Low Sodium Recommendations

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Ducatista
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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Ducatista » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:53 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Why should carrots be salty, for fucks' sake? So while I appreciate the science, I think modern folk are just overly used to things tasting salty because we've just decided as a culture that's how shit's supposed to be.

Both links point out that salt does more than just make things taste salty (unless you add it right before eating).

But yeah, we've been on an upward salt spiral for a while. It's a cheap and easy cheat to make prepared foods, especially low-quality prepared foods, more palatable.

I don't much care, because salt isn't a problem for me. I'd be pretty frustrated if it were.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Cadfael » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:02 pm

I remember when whatever mcfood chain came out with a meat sandwich. A piece of beef between two pieces of breaded chicken I think. A blogger bought one and ate it. It took two or three tries but I think he ate it all. But the thing that I remember most is the line "When I bit into it my first thought was salt! Oh My God, SAAALT!"

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby snoqueen » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:58 pm

I don't think I have any salt in the house. I've got a little thing of soy sauce, but that's it. Salty food doesn't appeal to me. Once you get accustomed to something, the other alternative just seems "off." In other words I agree with Wags -- it's about what you're used to.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:10 pm

snoqueen wrote:Once you get accustomed to something, the other alternative just seems "off." In other words I agree with Wags -- it's about what you're used to.


Ducatista's NCBI link agrees this is likely the case (there are links to studies in the original):
Anecdotal reports, clinical impressions, and a limited body of experimental evidence suggest that when people assume a lower-sodium diet, they will gradually come to appreciate the lowered sodium and acclimate to it. For example, the Arctic explorer Stefansson reported that while he was living with Inuit groups who do not add salt to their food, he first found the foods insipid and craved salt; within a few months, however, he lost desire for added salt, and when he tasted food with it, he found it unpalatable.

Experimental evidence, albeit limited, supports these anecdotes and suggests that the preference for salt is a malleable trait. These studies reveal that when people undertake a low-sodium diet, the immediate response is to strongly dislike the foods with less salt. However, the lower-sodium diet eventually becomes accepted, and in fact, foods containing the previous amount of salt may be perceived as too salty. For example, one study that examined a very small number of individuals reported that after consuming a diet with a 30–50 percent overall reduction in sodium content for 2 to 3 months, volunteers gradually developed a preference for foods with lower salt levels. In other words, they acclimated to the lower-salt diet. In a study with many more subjects, Elmer reported very similar results . . .

This, naturally, makes me very happy to read.

On an unrelated note, one of foods I love a lot which I realized I'd need to curb consumption of drastically is cottage cheese. (Cheese in general is pretty salty -- especially in the massive quantities I prefer to eat -- but I've mostly made the switch to low sodium options like Swiss, fresh mozzarella, and goat cheese without too much trouble because I already liked'em all anyway.) I tried dry curd cottage cheese which is exactly what it sounds like: just curds, no added cream. I could probably have gotten used to the weird consistency but I found it completely unpalatable flavor-wise. Truly wretched stuff. I literally couldn't finish the first portion I tried and threw the rest of the tub away in disgust.
This stuff, on the other hand, is pretty damn tasty:
Image
I've only ever seen it at Whole Foods. It's not going to fool anybody -- the consistency and flavor are definitely different than standard cottage cheese -- but at only 50mg sodium per ½ cup (compared to 350-450mg in regular stuff) it's a wonderful addition to my lowered-sodium arsenal. You do have to be careful, though, as the same brand with salt has an identical label except for the "No Salt Added" phrase, of course. Mmmmmm... cottage cheese...

A super easy one was switching all my canned tomato products over to no salt added variations. Haven't noticed any drop in flavor there whatsoever (nor in consistency or any other aspect of food that matters to me) which, once again, makes me wonder what all that salt is doing in the other cans in the first place.

Ducatista
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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Ducatista » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:24 pm

snoqueen wrote:I don't think I have any salt in the house. I've got a little thing of soy sauce, but that's it. Salty food doesn't appeal to me. Once you get accustomed to something, the other alternative just seems "off." In other words I agree with Wags -- it's about what you're used to.

I'm gonna guess your level of interest in food factors in, too:
snoqueen wrote:Food is all pretty much the same to me as long as it's not oily or has a nasty texture in which case I just won't eat it. To others, every food detail is a big deal and they'll discuss it for hours.

Some people have salt in their houses not because they like things salty, but because they can taste and appreciate the other things salt brings to the cooking process (and if they do things right, they get those without saltiness).

I'll grant you that some just like salty shit, and could retrain their palates if they tried.

Lucky for you, Wags, you don't have to retrain anything. A lot of people find a low-sodium diet difficult because they miss salt. You, on the other hand, have a sourcing problem. Still something you've gotta solve, but at least you're not feeling deprived.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Ned Flounders » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:37 pm

snoqueen wrote:Salty food doesn't appeal to me. Once you get accustomed to something, the other alternative just seems "off." In other words I agree with Wags -- it's about what you're used to.


Ducatista wrote:Some people have salt in their houses not because they like things salty, but because they can taste and appreciate the other things salt brings to the cooking process (and if they do things right, they get those without saltiness).


Both of these seem right in their own way. Salt can help bring out the flavor in things, but how much salt it takes to do that depends on your palate and what you're used to.

Sugar is like that, too -- after a while of avoiding any foods with added sugars, it was bizarre how over-sweetened everything tasted when I went back to the normal diet. And obviously people's cultural background affects how much hot pepper they can take.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:51 pm

Some years back I switched to no salt peanut butter. I thought it was bland at first, but now I love it. But it can't be the smooth type, whether salted or not. And no added sugar.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby O.J. » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:54 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:On an unrelated note, one of foods I love a lot which I realized I'd need to curb consumption of drastically is cottage cheese.


Do you like ricotta? It's simple to make and low in sodium, especially if you use whole milk and heavy cream.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:12 pm

O.J. wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:On an unrelated note, one of foods I love a lot which I realized I'd need to curb consumption of drastically is cottage cheese.


Do you like ricotta? It's simple to make and low in sodium, especially if you use whole milk and heavy cream.

I love ricotta but I've only ever cooked with it. It's never even occurred to me to just eat some as I would cottage cheese. It's certainly never occurred to me to make my own. Is it really significantly better -- or at least cheaper -- to do so than to just buy it at the store?

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby O.J. » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:21 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
O.J. wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:On an unrelated note, one of foods I love a lot which I realized I'd need to curb consumption of drastically is cottage cheese.


Do you like ricotta? It's simple to make and low in sodium, especially if you use whole milk and heavy cream.

I love ricotta but I've only ever cooked with it. It's never even occurred to me to just eat some as I would cottage cheese. It's certainly never occurred to me to make my own. Is it really significantly better -- or at least cheaper -- to do so than to just buy it at the store?


I think it's noticeably better, especially if you use heavy cream, but that makes it more expensive. It's fantastic by itself on bread/toast with some olive oil, makes great dips(combined with ranch dressing, it makes an excellent veggie dip), or mix it in with eggs or pasta.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby snoqueen » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:09 pm

Sugar is like that, too -- after a while of avoiding any foods with added sugars, it was bizarre how over-sweetened everything tasted when I went back to the normal diet.


Yep, I agree here too. I swore off sugar >4 years ago (I remember the date, like with people who quit smoking or drinking) and, while I haven't gone back, when I have to eat something sweet to be polite, I'm surprised how over-the-top it tastes. I try really hard to keep my dietary preferences to myself because it's the last thing other people want to hear about.

Mostly I like eating things that taste fresh, and I like dishes with whole grains. If I had to live on one thing forever, I might pick wild rice.

Exceptions to all rules include hot sauce (not real picky here), pecans, and a little bit of real blue cheese.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:35 pm

snoqueen wrote: . . . when I have to eat something . . . to be polite . . .

I sure wish this just wasn't a thing.
If anyone has any advice on how to turn down food you know you won't enjoy without offending your host, I'd love to hear it. No surprise probably, but if I'm served something with cilantro in it, that's a real problem for me. I've actually told people I'm allergic before -- which I don't even think is a thing -- because "I'm sure you prepared this delightfully but I cannot eat cilantro" just doesn't seem to cut it. No idea why this should be the case -- and I assure you, if you come to my house for dinner, you should never feel obligated to eat anything -- but what I don't understand about normal human interactions could fill an encyclopedia set. Why is it rude to say, "This has nothing whatsoever to do with you or your cooking and is 100% about my taste but I am going to pass on this dish"?

snoqueen wrote: blue cheese.
Oh, how I miss you!
Obviously, I will still enjoy it once in a blue (or bleu) moon but I used to keep a giant bowl of my award-winning world famous mouthwateringly awesome homemade blue cheese dressing on-hand and I probably ate at least a little in some context nearly every single day for a couple years or so. Soooooooooo good.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby snoqueen » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:40 pm

Why is it rude to say, "This has nothing whatsoever to do with you or your cooking and is 100% about my taste but I am going to pass on this dish"?


It's not rude, if you ask me. I think "Thanks, but I'll pass" is even better.

The rudeness is on the part of those who won't take no for an answer and make a big scene of it.

Last fall I accepted an invitation to dinner at the home of some long ago friends I was looking forward to seeing again. They thoughtfully asked my otherfriend and I if anyone had any particular dietary issues, and I said my usual: "I'm a vegetarian but I do not expect other people to cater to my dietary preferences." They seemed fine with that.

They served chicken, I just ate the tomato-style sauce over some rice, I ate some salad, lots of mixed nuts, and then part of a slice of pie just to be nice (I never explained about the sugar thing, and apple pie is more or less vegetarian, right?).

Nobody made comments, nobody asked questions, and we had a delightful evening.

This is my idea of perfectly OK. I didn't feel yuck inside or compromised when I got home, and I think the hosts behaved like the kind, mature adults they are.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Mad Howler » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:59 am

gargantua wrote:
fennel wrote:
Mad Howler wrote:Look at the sodium content of the bread you eat.
Vary your diet accordingly.
How does one do that? I've never seen sodium content listed on a bread label. Is this just a thing for the processed stuff?

I think it's more useful to figure out how a given bread is made, then stay away from bread that isn't made to be eaten, even if it's expected to be eaten.

Does it say anywhere? Something like, you can chew and swallow this, but it isn't food?

Salt is a traditional and important dough conditioner.
The typical ratio is 2 teaspoons (11,380 mgs) per 20 oz flour which yields 2 one pound loaves.
A single bagel-forever bagel will put nearly 400 mgs NaCl onboard [which sounds low, so good on them] - before you bring out the butter & cheese.

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Re: Low Sodium Recommendations

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:26 am

So the Willy St. Co-op just shared this video on their Facebook page about a way to cook freekah, quinoa, and farro and it's a fairly good demonstration of what those of us trying to reduce sodium are up against. First the chef explains how you "need" to add salt to the pot when making pasta, which is a complete load of hooey, and then goes on to describe the massive spoonful he dumps in -- equivalent to more than 100% of the USRDA for sodium -- as "just a little bit." Yes, I know he's made more than one serving in each pot and yes, I know a lot of that sodium ends up going down the drain but yeeeesh, if I prepared my whole grains and pasta that way they'd cease being one the healthiest things on my regular menu.


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