Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Low Salt and Low Sodium vs. Actual Consumption

I know a few people with high blood pressure or a heart condition and their doctor has instructed them to follow a low salt/low sodium diet. Unfortunately, some of those people don't understand what that means. 
I'm talking specifically about people with a heart condition who eat processed food...YIKES! I don't know how many ways to say it “PROCESSED FOOD IS PROCESSED WITH SODIUM!! STAY AWAY FROM IT!!!” I don't expect you to believe me, ASK YOUR DOCTOR!!
Most of the sodium Americans eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought and restaurant foods.  Only a small amount comes from salt added during cooking or at the table.  Most Americans already get more sodium than recommended before they ever pick up a salt shaker.  The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans RECOMMEND that Americans consume LESS THAN 2300 mg of sodium each day as part of a healthy eating pattern.

Here's a visual for you. Below is Jimmy Dean Sausage and Eggs Breakfast Bowl. The front of the box states it contains, eggs, potatoes, sausage and cheddar cheese. The back of the box tells a different story. I couldn't count all the ingredients without getting a migraine, but I did count salt/sodium 5 times, sugar 1 time. This stuff is very bad for a heart patient and/or a diabetic. Do you see the nutrition label?...830 mg sodium.  


Back of the Box
INGREDIENTS: PRECOOKED SCRAMBLED EGGS (WHOLE EGGS, SKIM MILK, SOYBEAN OIL, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, XANTHAN GUM, LIQUID PEPPER EXTRACT, SALT, CITRIC ACID, BUTTER FLAVOR [BUTTER {CREAM, MILK}, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OIL, SOYBEAN OIL, LIPOLYZED BUTTER OIL, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS]), DICED POTATOES (POTATOES, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL [SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED OILS], AND/OR VEGETABLE OIL [CANOLA, SOYBEAN AND/OR SUNFLOWER OILS], MALTODEXTRIN, SALT, DEXTROSE, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE AND DISODIUM DIHYDROGEN PYROPHOSPHATE [TO MAINTAIN NATURAL COLOR]),COOKED PORK SAUSAGE CRUMBLES (PORK, WATER, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, SUGAR, SPICES, NATURAL FLAVOR (WITH MALTODEXTRIN, SUCCINIC ACID), SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CARAMEL COLOR).SHREDDED MILD CHEDDAR CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES, ANNATTO COLOR), WATER.
Some people want their food taste even saltier so they sprinkle a salt substitute on it.  Do they think the salt substitute works in reverse to counteract the 830 mg of sodium?  It does NOT.

I did some research, what you see below are two snippets directly from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration:

Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

If you're unsure about what the FDA means by 'packaged' food, it's all those enticing frozen meals and dinners in a box.  Like the Jimmy Dean breakfast bowl you see above.  The worst processed food that I have found so far is Ramen.  Take a look at the sodium count on Maruchan RamenIt's enough to give anyone high blood pressure.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Processed Food and Type 2 Diabetes


I am not a doctor or a nurse and I don't have Type 2 Diabetes. So this writing comes from what I have read about the condition and what I've seen in those who do have Type 2 Diabetes.
I think by now we all know that processed food is bad. It is the cause of obesity and diabetes. Why? Because it's processed with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sodium and a lot of chemicals.

But what really irks me, no I'm way past being irked, what makes my head explode is when a diabetic says..."we can't have anything with sugar, so we buy sugar free ice cream" or “the pie has to be sugar free”. But then I see these same people eating processed food, as if they don't understand anything about processed food and diabetes or the consequences of high fructose corn syrup, not to mention the sodium.
What seems to be a common misconception with diabetics is they think sugar is only in desserts. Sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are preservatives in processed foods, not just pies and cakes.  You'll find them in canned, packaged and frozen dinners.

Below is an excerpt from an article from DiabetesHealth website, it's a basic and simple way to remember what a diabetic should and should not eat:


Here is an example of high fructose corn syrup in processed food. This is the ingredient label from a 12 oz. can of Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce. You'll notice it has 4 ingredients, 2 of them are sugars, for a grand total of  21 grams of sugar per 2 ounce serving!  This is the sort of food diabetics should RUN from, it's worse than the sugary pie or ice cream:



In contrast, below is the nutrition label from a 56 ounce carton of Red Button Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.   The sugar content is  15 grams per 4 ounce serving.

 

To all diabetics, if you insist on eating processed food, please read the labels and educate yourself!!  If you don't know what processed food is, or you think high fructose corn syrup is 'OK' then it's time to have a talk with your doctor!!

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