comments:

Post a Comment