As you know, I’ve been limiting my salt intake more and more and more. I’m doing a pretty good job of keeping my daily consumption below the recommended 2,000mg. Most days it is around 1,200. Some days I easily manage 900mg. The solution to the salt problem has been relatively easy- I just don’t eat packaged food, especially frozen food. With the exception of a few vegetables, I have found that frozen food has enough salt in it to preserve it even if the freezer quits! I don’t think my great-grandmother used that much salt to cure a ham!
Gary takes Healthy Choice Café Steamer meals to work for his lunch. They are easy and convenient and he prefers them over sandwiches. They typically have about 300-400mg of sodium. In an attempt to add more variety to his meals he recently looked at some of the other choices in the case. Some had as much at 1,100mg of sodium! 1,100!!! Why?
Don’t get me started…
It was not my intention to focus on salt this morning, but on sugar, our other nemesis.
I am still struggling with my weight. I guess old fat is the most difficult to lose! So I have been taking a closer look at my consumption of fats, bread, and sugar.
I’m a big fan of fats- cheese, walnuts, avocadoes, olive oil, and creamy salad dressings are my favorites. I grew up with Crisco and a belief that anything worth eating is so much better fried! I am trying to adopt a new mantra in the kitchen- “pots not pans”. If I’m using pots instead of a frying pan I know I’m cooking a healthier meal!
Bread has not been a problem, especially now that I’m no longer eating meat. I eat a few egg salad or salmon sandwiches, but usually on those little bread rounds that are tasty and lower in calories. I buy whole wheat tortillas, but I have to watch the sodium in some brands. I’ve always preferred whole wheat or sourdough bread anyway. I don’t think we’ve had “white fluffy” bread in our house in thirty years! The only real sacrifice I suppose I’ve made in this food group is biscuits. I truly love biscuits and they were difficult to give up this past winter.
I hadn’t given much thought to sugar until recently. I don’t eat very many sweets- a few cookies now and then, some Jello occasionally, graham crackers, cereal. My one indulgence is ice cream. I eat one of those mini cups (3oz.) at least three nights a week. Other nights I’m better- yogurt or fruit. I admit to some guilt over the ice cream. 160 calories I certainly don’t need. However, the salt (65mg) and sugar (18g) should be greater concerns in relation to the tiny portion. I can eat more yogurt (plain) and fruit with fewer calories or additives. Just have to wean myself off the taste of ice cream! I don’t plan to give it up- just save it for an occasional treat.
No, I hadn’t given much thought to sugar until my recent shopping trip. Our weather has changed again and we are experiencing 80+ temps, so when I checked out at Walmart I grabbed a Snapple peach tea for the road. I don’t drink sodas and I seldom drink anything except water, coffee, or tea. I don’t put sugar in anything at home, but sometimes I like a sweetened drink like flavored tea or lemonade. I also drink a little tonic water for chronic leg cramps and some fruit juice just to get a little more fruit into my diet. The lemonade I drink most often comes in those little packets you add to a bottle of water and I keep them in my cabinet at school. The lemonade has 9g of sugar and is almost too sweet to drink. Sometimes I just can’t finish it without adding more water. I’m telling you this to explain my absolute SHOCK when I drank a little of the tea and then glanced down at the bottle.
Yes, that really does say 39g of sugar!! 39! That’s right up there with Coca Cola, my former addiction! I make myself (don’t like the taste) drink 100% grape juice now and then for the health benefits and it only has 37g of sugar.
Well…lesson learned. NOT drinking anything again without reading the label. I don’t care how much they tout putting the “good stuff” in- there is a LOT of the bad stuff too!!
And please don’t tell me to drink the diet drinks. I cannot tolerate aspartame. It gives me migraines, severe migraines. And from what I have read it is not really safe for anyone to consume. I’ve found that other artificial sweeteners taste too sweet or too artificial so I just avoid all of them.
I never was very good at math. How ironic that now my health depends on it! This diet game requires quite a bit of calculation to balance the numbers for calories, salt, fats, and sugar. And of course we are also supposed to look for the good stuff like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. I think I need a new calculator!!