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 How do I tell a relative....

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Ceil Posted - 12/28/2012 : 8:35:58 PM
...that heavy salt usage is a really bad idea?

I visited this relative over the summer, and couldn't eat the food. >I< have high bp, and need to watch the salt. I wound up buying my own food during the visit to be sure about controlling salt. My relative, otoh, claims not to cook with salt. Doesn't matter that Rice-A-Roni has tons of salt in it.

Well, I just got a home-made bean-soup mix from this same relative for Christmas, and got suspicious upon seeing a fair amount of powder in the bag. Some time ago I was given some powdered chicken broth that someone else gave me with a whopping 1080mg of salt in each one-serving envelope. I wondered if this might be the same stuff. No way to tell, of course, but tonight, I sifted out all the powder, and then with an even finer-mesh sieve sifted the powder to separate the yellow "broth" from whatever else was in it (pepper, etc.). Upon tasting a tiny bit of each pile, the yellow powder tastes like salt ONLY! It makes no sense to mix all of this together into a soup mix because the legumes >will not cook< when the water is salted.

But what troubles me is knowing my relative's own high bp (220/120 when first discovered; said the dr. "Why are you still standing?!") and that this kind of thing is still being fed to immediate family day after day.

I don't have to say anything, of course, but it seems to me that expressing concern for one's health might be a good idea. Our family is small, and this relative is more of a sibling to me than my own. It would be awful to seen something bad happen that's very preventable.

Thought I'd ask for some advice here, although in the long run, I realize there may not be any.

(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
10   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Kade1301 Posted - 12/31/2012 : 06:16:45 AM
Two and a half grams of salt doesn't sound astronomical to me - I wonder how much I eat when I eat a third of a packet of salted peanuts...

By the way: sodium chloride IS normal table salt (chemical formula NaCl). I agree about the sugar in salt (though it's new to me - none in MY salt) - additives in "normal" table salt are one of the things that drive me crazy. I have read here in the forum that "kosher salt" is an alternative for the U.S. (in my area it's Sel de Guerande, which comes straight from the sea, without anything added).

Last but not least: I'm convinced that there's lots of other factors that influence blood pressure (and all other health aspects) apart from salt (and sugar) consumption. Now I use table salt very sparingly (the additive-free one costs a fortune), but I do eat lots of cheese, salami and bacon, salted butter (I think everything in the fridge that can be put on bread contains salt), salted nuts and salt crackers... And both my blood pressure and my blood chemistry are just perfect. (On the positive side: I eat practically no ready-made meals. Apart from the fact that nearly everything I tried was disgusting, a quick glance at the label is usually sufficient to put the item back on the shelf.)

And, to get to the original question, I'd take it very much amiss if anybody tried to tell me I should change my eating habits! So I don't think it's a good idea to say anything, unless a discussion comes up about culinary topics... (less salt added = more of the taste of the food itself).

Now I'm off to see whether rubbing the pigeon skins with salt has resulted in a nice crust ;)

Bye, Klara
robinstephanie Posted - 12/30/2012 : 11:30:08 AM
There's even sugar in salt. I read that in Sugar Blues, checked my Morton's package, and there it was. Goodbye Morton's.


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
Ditzy Girl Posted - 12/30/2012 : 08:14:33 AM
The same goes for sugar. I am alergic to sugar and
it is amazing how everything has sugar in it, inbcluding
soups, salids and you name it. I think that sometimes
they sub sugar for the salt. I don't know it is a mystery.

Zola, Seattle, Wash.

One Stitch at a Time Posted - 12/30/2012 : 08:00:49 AM
Sounds like your relative needs a little education. Some ideas- Next time you visit, bring a gift basket of fresh vegetables and fruits and cook them together, but according to your recipe. Gift your relative some sodium free herb blends with recipes. Bake something/make a pot of soup from scratch and include the recipe.
Invite your relative to dinner and prepare dinner without any processed food products and additional salt.

If she brings it up, you can always share your own BP situation and how you have made changes to your diet, but be gentle with advice.

You never know, this could also begin a new fun dimension to your relationship- cooking together and sharing recipes!

Good luck,

Jane Posted - 12/30/2012 : 07:02:27 AM
I'm glad you worked it out, Ceil. All you can do is do the best for yourself, and maybe one day your relative will notice that you're healthier because you pay attention to what's in your food.


Betty deserves everything and more: Make a Donation
Blog: Not Plain Jane
Photos: Flickr Album
jtamsn Posted - 12/30/2012 : 05:50:14 AM
Some people truely do not realize how to read nutrition labels and do not know how much hidden "stuff"is in food or how many different names there are for certain ingredients, ie salt, sodium chloride, MSG, monosoduim glutamate, baking powder, etc...and some people are just not ready to make a change. I personally, think some items taste better with less or no salt, I think in particular, tomato products labeled low sodium or no added salt have a better tomato taste.
Ceil Posted - 12/29/2012 : 11:59:45 PM
Well, it kinda worked itself out. I decided to make the soup today, and emailed and asked what was in the powder before I threw it in, because all I could taste was salt. The answer came back: onion, celery seed and chicken bouillon, with no added salt. (Huh?) So I wrote back and asked what the sodium content was in the bouillon; the reply: 840mg in 1 tsp, and there was 1 T of bouillon in the mix! I sent back the math: 2520mg of sodium could have gone in the soup, but didn't. All I could say was that my dr. would be thankful that I asked for this information, and that the soup was smelling quite good without the added salt.

No, I can't get into anyone else's face about their eating habits. All I can ask for is some stopping and thinking about that 2520 number, because it is astonomical! And it's amazing how salt-sensitive one becomes after reducing consumption of the stuff for a while.

Thanks, everyone. And watch the salt shaker!

(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
Jane Posted - 12/29/2012 : 11:06:30 AM
In my experience, it's never a good idea to discuss food choices/eating habits with people, unless you live with the person or are responsible in some way. You could say that you've realized how much salt you'd been consuming, and that your own BP is high and you're trying to manage it by changing how you eat, and maybe they'll hear you. Telling them what you think about their own habits, no matter how well-meaning or concerned you are, could be quite hurtful.


Betty deserves everything and more: Make a Donation
Blog: Not Plain Jane
Photos: Flickr Album
donnawatk Posted - 12/29/2012 : 10:20:31 AM
Ceil, I have high blood and trust me I know what has salt in it and what does not. I'm the person who will not eat at somebody house that uses salt. Your relative knows what in her food. I made Xmas dinner for my family and didn't see a soul using salt. If you have said somthing once I would leave it along. Donna Some people have to be fall before they can see just be there if they need a hand.
Lynne604 Posted - 12/29/2012 : 07:30:55 AM
If it were me, I'd keep out of it.

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