Tuesday, February 07, 2012

On My Sodium Podium

I don't have a problem with salt. I hope.
I'm definitely not one of those foodbots who grabs the salt shaker as soon as the food comes to the table, and poisons everything. I appreciate salt, but it is not a flavor I crave.
Therefore I don't have a problem with salt. Right?
Ohgod. I took a quick inventory of the foods and snacks we ate during Super Bowl weekend (come on, it's still happening; I'm making seven-layer dip today).
In the photo, you see slices of ham rolled around dill pickles. I converted this recipe a bit from one my friend Kalyn uses for Super Bowl. In Kalyn's recipe (actually her sister's) the ham slices are slathered with cream cheese before rolling. I would skip the cheese! It would be reduced-fat! Then I could fry the rolls for burny flavor and the cheese wouldn't all melt out.
That was when the faint nagging began in my head. I thought, I got the dairy out, but I'm left with salty salt. Ham: salty. Pickles: salt. Where else could I be overlooking the possibility of salt overdo in my diet?
I'm famous for declaring that I don't eat processed foods. But I will happily eat a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup if the need arises (and the need is always "taking care of mommy's brain," so maybe that's more often than I care to admit).
I love to cheat on dinner some nights and eat cheesy popcorn from a bag. Oh, and some nights, it's potato chips with onion dip. The onion dip is homemade; how salty could that be? (The chips, the chips!) And the other day when Cranky brought home a can of greasy peanuts, I ate a few. The salt is visible, and excessive in my opinion, but I ate some.
I still don't think I have a problem. What I have now is a realization that I can't be cavalier about my sodium intake, just because I think I don't have a problem. That stuff adds up!
I think I like this change of heart (get it?), and I know it will be fun, even interesting and creative, to make sure I'm not turning into Lot's wife.

12 comments:

cookiecrumb said...

PROP 8 OVERTURNED (FOR SECOND TIME). SUPREME COURT NEXT.

namastenancy said...

It's amazing how much salt creeps into our food. But really, what is ham without salt? Or potato chips for that matter. Salt is necessary to sustain life - it's probably the other chemicals that are packed into food that's the real problem.

Hooray for the news on Prop 8,

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: Hooray indeed!
I really am fond of salt in cooking because of the chemical magic it seems to do, especially if you salt meat the day before. The body needs it, can't be denied. And, used carefully, it can make soups and stocks taste just right. So I'm not giving it up, just monitoring. Looking forward to raw fruit season.

Zoomie said...

I hope you'll still retain your salty sayings. I'd miss those. Yay on Prop 8.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Thanks. Yeah, I've almost been too nice lately. Bartlett's influence. I will dial up the salt, and the vinegar.
:)
No, no! That's a smile!

Greg said...

Salt is getting a lot of bad press lately. I think my HMO is thinking up more reasons to prescribe more profitable drugs. If it tastes good spit it out!!

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: Oh, no. Salt has been evil for a long time. You're just hearing about it because of your age group. I went for a whole term at college once without adding any salt to the cafeteria food. (I'm sure some of the food was already salted.) It was a real treat for my taste buds.

namastenancy said...

I just read that bread (commercial) has a high salt content. Maybe that's something more to be mindful about. I try not to eat much bread but it continues to amaze me how many additives are in our food.

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: I saw that about the sodium in bread. Poorly reported; sorry. I'll buy that bread has a fair amount of salt in it, but didn't the researcher presume that we would eat the whole loaf because it's so tasty? By the same token, potato chips were portrayed as safe, but NOBODY eats the "serving" size and quits.
Bah, bah, bah. Sorry.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

I'm trying not to think of all the Ramen I consume right now.

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: I hope it's not my fault you're stuck on ramen. Are you enjoying the Lucky Peach subscription?
And, drat, there is no genuine ramen within an hour of where I live. Salty packets, then!

namastenancy said...

Salt in bread and sloppy reporting- oh yes, I saw that they hadn't calculated or mentioned portion sizes or even types of bread. And you are right - who just eats one potato chip or the regulation portion of 7 (?) chips. Not me. When I buy potato chips, I know that I'm going to eat the whole bag so it's probably a good thing that we are getting less per bag than we used to.