Lose the Salt!


I’ve written in the past about the excess sodium and sugar in the American diet. And I’ve been just as guilty as anyone with over-consuming both. But since last spring, I’ve made a concerted effort to cut back on sugar, and, with the exception of some dark chocolate every now and then, I haven’t missed it. Haven’t missed the crappy sugar-filled junk that’s on our grocery shelves. Have missed the peppermint stick ice cream at Newport Creamery.

So let’s talk about salt. It makes food taste good, and I use it, sparingly, in cooking. Mostly kosher or sea salt. The salt shaker on the table is Nu-Salt, and no one can tell the difference.

Yesterday, my husband and I went out to dinner. It was Monday, a holiday for some (Columbus Day), and I worked, so sure, I deserved it. And I had a message on my phone that Carrabba’s Italian Grill offered a special deal on Mondays – three courses for as little as $12. What a deal! Let’s go, I said.

So, you get an appetizer or a dessert, soup or a salad, and an entrée. We each ordered an appetizer (and shared), each had a side Caesar salad, and each ordered the lasagna. (Hey, it’s just the two of us, and I never make lasagna). I picked up on the “saltiness” right away, and later in the evening, checked the food’s nutrition information online. If only I’d checked it first….

Granted, we ate a lot. I only made it halfway through the lasagna, and didn’t bring it home, because I really didn’t want it. The calories? Too many. The fat grams? Way over the top.

And the sodium? This made me mad. I’d say it raised my blood pressure, but those numbers must have been sky-high after this meal.

4,201 mg of sodium. In that meal. The lasagna alone had 2,484 mg in it – more than the recommended daily allotment for a healthy adult! Look, Carrabba’s isn’t the only restaurant that does this. And the lasagna wasn’t the worst for sodium – it was something called Fettuccine Weesie with Whole-Grain Spaghetti. Of course, you think you’re choosing healthy with the whole-grain spaghetti, right?

If I can cook great-tasting meals without using so much salt, why can’t they? Food for thought.

P.S. Tonight we ate roasted vegetables. At home.


3 thoughts on “Lose the Salt!

  1. My goodness, Martha, when you show the numbers, that’s scary. Excess sodium and sugar are both dangerous for our health. I don’t ever add salt, but so much of what I eat, especially when in a hurry, is full of salt. Bad. Bad. My mother-in-law is on blood pressure pills, and every time she sees the doctor, she’s told to watch her salt intake. Roasted vegetables sounds much better. And I’m sure they’re yummy. 🙂


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