Posted by: TTCLauren | August 1, 2010

Shake the Salt Habit

Some of you know that I care for an elderly mother who had a stroke and a heart attack several months ago. In cleaning out her fridge, freezer, and cabinets recently, eliminating outdated food, I was amazed to find out what she had been buying/eating. She had been on blood pressure medication for nearly 50 years, yet the salt content in her canned and frozen foods was alarming!

For example, one of her favorites, Vegetable Beef Soup had a whopping 890 mg of sodium per serving (a half can). I know she would eat the entire can (it’s not that big) as a meal, which means almost 1,800 milligrams of sodium in that ONE bowl. Before she salted it or added salted crackers! Something tells me the cardiologist who is currently treating her for the high blood pressure as well as the stroke and her congestive heart failure would so NOT approve!

My late dad was a diabetic with heart failure, high blood pressure, and renal failure (dialysis patient) and one of the things I always watched when feeding him was sodium. Read any health related articles and you will hear that excess sodium can lead to serious health problems.

The Mayo Clinic writes, “If your kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to accumulate in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases. Increased blood volume makes your heart work harder to move more blood through your blood vessels, which increases pressure in your arteries. Such diseases as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease can make it hard for your kidneys to keep sodium levels balanced. Some people’s bodies are more sensitive to the effects of sodium than are others. If you’re sodium sensitive, you retain sodium more easily, leading to fluid retention and increased blood pressure. The extra sodium can even lead to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and congestive heart failure.”

What else was in the freezer? Lean Cuisine dinners. Have you ever taken a look at the sodium content in those ‘healthy’ dinners?

Chicken Parmesean….660 mg sodium
Lemon Garlic Shrimp….830 mg sodium
Shrimp scampi…..690 mg sodium
Balsamic Glazed Chicken….660 mg sodium
Chicken Teriyaki Stirfry…..570 mg sodium

I visited their website and tried to see what their lowest sodium content was. However, you could only sort by calories, fat and carbs. Sodium was not an option to sort by. Wonder why?

I checked out the Wildtree equivalent sauce or spice in my cabinet, and I would be happy to give you recipes to make each of the above 5 entrees. Here is the difference in sodium content…

Chicken Parmesean…117 mg sodium (including the tomato sauce)
Lemon Garlic Shrimp….NO sodium! (Using our Lemon Grapeseed Oil and Garlic Herb blend)
Shrimp scampi…..90 mg sodium (including our Scampi Blend and Garlic Grapeseed Oil)
Balsamic Glazed Chicken…..80 or 95 mg sodium (w/European Balsamic Oil or Balsamic Vinaigrette)
Chicken Teriyaki Stirfry…..270 mg sodium

So remind me again, why aren’t you cooking with Wildtree?

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