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.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Facebook's No. 1 Most Ridiculous Post

For those of us who participate on social media sites such as Facebook, I think we can all agree there are some posts, reposts and shares that are just plain ridiculous. Some of us might have a lower tolerance for what constitutes ridiculous, I don't know. But here it is almost the end of 2015, and I have seen the post that has made my head spin. Don't misunderstand me, I've seen plenty all year that have left me shaking my head. This one takes the prize. Enough said.


Friday, December 11, 2015

What is Junk Food?

I simply asked a few friends and strangers what they consider to be junk food. I got various responses from potato chips and sweets to drive-thru fast food. Oddly though not one person mentioned what I view as junk food. That would be the stuff that people eat every single day, and they think they're eating good, healthy food. Processed food is the Number One junk food!
For instance, let's take a look at Michelina's Beef & Peppers. I chose this as an example because it appears to have two ingredients...Beef and Peppers, okay three with rice.
Then I looked at the ingredient list on the back, and I found more than three ingredients, I started counting but stopped at 30 ingredients. That was the halfway point. Sugar is listed 3 times (diabetics no, no) soy in all different forms, caramel coloring (really?), salt is listed 5 times, and a whole bunch of stuff that isn't food at all. This is junk food. This is what makes people sick and fat. Oh, and take a look at the sodium content  730 mg of sodium. Yikes!! Is that good for heart patients? I don't think so.
Here's an idea. Go to the meat section of the supermarket and buy beef that is already cut up into bite sized pieces (it's called stew meat), then go to the produce department and buy one or two bell peppers, an onion and garlic. Take that stuff home and saute it all in a little olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper.  If you want it to be thick, stir in a little sour cream.  Cook some rice or egg noodles, and there you have it Beef and Peppers over rice/noodles without all the junk.

Is anyone else besides me troubled by the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows this non-food product to be labeled:  Lean Gourmet?




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