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Chef Don answers questions about living with CHF, high blood pressure, hypertension and modifying eating behaviors.

To Write Chef Don

Questions of the month:
What is the truth concerning Splenda?

Does your meal guide reflect the low salt paleo diet?

New Questions And Answers Are Added Often. Feel free to return anytime to check new posts.

Number One Question: Where can I find Grandma's Chili Powder?

In order to fully enjoy Megaheart.com's featues, How can I turn on my Javascript?

Salt Sodium Bread Baking
Conversions Traveling Ingredients
Spices
Cheese
Vegetables
Soups
Meats/Fish Substitutes Eggs
How Do
I Make
Supplements
Vitamins
Our Books Nutrition & Sugar vs. Splenda & More
Meniere's Chef Don Sea Salt Dietary Changes
Blood Sodium Snacks – Other Holidays Miscellaneous
Canning Fad Foods Lifestyle
Diabetic, Meniere's, Others
Gravy


Questions of the Month: I read on the Net (site included) that too little salt would make my blood sodium drop and cause something called hyponatremia. Is this true? Can you check out this Web site for me? — F. C.

Are there any tables to show me how much a pound or volume of      food is, when converted to measurements?

Are there altitude tables for Ener-G Baking Powder?
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS


Salt

Are you familiar with Himalyan Salt?
What about this study in Europe concluding that salt is not harmful?
Author Bitterman says salt is the world's most essential mineral. Is it?
Why do we need salt?
Why do I crave salt?
What is Amplify? I hear it's a salt substitute?
Is there a good sodium? I read in a cookbook there is.
Can potassium chloride be dangerous for us?
Have you tried Also Salt? What's your opinion?
Is low sodium or low salt helpful or not?
Can you tell me what to do regarding this salt thing?
Do you really not use any salt at all?
Is there a list of sodium in veggies?
If salt is in the ingredient label but shows very low sodium, is that ok? How much sodium intake is normal?
Any reasons we must avoid salt substitutes?
How much sodium should we have?
Can I use Mrs. Dash, I'm concerned about potassium?
Do all foods have salt in them?
My wife won't get off salt. How can I help her?


get the salt outAre you familiar with Himalyan Salt?

salt get outHimalayan salt is commonly known as rock salt, but the Himalayan version is from Pakistan. Salt is salt and in this case there is no difference. The salt contains 2,350 mg of sodium per teaspoon (weight based on 6 grams of salt or generally one teaspoon). There are all kinds of salts out there now, but naming them or making them exotic does not change their sodium levels. Sea Salt is another to be cautious about. Many processors are adding lycopene to sea salt and then advertising that sea salt has half the amount of sodium. That's not the truth. Sea Salt is NaCl just like table salt and it has exactly the same level of sodium per measurement. A teaspoon of marketed sea salt, containing lycopene will be one half, but one half of a salt measurement is still higher than our daily recommended dosage. Marketers tell us that we need lycopene and they are right. One slice of a large tomato contains all the lycopene we need.

get the salt outWhat about the European study stating salt is okay?

salt get outIn April/May of 2011 a study from Great Britain stated that salt does not cause hypertension. This study has so many faults with it that it's almost a bad joke. First, none of the subjects were over forty. None of the subjects had high blood pressure. None of the subjects were unhealthy nor did they have a history of any health challenges. If you fed them carrots for the alleged seven years the "study" was in operation they would have come out with the same results concerning beta carotene, probably stating that beta caortene does not work as an anti oxidant. My best guess is that it's just another non scientific work sponsored or promoted by the world's salt processors or associations. There have been a few and each one has declared salt super-healthy. We know differently through our "hands-on" pursuit of salt's alleged benefits and real-life dangers. We have lived the talk that salt does cause hypertension in millions of people and it also affects Meniere's, liver and kidney patients, stomach cancer patients and heart disease patients. Sodium's relationship to hypertension has been studied since 1907 under scientific conditions with viable double-blind studies conclusively proving that salt is in fact a culprit for many diseases, I therefore, believe this study, first reported in America in the American Medical Journal to be a bad joke. What bothers me the most is that the news media picks up on the theme and touts it all as true without doing any research of their own concerning the study itself. They have done this with other fallacy driven studies and often confused the public. This time they are playing with fire since high levels of sodium and salt can make many people very sick and in some cases bring about premature death.

get the salt out Is it possible to bottle tomatoes from my garden without adding salt? LeeAnn.

salt get outThe use of salt is optional in all canned tomato products. Salt is used in canning only for flavor or color protection. I add an extra dose of fresh lemon juice when canning tomatoes to help retain the color.



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get the salt out Don: Can you tell me if a low sodium diet really does help? I have read so many articles and it seems that it is not clear that a low sodium diet really helps in lowering blood pressure. My husband had a heart attack two years ago, and he doesn't feel that cutting out all the salt in his diet really is working in lowering his blood pressure. Anna L.

salt get outMuch research has been done in this area. Recently, research has proved conclusively that lowering sodium intake will lower blood pressure. UPDATE: As of 2010 researchers are convinced that lowering sodium will reduce risk to heart disease and help reduce hypertension. Although there is a "salt war" going on among media types, the rest of us must work with what we have. See my article for a national mag by clicking here to get a feel for what is going on nationally and I view it. Personally however, I can tell you reducing sodium helps. Whether everyone should drop to 500 mg or not is yet another question. For me it worked. For many with renal disease it's a must. I would say, based on my research of research, that for many, a low of 1,000 to 1,300 mg would also work to reduce hypertension. See my updated May, 2010 note here.



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get the salt out I read in a book that there is a good sodium and a bad sodium. They said the good sodium was sea salt and that all other salt was bad. Is this true? — Sarah D.

salt get outThanks for your note. You sent the book title along and we took a look at it. The self-publish-author of that book is wrong, but obviously biased toward sea salt. The sea salt marketing program has been very effective in getting many people to believe sea salt was healthier than regular table salt. NaCL is the chemical compound for both sea salt and table salt. Our bodies recognize only that. Each has about 2,350 mg of sodium per teaspoon. Sodium is sodium. There is in other words, no good sodium and no "good" salt. P.S. I wouldn't touch a recipe in that book were I you. Added later: Most sea salt products contain a mixture of one-half salt, one-half lycopene. The producers believe they may therefore claim sea salt has lower sodium. Even Campbell's soup has fallen into this trap. Read the labels and Ingredients on everything you use. You don't want any surprises when dealing with returning to good health.



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get the salt out Why do I crave salt? I'm having trouble adjusting.

salt get outEssentially salt has damaged your palate. Everyone who eats salt has a damaged palate. But nature has been kind to us. If we stop for at least 90 days and eat anything with salt in it, and if we don't add salt at our table or whiile cooking, our palate returns to normal (gradually at first and then fully). We actually begin to taste the real flavors of fresh foods. What has happened to us? We have been so inundated by salt that if we don't put salt on "every" thing we eat, it tastes bland. The more salt we eat, the more we want it — a vicious cycle to be sure. We don't need salt, but we do need the sodium in natural foods. So, try cutting all salt out for about 30 days and see how you do. That of course includes processed foods, restaurant food, marketed-snacks, etc. I'll bet you begin to like the flavors of real food. The day you "sneak" a salty snack though during that 30 days will be the day you have to start all over again. And by the way, no salt — sea, Kosher, or table salt is good for us. Salt does not cure ills, it creates them.



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get the salt out Why do we need salt?

salt get outHumans don't need salt, but we do need some sodium. With a balanced salt-free diet we can get all the sodium we need from natural foods. And the flavors will be much better than the biting, sour taste of salt. The sodium in sodium chloride is needed to transmit electrical impulses through nerves. It also helps with muscle contraction and the distribution of water in the body. These functions need small amounts of dietary sodium and other essential elements never mentioned in the news or at many "salt" sites. We can, however, function a lot better without added salt. Salt with its high dose of sodium has been linked to many diseases from stomach cancer and osteoporosis, to heart disease, Meniere's Syndrome, hypertension, and kidney and liver diseases.



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get the salt out I read about a product from Con Agra called Amplify. It's supposed to be a salt substitute. Where can I get it? Is it good?

salt get outI wrote to Con Agra and a gentleman called and explained that Amplify is indeed a salt substitute. I asked how much potassium it had in it and it's minimal. However, you can't purchase Amplify as a substitute. It's strictly a product for manufacturers to use as a sodium lowering ingredient. As a matter of fact, at this writing, he explained that McDonald's and other similar chains are becoming very interested in the product in order to cut the salt way down in their food products, which of course would lower sodium impressively.



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potassium chlorideCan potassium chloride be dangerous for us?

salt get outSince I'm neither a scientist nor doctor I can only refer you to the experts. Here's a short response from C. J. Doorenbos, internist-nephrologist, & C. G. Vermeij, internist-nephrologist from their research web site..
Salt substitutes may cause severe hyperkalaemia in patients with impaired renal potassium handling
Department of Internal Medicine and Nephrology, Deventer Hospital, PO Box 5001, 7400 GC Deventer, Netherlands
Correspondence to: C J Doorenbos

In extolling the benefits of potassium an editorial in the BMJ recently advocated that people should increase their intake of potassium. ¹ Its benefits include lowering blood pressure in both hypertensive and normotensive people. A high potassium intake reduces the risk of stroke, and in rats it prevents renal vascular, glomerular, and tubular damage. Increasing potassium concentrations also reduces the risk of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with heart disease, heart failure, and left ventricular hypertrophy.1 Using a salt substitute that contains potassium combines the advantages of reducing sodium intake and increasing potassium intake.

However, in the high risk population that may benefit most from an increased consumption of potassium, several medical conditions predispose to the development of hyperkalaemia through impairing renal excretion of potassium. These conditions include renal failure, diabetes mellitus with hyporeninaemic hypoaldosteronism, and obstructive uropathy. The risk of hyperkalaemia is further increased by the frequent prescription in these patients of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, and potassium sparing diuretics. Elderly patients with osteoarthritis may also use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which also may contribute to increased plasma potassium values.²

Salt substitutes that contain potassium may cause hyperkalaemia with life threatening consequences in susceptible patients, as the following case report illustrates.
1. He FJ, MacGregor GA. Beneficial effects of potassium. BMJ 2001; 323: 497-501[Free Full Text].
2. Perazella MA. Drug-induced hyperkalemia: old culprits and new offenders. Am J Med 2000; 109: 307-314[ISI][Medline].

Potassium Chloride UPDATED MATERIAL — potassium chloride can be unhealthy for many users. Check with your doctor first, especially if you are in renal failure, taking ACE inhibitors, potassium-sparing diuretics, or angiotensin blockers (Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and heart failure.)

Potassium Chloride, Salt Substitute Update 2013: From Drugs.com: Avoid taking potassium supplements or using other products that contain potassium without first asking your doctor. Salt substitutes or low-salt dietary products often contain potassium. If you take certain products together you may accidentally get too much potassium. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains potassium.

Update 2014: What should I avoid while taking losartan (Cozaar)? Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of losartan. Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking losartan, unless your doctor has told you to. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

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get the salt out This question arises from a book I read by Mark Bitterman titled, Salted, a Manifesto on the world's Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes." Is salt the world's most essential mineral? — Peter Mariani

salt get outIn a nutshell, no. Many minerals are essential, some equally to others like sodium and potassium. The glossary in Living Well Without Salt covers this area very well. Some chefs have found it nearly impossible to cook without salt and apparently Mr. Bitterman enjoys salt enough to promote it. Here's good health to him forever. However, salt is not the mineral he is adding to his food. Sodium is and our bodies do need some sodium. An adequate amount of sodium has been scientifically set at 8 to 10 mmol/d. Converted, that's 144 to 180 mg of sodium per day. This sodium acts to help our heart and other organs and our muscles, too. But along with that sodium we need other minerals one of which is potassium. Get too much of either and our hearts are in trouble. Nearly every single thing we eat contains both sodium and potassium along with scores of other minerals, although, some in minute amounts. To get too little sodium we'd probably have to stop eating. To cut potassium intake to zero we'd definitely have to stop eating.

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get the salt out Don, have a look at www.alsosalt.com. This is a new product, and may have real value. What's your opinion? — W. Armstrong

salt get outHi, AlsoSaltģ and others have been around now for a few years. When we first started Megaheart.com and the cookbooks these products weren't yet out. What they are though is 99% potassium chloride. If you have a heart problem you don't want to use this on a regular basis, if at all. Too much potassium can directly affect your electrolytic balance and your heart. So can too little. If you are taking potassium tablets, then you are getting just the right amount because your doctor more than likely has checked the level of potassium with a blood test. Your heart does need potassium; our fear is that with these high potassium level salt substitutes you just might get too much of it. Featherweight Baking Powder is similar to AlsoSalt — potassium carbonate. We no longer use Featherweight, but instead Ener-g Baking Powder, which is double acting and has the added benefit of adding calcium to our recipes. We therefore don't recommend AlsoSalt. Our recipes generally call for a balance of spices and herbs that bring about excellent flavors in each meal. I hope this doesn't discourage you from preparing good meals. I think if you play around with spices you might begin to recognize the true flavors of food and the wonderful variety spices offer.



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I need some help with how much salt or sodium we should have if we were measuring it by measuring spoons, that is if we use a teaspoon in the morning and a teaspoon for lunch and dinner would that be too much? Do we need to be mindful of products with baking soda, baking powder and MSG, etc.? It is not that I can not have salt; it is I need to watch it because my feet, ankle and legs swell so. If you have information I would appreciate it very much. — Jeanette

low sodium recipesHello Jeanette. I've listed responses to your questions below:
  • 1. Check into All About Sodium for some more information about salt and sodium.


  • 2. One teaspoon of salt has 2,350 mg of sodium. One quarter teaspoon of salt is too much for a whole day as is even a pinch of salt. Your food supply has enough sodium to fulfill your sodium needs.


  • 3. Do not eat packaged foods unless they state "No Salt Added," or "Unsalted."


  • 4. Yes, you have to count everything you eat during the day.


  • 5. Swelling is often caused by excessive salt/sodium intake. It will reduce quickly if you stick to a 500 mg a day program such as the 28-day meal planning guide in the back of our book.


  • 6. Baking Soda and Baking Powder are too high in sodium to use the standard products. Use Ener-G baking soda (triple the amount a regular recipe calls for) and Ener-g Baking Powder (double the amount a regular recipe calls for) and leave all salt out of baked goods. You can purchase baking powder and baking soda at Healthy Heart Market.


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low sodium dietI recently was discharged from the hospital (and told to go) on a no salt diet. I am concerned I am a man 65 years old with heart failure.—Thanks, Bob & Bernice Feist

Most of our visitors and book users are sticking to 500 mg and below a day for sodium levels. (Research has shown that from about 144 to 180 mg a day are all we need. Beyond that we are overdoing it.) With our book in hand this is an easy task. Your doctor may recommend 2 grams (2,000 mg) a day, but if you tell him you can get lower he may suggest that's better. Show him the book and he'll probably go along with the 500 mg a day. Read our testimonial section to see how many people have improved and actually gotten off the transplant list thanks to the book, exercise and sticking to their medication program.

low sodiumMy husband was put on a no salt low sodium diet because he has CHF. If salt is in the ingredient label but shows very low sodium, is that ok? — Shirley Delorenzo

no salt recipesSalt is not the culprit, sodium is. Salt just has a lot of sodium in it. If an ingredient lists salt, but the sodium is low, and if it fits into your plan, it's okay. Some may say we are salt-sensitive. What that means is we react poorly to sodium. You are on the right track, reading the sodium levels.

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low sodium I know that many salt substitutes contain potassium and are not recommended. What about "Mrs. Dash". My potassium is too high and I want to be sure that Mrs. Dash is okay to use. — Rosamond B.

no salt recipesWe don't usually recommend any "salt substitute." The Best way to know if a substitute has potassium is to read the FDA label. Also, check the ingredients. If the ingredients list potassium then it's probably going to exceed your daily needs.

Potassium is necessary in most diets, but too much can be harmful as you already know. I suggest you make your own substitute. Understand however, that salt substitutes do not help in baking or cooking. Salt is in breads for instance as a preservative and it is in canned goods and some packaged goods for the same reasons. It's also used to cause a flavor that would not otherwise exist, although the excuse is to "enhance" the flavor.

Our latest No Salt, Lowest Sodium Light Meals book has a great bunch of soup and salad recipes that do not use salt, salt substitutes or potassium. These are definitely a plus in your diet. You can read more about it at
Light Meals Book.

As to Mrs. Dash. I haven't looked at a jar of that in a long time and can't remember. Neither can I find the nutrients for it on the Web. If it says it uses potassium however, then stay away from it would be my suggestion.

Also, we feel that using salt substitutes develops a "crutch" where we wouldn't otherwise learn how to prepare foods with flavor without salt. That aside, as a quick substitute for flavoring you can try: ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lemon juice works on some foods, no salt added salsa on others. And a shaker filled with a variety of herbs can be a tasty, convenient way to use less salt. Try this combination:
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed, ground
  • 2Ĺ teaspoons marjoram, crushed
  • 2Ĺ teaspoons summer savory, crushed
  • 1Ĺ teaspoons thyme, crushed
  • 1Ĺ teaspoons dried basil, crushed
  • Ĺ teaspoon black pepper, crushed

We have another substitute recipe in the No Salt, Lowest Sodium Light Meals book as well. It's titled: Flavor Kicker, and it's on page 178.

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low salt dietsHi, I was just diagnosed with CHF. My ejection fraction was 15%. I was told to cut my salt down but the doctor didn't tell me how much. No one there will talk to me about it, either. I read your testimonial pages and they sure give me some hope. I read also that your EF was low once. Can you tell me what to do regarding this salt thing?— Barbara

sodiumHi Barbara. First, it's good you are here and that you realize you need some help with this. For many, cutting salt out is not an easy adventure. I have adapted to a 500 mg of sodium a day or fewer and been at it for 7 years now. My EF has climbed back up to 50% (from under 20%), my heart has remodeled to normal size and I work a good 10 hour day now. In the beginning however, I was told a much different story. You may want to pick up a copy of
The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook. It's the best-selling book on the market today for what you need to do. The back of the book has a 28-day meal-planning guide you can use to build your own guide. The book also has 350 recipes to help you. Our baking book also has 135 good baking recipes. Once you accept this lower level of sodium as your new lifestyle, and keep up a good exercise program along with your medications, I see no reason why you can't get better. You may want to read through this page of questions and answers also to pick up more information about products, results, where to go for more help.

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salt freeYour recipes are great. They have really saved my life and that's no joke. I admit it took me a while to get out of denial and finally dump the salt shaker. It's like AA I think. Do you really not use any salt at all? I had a terrible time getting off the habit. Things just didn't taste good for a long time. But now they do. They actually taste better. When I do touch salt now, it's awful tasting. Thank you. — A. Stein

salt free dietsYou admitted to denial, which was good. We all go through that stage when first diagnosed with whatever drives us to a no salt lifestyle. Mine was heart disease. You didn't say what yours was. Apparently, it was bad enough to get you to go all the way, shake the shaker so to speak. Some can't. We receive many E-mails where some refuse to give up their "McDonald's" lifestyle. One gentleman refuses to go a day without a "Big Mac." I think such addictions are sad since we are in control of everything we do. Some even get mad and write rather nasty notes to me about "I can't live without salt and neither can you. So get off it. We have to have some salt." Of course, this is not true. Others may write that no salt recipes are tasteless, eeek, awful, and even critique the books because they believe the recipes are flavorless. (You know now they aren't.) What this tells me is that they have had a heavy salt diet all their life and are in serious trouble. Their taste buds have been salt-trained. I believe they are frustrated because they have been told to shake the salt (sort of like stop smoking cold) and therefore they seem to have to punish someone else for this new and seemingly unconquerable challenge. I don't mind that they come at me . . . I do my best to talk them through it. To help. That's what we are here at Megaheart.com for. Since we have proof that it saves lives, even gets patients off the transplant list or at least turned away from it we (and I) are confident our message can eventually get through to those who really want to fight for their own survival. So, when you see these messages and critiques and writings, or hear them, do your best to help the originator of them. (I have even called people who have "blasted" me or the books and tried to counsel them. Some have done well and made great strides, others are in such denial there seems to be no way of helping them.) It's very good to hear that you have succeeded. That's what this site is all about and I thank you deeply for your note.

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Is there a list of the amount of sodium in vegs and natural foods? I recently found your cookbook in the bookstore. It has been such a big help in changing my diet. You have helped me realize there is life after they take the salt away. Thanks—Kathy Marshall

low sodium potato chipsWe have put an extensive list on the Web site for you. You can find it at All About Sodium On the left side you'll be able to find "word buttons" that will take you to veggies, beef, fish, etc.

Also, at the bottom of this page you can click on the USDA NUTRIENT DATABASE button. This will take you directly to the USDA where you can type in any foods in question including brand labels (sometimes).

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My name is John and I just want to ask you this question because I cannot have anything that contains salt in any form. Do all meats and vegetables and fruit have salt already in it. Please reply. Thank you so much. Thanks—John

low sodium potato chips You mentioned you cannot have anything with salt in it. Salt and sodium are not the same thing. No food naturally has "salt" in it. But processed, canned, packaged, fast foods, frozen foods, restaurants, bread all use a lot of salt. Fresh foods, raw meats not processed (some chicken is soaked in brine before coming to the market -- read the FDA label on the chicken package first) are not laden with salt. Fresh vegetables are clear of all salt.

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chickenGreetings, Don! My question is about my Mom: She has had heart problems and is now on a reduced salt diet. But it seems her doctor has told her to avoid -any- salt substitutes. Are you aware of any reasons why she must do so, and since she must, how would this affect so many recipes (or over-the counter products) where manufacturers -are- using such (alternative) ingredients to keep the ~real~ salt content low? In other words, HOW would the average consumer have any way of knowing what chemical combinations to avoid? Thank you, so very much, for the courtesy of your reply. I really appreciate it. — - 4-H Mom

no salt pancakesSome salt substitutes are nothing more than pure potassium chloride. To use these could imbalance your mother's medications. Potassium levels in the body are generally kept in balance by a healthy diet. If she's taking a diuretic however, she's probably also taking a potassium tablet. The term "Salt Substitute" generally means "I'm going to use it everyday." Not a good idea.

Other salt "substitutes" have 1/2 salt, half potassium chloride or some spices or herbs. Sodium level for these amounts to about 1,300 mg a teaspoon.

I have avoided salt substitutes in all recipes for the above reasons and for another reason that plays heavily in success or failure in adopting a no salt lifestyle.

And there is the Crutch theory. If we use crutches all our life, we'd probably end up not knowing how to walk. Salt substitutes becomes a crutch against learning how to prepare foods so that you still enjoy them, and keep your daily sodium levels below 500 mg a day.

Our No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook has a 28 day meal-planning guide at the back of the book. You can make your own plan based on this one. It's important to try it. Cutting salt out and changing our lifestyles is saving the lives of many of us, include my own. It was no joke for me...I quickly developed a plan, stuck to it and now, after nearly 6 years, I'm practically normal again.

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get the salt out Dear chef Don, My late wife of 25 1/2 years developed type II diabetes in the early 80's. It wasn't until she developed renel failure and subsequently died from the excessive salt intake, that I have become convinced of the poisonous nature of too much salt. I have since remarried and my current wife loves her salt shaker also. Is there a way to graciously throw away the salt shaker or is the body's inherent need for sodium so strong that it overrides any better sense even in the face on contradictory evidence? Could you please send to me some convincing arguments which may help me to convince her to give up her salt habit ! GCW

salt get outHi Graham. There are many myths about salt and sodium. One of them is that our "body" cries out for salt. That's wrong. Our bodies do not need salt. Not at all. There is enough sodium naturally in a balanced diet to take care of our sodium needs. As a matter of fact, if we eat too much of some natural foods, we'll get too much sodium.

Salt therefore, adds sodium in excess in any levels of it. One-teaspoon of salt has 2,350 mg of sodium. (Same for sea salt although some sea salt manufacturers say theirs has fewer. Indeed their product per teaspoon may have fewer milligrams of sodium, but the level of sea salt in their serving size is also proportionatly lower -- mixed with other elements.)

The AMA, ADA, and NIH and other science related groups have settled in on about 1300 milligrams total a day for healthy people who are elderly, sedate or not too active. Very active people can eat as much as a total of 2300 mg a day. All this is sodium. Not salt.

A glass of milk (cup), two pieces of toast, one or two eggs or a bowl of cereal can pretty much offer up about 1/4 of a day's total supply. And those without added salt. Lunch, snacks, dinner, desserts can total over the daily recommended level. Without adding salt.

Salt is introduced to our bodies from the first baby food fed us to most all commercially processed foods. If salt is not introduced in childhood, we have no craving for it. Ever. It's a foul taste for those who have never eaten it and have lived without it. I have not eaten salt for nearly two decades and when it appears in or on anything, my tastebuds reject it before I even begin to eat it. Yet, before heart failure, I ate it in processed foods as much as anyone else.

For some of us it's easy to get off salt. For others, it's hard because salt can be addictive. Therefore, flavor kickers made from spices and herbs are needed. Chicken backed with a spice mix can be as tasty as chicken served with salt. Soups can be tasty as well with a chicken broth made like the one in our No Salt, Lowest Sodium Light Meals book.

Lemon or lime squeezes can replace the kick in salads, soups and even on fowl.

Our Light Meals book has about 10 special spice mixes you can put together in your kitchen and work with when serving meals. Not only are they tasty, they are much healthier than salt.

You might also like to know that if you are taking medications or vitamins that all have some level of sodium in them. Some are very high. Once a day vitamins can have from 60 mg to 120 mg per pill. Glucosomine/Chondroitin can have upwards of 1200 mg (in other words, whole day's supply of sodium in one pill).

It is important to cut salt out. Very important. It works against kidneys, liver, lungs and blood vessels. So see if you can get your wife to try it. Slowly with the spice and herb mixes until she adapts wholly. I admit my wife had the same challenge but we no longer have salt in the house, not even for guests. She has gotten very good at creating spice mixes as well. And she feels much, much better without all the fluid retention.

You can find the Light Meals book at a discount price at Megaheart.com Light Meals book.

Please let us know if there's more we can do to help.



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SEA SALT

I just read a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. It states it uses 'lower sodium sea salt.' Can this be true?
Help, is sea salt good for us?
Does Sea Salt Have Less Sodium?


reduced sodiumDoes Campbells really have a lower sodium sea salt?

reduced fatNot really. NaCL is NaCL no matter what they market it as. I picked up a can of that Chicken Noodle soup, listed by Campbell's as "Healthy Request." Below that they claim the soup is heart healthy, intimated to be so because it has 0% trans fats. It is not heart healthy. Note if you will that it contains 410 mg of sodium per half a cup. Have you ever sat down and eaten just a half cup of soup for a full meal? If you follow directions you will double the can volume with an equal amount of water. The FDA label says the can contains 2.5 servings. That would equal 1.25 cups to be doubled to 2.5 cups of soup. The total sodium level for the can is 1025 mg of sodium. The average consumer will get two servings out of that or about 512.5mg of sodium per serving. That's 12.5 mg of sodium more than our daily target rate of 500 mg. Okay, so that doesn't answer the question. But it leads us to wondering why Campbell's uses the phrase "normal sea salt." We have not been made aware of abnormal sea salt unless they are referring to sea salt containers marketed as lower in sodium. These containers and products nearly always contain a 50/50 mixture of sea salt and lycopene. This watered down version is then called sea salt with "less" sodium than regular salt (table salt). The Truth Is:
All salt, measured at 6 grams, contains 2,350 mg of sodium. There's just no way of getting around that. The arguments from sea salt purveyers that it's healthier, tastier, and better for us, are just not true. It is all marketing hype. Salt is dangerous in any of its formats or presentations. Caveate Emptor when you read those ads or promotional pieces.

The FDA label states that it has standard table salt and a dash of sea salt, one shot of MSG (natural flavors) a bunch of other chemicals and some mechanically separate chicken meat. In my humble opinion, it's much better to make your own. At least you know what your eating when you do.

reduced sodiumDoes Sea Salt have less sodium in it?

reduced fat "Salt is salt - sodium is sodium." Sodium is a base mineral and all salt (sodium chloride) structures are the same regardless of whether they came from the sea on the coast of Montpellier, France, or from a mine in Pennsylvania. When ground to finer forms (as in table salt or Kosher salt) it has a tendency to "clump," so salt producers add anti-clumping agents. They also may add sodium iodide. But that is at a very very small rate. I have a can of "Baleine" sea salt here and they add sodium iodide at the rate of 15mg/KG which can hardly be regarded as dilutional. In any case, nutritional and anti-clumping additives have already taken into account in the USDA's nutritional values, which are averages of many samples. Any dilutional effect of additives to salt over various brands will have a negligible affect on the final sodium value, thus they will not diverge in that respect from the USDA listing for "table salt" by any significant amount.

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reduced sodiumI have a dear friend, age 76 male who is truly into vitamins and good eating. Recently he is into Sea Salt, which is fine, but his research has told him he can have all he wants, unlike regular table salt. I feel that may not be true....sodium is sodium is sodium. But I have no information to put in his hands to read. I even checked the Mayo Clinic for info and found nothing. He loves the Mayo Clinic so I thought that may be an excellent resource. Help! Thank you — Mary Dehon

reduced fat Read above response to sodium levels of sea salt. To reiterate: Sea Salt and table Salt are identical in levels of sodium chloride. One is mined from the sea and sometimes from "exotic" locations, while table salt is definitely mined from underground. Your friend might want to read the package labels of his sea salt if they have them. Sea salt has 2,350 mg sodium per teaspoon. Table salt has 2,350 mg sodium per teaspoon. Whether sea salt is "healthier" the answer is "No," since both salts have the exact same levels of sodium chloride. I might also caution you against using salt substitutes unless they are made from herbs and spices. Many contain salt while others contain very high levels of potassium chloride, which can also be "dangerous" to those with chronic illnesses. See This Article for more specific information concerning potassium.

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SODIUM


Can you tell me if a low sodium diet really does help?
How much sodium in coffee?
How do I convert sodium measurements?
Is it healthy for me to keep my sodium under 500 mg a day?
Can you tell me how much of the salt in the brining liquid would be absorbed by the turkey?
Where can I get information on the natural sodium in food?
How many mg of sodium do teenage girls need per day?
Is there any kind of substitutes he can take to raise blood sodium levels?
I have been put on a 200 mg low sodium diet. Can you help me?
Please send me a list of foods with no sodium.
What does "trace" mean when used in your recipes for sodium levels?


Please send me a list of foods with no sodium for my Dad who recently had a very bad heart attack. I also need to know what low saturated fats he can eat. -- Thank you -- Nancy

You can find an extensive list of foods and ingredients at
Sodium Information

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get the salt out Don: Can you tell me if a low sodium diet really does help? I have read so many articles and it seems that it is not clear that a low sodium diet really helps in lowering blood pressure. My husband had a heart attack two years ago, and he doesn't feel that cutting out all the salt in his diet really is working in lowering his blood pressure. Anna L.

salt get outMuch research has been done in this area. UPDATE: Recently, research has proved conclusively that lowering sodium intake will lower blood pressure. As of 2005 researchers are convinced that lowering sodium will reduce risk to heart disease and help reduce hypertension. Although there is a "salt war" going on among media types, the rest of us must work with what we have. See my article for a national mag by clicking here to get a feel for what is going on nationally and I view it. Personally however, I can tell you reducing sodium helps. Whether everyone should drop to 500 mg or not is yet another question. For me it worked. For many with renal disease it's a must. I would say, based on my research of research, that for many, a low of 1,000 to 1,300 mg would also work to reduce hypertension.



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get the salt out On your recipes several ingredience have (trace). What does that mean? — Pauline Young

salt get outTrace generally means an immeasurable amount or amounts totaling less than .0099 mg per serving measurement based on USDA standards. We base everything on USDA data. FDA labels on food packaging can be misleading by the way. 0 on an FDA label can mean anything up to 5 mg of sodium per serving. 130 mg can mean anything from 125 to 135 mg.



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I have been put on a 200 mg low sodium diet. Can you help me?— Michele

low fat dietsThat's very low but can be done. Get a copy of the book "The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook." You can visit Megaheart Bookstore and click on the book to get it from Amazon within 3 days. Or you can call your local bookstore and order it.

In the back of the book you'll find a 28-day meal-planning guide. The recipes in the guide are in the book. You can adjust the meal planner to your tastes and desires. But use the format. You'll find just the right recipes to attain your goal.

You may also have to cut some portions of some foods in half. Generally remember this: Fresh fruits are all low in sodium. Most fresh vegetables are low but carry some like a single medium carrot has 35 mg of sodium. Same with celery and spinach. But others like onions, potatoes, mushrooms have very little. Lettuce and other such greens are nearly zero but do have traces of sodium. A single medium tomato (whole) has 11 mg, so if you use a slice you can figure about 2 mg. And never, never eat anything from a can, package, box, frozen item or processed deli meats without first ensuring they are "no salt added," or contain absolutely no salt in the ingredients. Remember too that a single cup of milk has 130 mg of sodium. The book will be a "life-saver" for you. No other "low salt" book can match this one for your needs.

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low carboMy father in-law has a low blood sodium count of 114. He has a disease called pulmonary hypertension. Is there any kind of substitutes he can take to increase his sodium count quickly? Please respond ASAP. Thank you in advance for your time.—R. Dwelly

ener-gYou'll have to speak with your doctor about that since the count you gave us is a blood count. Blood sodium is not the same as ingested sodium. Other factors may also play in his low sodium count (normal range is 135 to 145) such as diuretics, medications and whether he is in fact ingesting too little sodium. See our web page at
All About Sodium. You can learn more about blood sodium in the last paragraph of the first section.

no salt addedCan you tell me how many milligrams of sodium do teenage girls need per day?—K.W.

nsa tomatoesThe answer to your question depends on many factors including overall health status. I suggest consulting with a registered dietitian (R.D.) for specific information. You may locate a R.D. in your area by going to the American Dietetic Association web site at ADA and clicking on the icon "Find a dietitian". By typing in your zip code you will receive contact information for dietitians practicing in your area.

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heart failureI noticed that none of your recipes call for salt substitute. Is there a reason for that? Also, do you know where I could get information on the natural sodium in food? Thanks—Lewanna

dilated cardiomyopathy Salt substitutes, unless made of spices like my formula, either have way too much sodium in them (because many of them contain salt) or they are flavorless and a weak attempt to provide a substitute for salt flavor. No salt substitute that I've seen will work in cooking breads and other recipes calling for salt as a leavening or preservative agent.

You can access a great deal of information at our web site by clicking on the All About SODIUM button on most pages or clicking All About Sodium.

If you need further information, scroll to the bottom of that same page and click on the USDA button at the bottom.

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meniere'sMy husband is on a sodium restricted diet. He has been watching the Food Network on TV, where everyone seems to be brining their Thanksgiving turkey. He says that brining will not increase the amount of sodium in the meat. I don't see how that is possible. Can you tell me how much of the salt in the brining liquid would be absorbed by the turkey? Thank you, — Cheri McWilliams

menieresI hope this doesn't upset your husband but chefs and now processors brine turkeys to add more sodium/salt flavor and to extend the shelf life. Yes, enough "sticks" to the bird to warrant great caution. The USDA says a brined 12 pound turkey increases in sodium levels exponentially. 4 ounces of raw, fresh baked turkey has about 72 mg of sodium per ounce. A brined turkey for the same serving can have upwards of 980 to 1200 mg of sodium..

Brining requires soaking a whole turkey in salted water for hours -- usually overnight. It's done to "firm up the bird's breast meat" and give better texture and a saltier flavor. It firms it up by soaking the salt into the meat.

"Briners" add between 75,373 milligrams of sodium and 100,000 mg to a 12 to 16 pound bird during soaking.

Recipes published with USDA stats show between 980 mg sodium per serving (16 servings of 4 to 6 ounces out of a 12 to 16 pound bird) to over 1,200 mg per serving.

By the way, a fresh, raw, cooked without salt turkey delivers about 72 to 100 mg per serving size ranging from 4 to 6-ounces.

Update 2006. More and more processors are brining turkeys, chicken meat and pork. Be careful. Read all labels. And look out for "Natural Flavorings." Natural flavorings usually mean an unlisted combination of chemicals that produce MSG have been added. Since MSG must be listed and these combining chemicals don't have to be listed, the term "Natural Flavorings" has been used. Also some chicken meat (such as Trader Joe's and others) will state that the meat is natural, with minimal processing and no additives. Not quite true. The minimal processsing often turns out to be either the "Natural Flavorings" combination or short brining, which doubles the natural sodium level to about 40 mg per ounce.

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low salt receiptsHow much sodium in coffee?— Mary Rios

Great question. There are nearly a hundred listings at the USDA. Basically coffee by itself varies from half a milligram per ounce to 1 milligram per ounce. Now comes the rub. Water. If you use bottled - distilled water the sodium doesn't change. If you use tap water from a municipal source then your cup of coffee will change to the level of that water. Water ranges from 1 mg per quart to 400 mg per quart in some parts of the country. Ground water, if you have a well, must be tested to see what your sodium level might be. The USDA averages water at 7.11 mg per cup or nearly 1 mg per ounce. Add cream, you add sodium. The amount of sugar you may add is negligible.
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no salt added tomatoI have a friend who can have 2000 mg. of sodium per day. What does this convert to in dry measurement. Is it a teaspoon, or what part of a teaspoon or tablespoon? Thanks — Thresa D.

Hi Theresa, 2,000 mg a day of sodium is a lot of sodium, higher than the recommended 1,300 mg to 1,800 mg a day for healthy people. There is no measurement per teaspoon for this. A teaspoon of salt has 2,350 mg of sodium. But when eating, we find sodium in everything and that's the trick. Our cookbook,
The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook was designed for heart and Meniere's patients as well as kidney and hypertension patients. Doctors are gradually coming around to realizing we can get below 2,000 mg a day and still enjoy our meals and get plenty to eat. Because we have proved it's easy to get down to as low as 500 mg a day (and in some cases lower), many cardiologists and registered dietitians are today recommending our books to their patients. You may want to point your friend to Our Cookbooks and invest the $11.97 in our No Salt cookbook that walks them through all the sodium levels, provides over 350 recipes with sodium levels per every ingredient and a 28 day meal planning guide your friend can use to build her/his own daily eating plan.

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Is it healthy for me to keep my sodium intake to under 500 mg. a day? I have high blood pressure that seems to be fine since the end of May when I started limiting the sodium and losing weight. Our doctor thinks 500 mg is too low and we should aim for 1500. Is there any valid problem with taking in under 500 mg? Thank you — Bonnie Taylor

salt free recipes Hi Bonnie, You didn't say if you were diagnosed with anything more serious than weight and high blood pressure. At least for heart patients my cardiologist at Stanford Heart Transplant Clinic says that 500 is fine, especially for patients who need it. If hypertension is your sole diagnosis, then current research pins the sodium at between 1,000 and 1,300 mg a day. You must discuss this with your doctor however. I have been on a 500 mg a day intake for 8 years without ever having gone over that level. I also do not have to take diuretics, potassium or other meds usually given for patients who need to lower blood pressure or help with serious heart failure by quickly expelling body fluids through these chemical means. The logic that strikes me, a non medical person, is that if diuretics are taken, and potassium then given to replace the potassium the diuretics excrete, why would a 500 mg a day dietary plan that negates the need for chemistry alterations be not a good thing? Historically Doctors haven't believed we can get below 1500 mg a day, so they usually say 1500 or 2,000 mg hoping we might get close.

Please Let me have your doctors name and address and St. Martin's Press will send him a complimentary copy of the No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook. I believe you can explain to your doctor that this is new territory, unexplored before, and that we are proving it is just fine. Renal patients by the way are told to try to get even lower than 500 mg a day.

Lower than 500 on a daily basis seems to not be harmful and that comes from my experience of having gone at lengthy times never exceeding 300 mg a day. However, I try to stick around 500; never over it.

I am not a doctor and can't advise you, but have given you my past 8 years of experience above. I can also tell you that we have had a few thousand letters from successful users of the program who have returned to work after having been diagnosed with CHF with very low EF numbers. And others have been removed from the transplant list since their hearts remodeled back to normal size.

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BREAD

Why do some people tell me to not use Bread Flour?
What am I doing wrong with my sourdough mix?
Are there altitude adjustment tables when using Ener-G Baking Powder?
How long will my bread remain fresh?
Can I adjust your bread recipes?
Can I just remove the salt from bread recipes I used to use?
Where can I find rye bread?
In your testing and improving have you learned
         anymore about no salt bread making that might help me?

Where can I find Montana Wheat flour?
Where can I find Thanksgiving stuffing?
Can I reduce the quantities in your bread recipes?
Why does a bread recipe that uses a sourdough starter need any additional yeast?
What is vital wheat gluten?
How can I make a pure whole wheat bread?
Is white whole wheat really whole wheat?
Can you tell me where I can find a Breadman machine?
Can I make bread without salt?
Can you give me a source of recipes for making bread?
Can I use the NU Salt instead or just cut back on the salt?
Can I cut the sandwich bun recipe in half?
How should I adjust the bread recipes to reflect oil instead of applesauce?
Where can I find your banana bread recipe?
Can I make your bread machine recipes with my Kithcen Aid?
Where can I get vital wheat gluten?


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clinical management of heart failureWhy do some people tell me to not use Bread Flour?

fresh no salt breadSPECIAL NOTE: California banned bromate in foods with their Proposition 65. No bread flour in California contains it.

Some flour mills use bromate of potassium in other states since the U.S. has not banned it. Bromate of potassium has been defined by the U.S. government as a carcinogen. If the flour is bromatted, it has to list that in its ingredients. Our best flour recommendations are King Arthur's, Bobs Red Mill and Hodgson Mills. We look for high protein for bread flour because that also means higher gluten. Higher gluten is better for no-salt bread recipes. However, you may use All Purpoose (AP) flour if you add 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten per cup of flour, unless the flour specifies it is high protein. Then I add 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten per two cups of flour. My general rule is:
1. High protein flour (The higher the protein level, the higher the gluten level. For no-salt bread this is desirable.)
2. Unbleached
3. No Potassium Bromate AKA Bromate of Potassium (This has been linked to cancer)
4. Recognizable brand such as King Arthur's, Bob's Red Mill, Hodgson Mills.
5. Check nutrient labels carefully for added sugar.
6. Ascorbic acid is added to a few; this is okay.

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altitude tables for bakingAre there altitude tables for Ener-G Baking Powder?

low sodium baking powderNo. There are no tables, but the following was provided to us by the company that makes Ener-G.

High Altitude Baking

  • 1). If you are using egg whites only beat to a soft peak and add an extra egg or egg white to recipes.


  • 2). If the recipe is collapsing or overflowing, decrease baking powder or baking soda by 1/8 teaspoon per teaspoon specified in the recipe. If using acidic liquids such as buttermilk or citrus juice use at least 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of such liquid.


  • 3). If the recipe isnít baking thoroughly increase the temperature by 20° F.


  • 4). If the recipe is dry add 2 tablespoons water for each cup of flour or mix.


  • 5). If a cake is collapsing or the cookie is overspreading, decrease sugar by 1 tablespoon for each cup of sugar.


  • 6). If a bread is collapsing reduce the fat and oil by around ľ (25%).


  • 7). If the product is sticking to the pan(s), grease the pan generously or use parchment paper as sticking to pans is more likely at high altitude.


  • You still must use twice as much Ener-G Baking Powder as ordinary baking powder because it uses carbonates as a Co² source, not sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate used in other baking powders.

    Our baking powder now contains both calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. The magnesium carbonate release CO² with oven heat, thereby making Ener-G Baking Powder double acting.

    Ener-G Baking Powder isnít as soluble as other baking powders which can make some problems. It is more soluble in acids than in water. It does contain some acid in its formulation, though more is sometimes good.

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    clinical management of heart failureCan I just remove the salt from bread recipes I have?

    no salt breadRemoving salt alone will still give you a bread that rises but not very well. Whole Wheat bread won't work at all without something adjusted or added. White bread if you use a bread machine flour or "best for bread" flour and Fleischmann's Bread Machine yeast will rise but the bread won't stay fresh very long. And it won't rise to the commercial level you're accustomed too. The reason Fleichmann's Bread Machine yeast works with the "best for bread flour" is that the product has ascorbic acid added to it. The "best for bread" flour has more gluten in it than let's say all-purpose flour. These combinations are important for producing the rise and the gas needed to help bread get those nice air pockets. We add vinegar for the acid needed for freshness and ascorbic acid (either with orange zest/peel or Sure Jell Ever Fresh or pure ascorbic acid) to make a combination with the gluten, the acid and the sugar in the recipe. This combination is referred to as a bread enhancer. Other additions you can make are granular soy lecithin and potato flour, which will help add longer shelf-life and a softer freshness. Salt in bread is not the sole leavening agent but instead was initially put into bread to help keep the bread fresh. We recommend even with our ingredients that you store the bread in a zipper lock type bag. Most of our recipes will stay fresh on the counter for up to about 5 or 6 days with the above ingredient combinations. Also, you may freeze our bread and it will thaw or microwave thaw as though fresh.
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    clinical management of heart failure Can I adjust your bread recipes, like adding stuff like flaxseed meal or other things? Can I take anything out if I don't like it?

    clinical management of heart failure Yes, and no. I encourage you to play with bread recipes. Making bread is fun and making varieties of bread from a single recipe is also enjoyable. I suggest you write down what changes you make. If you have a great success, then you know exactly what to do next time. If you don't have a success, then you already know where to start over. Changing recipes often requires altering other ingredients. For instance, recipes using buttermilk will require a different level of liquid or flour. Recipes using whole wheat will change the liquid levels. Sugar and yeast levels often change as well, but you will learn quickly when to adapt and what to adapt. You didn't say specifically what you wanted to change but I assume here you aren't going to remove the important ingredients like yeast, flour (flour types can change of course), etc. I recommend Fleischmann's Bread Machine yeast for all bread recipes whether in a machine or by hand. Fleischmann's Bread Machine yeast has added ascorbic acid, which works well when not using salt. However, we add more ascorbic acid since we've found that no salt bread recipes need it in a combination of other ingredients. I would also recommend that each of your bread recipes contain the three added ingredients
    ascorbic acid, vineger, gluten. The combination of these three will help develop the gas and rise. Also, Sugar or Splenda help yeast along. Other ingredients we now recommend for freshness and flavor are potato flour (about 2-tablespoons for every 3 cups of flour, exchanged for like measurements of flour), and granular soy lecithin.

    • UPDATE: I now recommend adding at least one heaping tablespoon of soy lecithin (granulated) per each 2 1/2 to 3 cups of flour. This will add a nutty flavor and help enchance shelf life (along with potato flour) and help keep the bread fresh and airy for up to 5 days in a zipper locked bag. As to vinegar, we now add 2 tablespoons per each 3 cups of flour. Reduce current liquid measurement by one tablespoon when you do this.

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    clinical management of heart failureCan I make your bread machine recipes using my Kitchen Aid? (I just want to say your trio of books are very helpful to me in the battle against salt!! The recipe for soy sauce was amazing.)

    no salt breadThank you for your note, we are always please to hear good words about our work. Yes, you can make bread in your Kitchen Aid. But not the same way we make the dough in a bread machine. Although active dry yeast would work, we suggest using Fleischmann's Bread Machine yeast since it has some ascorbic acid in it. Before making bread with a Kitchen Aid you'll have to make what is called a "sponge." The yeast called for in the recipe has to be mixed with some of the liquid and let stand until it "sponges" up. The liquid should be warmed to about 80 degrees F and not much higher. Too much heat kills yeast. Filtered water should be used since tap water varies with chlorine content and chlorine also kills yeast.

    There are two ways to make the sponge. One is the quick way: Put the yeast in a large bowl (the one you'll be making your dough in), pour in about a quarter of a cup of the warm liquid, stir gently with a 1/4 teaspoon of the sugar or Splenda called for and let sit about 5 minutes or until it is completely dissolved and appears creamy.

    The second way, one that seems to bring out the bread flavor more. It also produces more of a "sandwich bread" than the first way. Either way works well however. Pour half of the total amount of primary liquid in the recipe into a large bowl (the one you'll make the dough in) and then stir in two cups of the white flour. Beat about 80 to 100 strokes or around thirty seconds with the Kitchen Aid. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in the room for an hour to about eight hours. In other words, you can use it at any time after an hour but not much later than 8 hours. When ready, add the rest of the ingredients and then make the bread as called for in the recipe. If the recipe is a bread machine only recipe and not a bread machine knead then oven bake, you'll want to let rise twice. The first rise you press down gently, then shape into buns, bread pans, or whatever you're making and let rise again for about and hour to an hour and a half. Bake most bread like this at 375 degrees F or higher. If are in a cold climate you can heat your oven to about 100 degrees F and let bread do its rising in there during the last rise. You won't have to cover it in the oven. When bread has risen, turn oven on to 375 degrees F and when bread browns, test for doneness and remove. Usually bread takes from 15 to 25 minutes to bake if you start the bread in the oven. Buns take less time. A secret for browning is to baste the tops of dough just before the second rise with a mixture of 1-egg white and 1-teaspoon of water, whisked. You also asked about where to locate vital wheat gluten.

    You can find vital wheat gluten at Bob's Red Mill. And you can find links to it and other products we recommend at Where To Buy.

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    clinical management of heart failure Our Store went out of business that carries your Rye Bread and I can't get anyone to order it for me. Is there somewhere in the Midland, Saginaw Michigan area that I can buy it. We miss having it on our table. Please let us know. — The McCann's

    clinical management of heart failure We don't carry any products for sale, but do recommend many. You may try
    Healthy Heart Market. Otherwise, I'm sure we could come up with a rye bread recipe if you like. Our Baking book has a rye bread on page 62 titled raisin rye. It's very good but does need to be store in a zip lock bag since we use absolutely no salt in it.

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    clinical management of heart failure Is white whole wheat really whole wheat?

    You may want to try our White Whole Wheat bread recipe. The recipe answers your question with, "This flour from Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur's Flour Company is made from a wheat known as "white whole wheat." The whole kernel is used (thereby making it whole wheat), but the wheat is different than what you are accustomed to. There are two kinds of white whole wheat. Hard white and soft white. Neither is a "white" flour. They are in fact: whole wheat. This wheat is used for making pasta, pastries and other bakery goods. It can make you a terrific tasting whole wheat bread as well.

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    clinical management of heart failure Any new advice about no salt bread making?

    Yes. Now that real ascorbic acid is available nationally from King Arthur's Catalog (online) we use it in our recipes in place of listed citrus peel or Sure Jell Ever Fresh. (But you don't have to make the switch. Recipes work very well with either. Ascorbic acid (citrus acid) is found in the orange peel and in Sure Jell Ever Fresh, which also has sugar in it. Basically, use 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid per recipe in place of the Sure Jell or orange peel recommended. We also like to add a dash of onion powder to give a bit of that old "salt" taste.

    (2006 Update: A response to a visitor to Megaheart, September, 2006)

    We've learned much in the past 10 years about no salt bread making.
    Vinegar is there to help with the freshness and shelf life of the bread (salt's real purpose in bread).

    We use 1 tablespoon of vinegar per two to three cups of flour.

    We create a rise enhancer now by adding:

    vital wheat gluten
    ascorbic acid
    sugar or Splenda.

    The combination gives us a nice "airy" rise with holes in the bread and a longer shelf life if stored in zipper lock bags. In the baking book we use orange juice for liquid in some of the recipes (which works very well), and that takes care of the ascorbic acid. The sugar activates the yeast and works with the added gluten and acids (ascorbic and vinegar). We recommend "best for bread flour" since it has more gluten than all-purpose. We recommend Fleischmann's Bread Machine yeast even if making by hand because it has ascorbic acid added to it. (We have found a bit more is needed however and if using an active dry yeast even more than we recommend.)

    We now also include Potato flour and some granular lecithin (optional but recommended). These add even more freshness and shelf life when stored properly as well as flavor. And we suggest adding a tablespoon of flaxseed meal to each 3 cups as well. This offers more fiber and a nutty flavor that's very good.

    As a "salt" bite, we now add in about a 1/4 teaspoon of granulated onion powder per each 3 cups of flour. These are optional of course, but worth experimenting with since they really help kick up the flavor of most unsalted bread recipes.

    Page 101 of our No Salt, Lowest Sodium Light Meals Book has a more extensive explanation of making no salt bread than I've provided here. Your letter spurs me on to add more info at the Web site. http://www.megaheart.com/askdon.html has questions and answers as well.

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    clinical management of heart failureWhere can I find your banana bread recipe?

    The
    No Salt Lowest Sodium Baking Book has two recipes in it. You can also find a good one at our Recipes page.

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    everything low salt cookbook bookMy sourdough starter makes my bread dough really watery. What am I doing wrong? Dale B.    2012—Kathy

    cookbook everythingSourdough itself is tough to make successfully. Let's start from the beginning and see how you did from the start. The following is a sourdough starter recipe I use all the time:

    Second question: I'm trying to make the Old Fashioned Italian Sourdough from your No Salt baking book. The receipe calls for 1 cup of bread white flour. This resulted in a soupy mess in my bread machine. A misprint? I added more flour and re-set the machine to dough, at first it looked alright, but as it sat for rising it again began looking like a sticky mess. Can you help? Kathy M. B.

  • Don's note to Kathy: Hi Kathy, You've touched a nerve here. :-) When I wrote that book, I was accustomed to using a "drier" than "wetter" sourdough. In other words, I like a thick starter over a wet one. I negelected to mention that in the book. I actually made my sourdough years ago by putting the fresh mix on the windowsill and letting it foment for 7 days. (In this area the air is perfect for that.) I have added to it at least once a week while it's in storage. Like the gentleman in the video at the link below, I put it in a Mason jar, but I don't seal it tightly.
    I made the error, not you.
    Maintenance of the starter is important.
    Here's a site I like. This guy really makes sourdough like I do.
    Video About Sourdough Maintenance.
    The audio track is awful, but the text is on the money.
    I apologize for not posting a correction to that recipe earlier.

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    bread One of the reasons why I love your cookbook so much is that it is low sodium, but not necessarily low calorie. So many low-sodium cookbooks (the AHA one, for example) are heavily geared mainly towards reducing fat in the diet. Since I am 5'4" and only weigh about 98 pounds, your cookbook helps me maintain my weight.

    As a result, I have noticed that your bread recipes (in the cookbook), are missing the fat and have replaced it with applesauce. I would like to increase the calorie/fat content of the bread by substituting butter (or oil) for the applesauce. I know this sounds backwards, but I am so skinny! How should I adjust the recipes to reflect this change? I am particularly interested in the regular white bread (for the bread machine) and the sandwich roll recipes. -- Sarah K.



    salt free breadYour question is a good one. You may exchange the applesauce for equal amounts of olive oil or unsalted butter. I prefer olive oil for a little flavor and more moisture. (Oils are in bread recipes for the moisture.) If not already in a bread recipe, you might want to add 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten and 1 tablespoon of grated orange peel or 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid (the combination makes a good bread dough enhancer). Other great bread recipes are listed at Bread Recipes

    Still more are available in our No Salt, Lowest Sodium Baking Book.

    The meal planning guide in your cookbook was designed for a healthy diet, but without much sodium. We all need some fat, what should be cut is the saturated fats and hydrogenated fats (trans fats or trans fatty acides) like those found in commercial cookies, crackers, margarine and other fat based products.

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    low sodium breadHi, I need help on a recipe - is there anyway to cut the sandwich bun recipe (p. 258) in half? Or can the dough be frozen? I don't have the room to freeze the extra rolls - and I always end up with a huge batch! Thanks! — Susan

    salad dressing(Since the first edition of the book, I have added three ingredients that help guarantee a good rise with aeration.) You can find updates and fixes at Recipe Updates. Just put this page into your bookmark for future reference. Here's what you might want to try.
  • 1 1/4 cups no sodium bottled water (trace)
  • 3 cups best for bread flour (7.5 mg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vital wheat gluten (.07 mg)
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange or lemon peel, grated (trace)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or homemade or unsalted applesauce (trace)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast (5.1 mg)
  • 1/2 large onion (or one small), diced (1.7 mg)
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar (.17 mg)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (trace)

    After the dough has worked for about 5 to 10 minutes, open the machine to make sure it is balling up correctly. If it's dry, add one teaspoon more water, wait another 5 minutes check again

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    salt free saladHi Don My husband had a massive heart attack 2 years ago and had CHF. I just bought a bread machine and noticed the recipes use 1 tsp and a half salt. Can I use the NU Salt instead or just cut back on the salt? I read the yeast needs the salt.....My husband is not taking potassium anymore.......thanks — Sue

    I don't know what kind of bread machine you purchased but you can bake bread without salt. You can find some great recipes at our web site by visiting www.megaheart.com and clicking on the loaf of bread. That will take you to our recipe page. Scroll down to the bread section.

    Most bread machine manufacturers tell you www. megaheart.com need salt to help the yeast but they are wrong. It's a mistaken myth. Yeast works well without salt. However, you do need to help the flour along with other ingredients to make it "airier." Also, you will have to add a tablespoon of vinegar to help preserve the bread (which is the real reason bread has salt). If you like an existing recipe, exchange the salt for 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten per every three cups of white flour and for every one cup of whole wheat flour. Add in 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, at least one teaspoon of white sugar or Splenda substitute and a tablespoon of orange or lemon zest. The lemon can be strong so I always use orange zest. The combination of the sugar, gluten and zest will cause your bread to rise better than if you used salt.

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    low sodium foodsCan you give me a source of recipes for making bread in a bread making machine? We are doing this so we know what is in the bread. We would, however, like more variety than the book offers. Or do you just improvise with regular recipes and experiment? Thank you!—John N.

    You can find additional bread recipes at: Recipes Index Our No Salt, Lowest Sodium Baking Book has bout 135 great break, cookie and muffin recipes.

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    potassiumMy husband has recently become a CHF patient (at the age of 26) and he has to watch how much Sodium he consumes a day. I was wondering if you knew of any substitutes for salt that would have the same baking results. For example, when making homemade bread, salt works with the yeast which makes it light and bubbly. However, using a salt substitute or no salt at all makes the bread very heavy and dense, therefore tasting awful! Same as in cookies and many other recipes that call for salt. Please help!!!!—Amy-Lynn H.

    nephrotic To answer your question about bread making right up front, it's easy to make it without salt. With a combination of gluten, sugar and ascorbic acid you can convert any recipe you have by leaving out the salt and adding the above. As a matter fact, our baking book with about 135 bread, cookie and muffin recipes is has been a great success. You can order one right now at Amazon.Com for a very small investment. If you haven't found a few bread recipes at our web site yet then visit: Recipes

    As you have learned, nothing replaces salt in baking. For baking powder you can obtain Featherweight Baking Powder (13.9 mg sodium per tablespoon) and Ener-G Baking Soda at Healthy Heart Market or by calling them toll free at: 1-888-685-5988.

    If you find a bread recipe you truly might enjoy, then if not using salt add the following to make it airier, fresher and longer lasting in a zip lock bag:
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar unless the recipe already calls for it
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten per every 3 cups white flour or 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten per very single cup of whole wheat flour or multi-grain flour.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid.

    You won't have to change the volume of yeast as long as a formula established centuries ago is followed. Remember your yeast has to be fresh or not spoiled, can't touch liquids if using a bread machine (and I highly recommend you do use a bread machine even when making a single loaf or buns or cinnamon rolls or French baguettes, etc. Use the machine to knead the dough and let it do its first rise. Then take out of machine and form what you want, let it rise again, bake at the prescribed temperature.

    We have tested every single recipe we created in the bread book and listed all nutrients from calories to folate. Most of my bread recipes have no more than 2 to 5 mg sodium per serving.

    I recommend any of the bread machines shown in our Kitchen Cabinet page.

    If you need further assistance with this, please don't hesitate to write.

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    jons placeHi, Don—I just got your book and was trying to locate the bread machine you recommend, the Breadman TR810. Can you tell me where I can find it? Thanks—Lee

    johns place I am sorry to report that Salton, manufacturer of the Breadman TR810, this year discontinued the TR810. (Updated 2006. We recommend any of the bread machines one our Kitchen Cabinet page.)

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    jon's placeHello, we work with kids with ADD/aDHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder and have read some interesting info on the effects of gluten. In your software is gluten the same as glutanic acid? We have a hard time helping families reduce gluten when it is often not listed as gluten on labels. What do you suggest?—J. Rice

    john's placeYou might be better off discussing this with a nutritionist (R.D.) than with me. What I can tell you is: Glutanic Acid is a naturally occurring amino-acid, a constituent of many proteins. It is offered in many "health food" stores, vitamin pills and other forms from "health food" suppliers or stores.

    Gluten: Also called "gluten flour," "instant gluten flour," "pure gluten flour," and "vital wheat gluten," depending on vendor and manufacturer is flour with the starch and bran removed. Gluten is the natural protein in the wheat endosperm which, when combined with water, forms a taffy-like dough. This retains the gas and steam from baking. Gluten is recommended in our no salt breads to help the bread rise, expand and create a better "bread" texture. Also flour marked "Best for Bread Machines" has a higher level of gluten than all-purpose flour.

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    american dietetic associationHow can I make a pure whole wheat bread?—Unknown Sender

    Bread made exclusively with whole wheat is difficult at best. We suggest 3 cups of whole wheat flour or wheat pastry flour, 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon Grandma's Molasses (unsalted), 1 teaspoon white sugar, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast using the rapid rise button on your bread machine.

    Keep an eye on it while it's kneading to make sure the water is correct, since whole wheat flours vary in water adsorption. If you need to add more do so 1-tablespoon at a time but let it knead for a few minutes before adding more. By the way, the "whole wheat" bread you buy in the store usually has "wheat flour" listed instead of "whole wheat flour." Some have a combination of white and whole wheat flours.

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    healthy heart marketPlease tell me what vital wheat gluten is.—Regards, Robyn in Australia

    saltfree.orgHi Robyn, Gluten is the natural protein in the wheat endosperm that when combined with water, forms a taffy-like dough. This retains the gas and steam from baking, which gives bread its bulk or volume.

    Vital Wheat Gluten is the same thing but is 75 to 80% protein. The normal formula for white flour not "designed" for bread making is one tablespoon per cup of flour. This will improve texture and elasticity and help your bread rise. It is especially helpful in heavy breads made with coarse ground flours and whole grain cereals.

    We use 1 tablespoon per 3 cups of flour in flour made for bread or designated for bread machines.

    As to availability in Australia I am not familiar enough with your products to answer those questions. You should however, be able to obtain some gluten. Gluten comes either as "gluten" or "vital wheat gluten."

    There is a web site based in the U.S. that sells online, but shipping to Australia may prove a bit high.
    Bob's Red Mill

    Once opened, you will want to refrigerate or freeze your gluten.

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    recipiesWhy does a bread recipe that uses a sourdough starter need any other yeast? Thank you. —jmanix

    salt free recipiesWhen yeast first works with the sourdough starter, it's used up right away. Once yeast is used up, it's no longer useable in a "second effort." Also, yeast useage is based on the amount of flour used. A standard formula for instance would be 2 1/4 tsp for 3 cups of flour. In a sourdough loaf of 3 cups of flour, you'd use about 1/2 cup of sourdough starter, which would contain no more than about 1/8 teaspoon of used up yeast.

    UPDATE: We can now get a packet of sourdough starter from a company in Utah. The starter's base is over 100 years old and it works wonderfully. To purchase a packet contact the man responsible for shipping fresh starter by
    Clicking here.

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    low sodium soup Hi Don: I read your no salt baking book and learned a lot from it and the web site. My spouse shouldn't eat bread but is NOT on a low salt diet whereas I am on a low salt diet but allowed bread. I would like to reduce the number of loaves per recipe as I find that one loaf lasts about a week with only two seniors living in the house. Can I just reduce the quantitiesproportionally and still get a good bread? — John & Chris Buchanan

    low sodium cheese I usually freeze whatever I'm not going to use right away. But to cut a recipe let's try this: If flour is 5 to 6 cups, cut 3. Cut water (liquid) to one cup possible one more tablespoon but wait for the kneading to find out. Cut yeast to 2 1/4 teaspoons. Use 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid available via mail from
    King Arthur Baking Catalog (online) instead of orange peel or Sure Jell and use 1 level tablespoon of vital wheaat gluten. Cut all other ingredients in half except for the vinegar. Use 1-tablespoon. If using bread machine bake or make dough the same way. You will want to keep an eye on the machine when first trying this since flour can be different from one brand to the next. If the water is not enough add only 1 tablespoon at a time and let it work a few minutes. If it's too much, then add 1 tablespoon flour and let it work. Next time you'll have your own recipe for that particular effort. For more softness and longer shelf-life, you can add 1 teaspoon of granular soy lecithin and 2 tablespoons of potato flour. (Removed 2 tablespoons of bread flour if you use the potato flour.)

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    no salt cheeseI do need a bread machine because I am really not strong enough to work the bread up as it should be done without a machine. The bread machines I have used to not meet my expectations. I have been looking for the machine you recommend: The Breadman Model TR810. We have shopped all over Minnesota. The internet said it was out of stock and they do not expect to receive more. Can you tell me where to go next? I have not been able to find any machine like your describe that will make a 2 1/2 loaf, up to 6 cups of flour, with the double paddle.

    Hi Laurie, Click here to find two Breadman machines. The 850 replaces the 810. The Tr2200C is one I use now for making both dough and bread. The bread in the TR2200 however is a vertical loaf. To help that favorite bread of your husband's, add 1 tablespoon of Ever Fresh fruit freshener, and make sure to puot in a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten. You'll notce a great improvement in texture. Each loaf should have 1 tablespoon of Ever Fresh, 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten and either 1 teaspoon of sugar or 1 packet of Splenda sugar substitute. By the way, these bread machines are tough and don't need the second paddle.

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    no salt cheddarWhere is Montana White Bread Flour, used in your recipes, available? Have checked Healthy Heart Market and Bob's Red Mill as your book "No-Salt Lowest Sodium" seems to suggest on page 19 under Flour and Grain topic. Thanks, Karl

    Hi, I'm going to guess you're living in the midwest or south from your email address. Out west we have a flour called Stone Buhr. It's one of the very best breadmaking flours available. But
    King Arthur flour also uses Montana Wheat and is a very good flour for breadmaking, equal to Stone Bhur. While shopping at King Arthur, also pick up some ascorbic acid. (Type Ascorbic acid into their search engine) Use this with any bread recipe that uses sugar and if you want, add a teaspoon of vital wheat gluten for each 3 cups of flour to increase the rise and the texture. Use 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid. We now use this instead of the Sure Jell Ever Fresh we recommend on the web site and in some places in the baking book and cookbook.

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    don gazzangiaDo you know where I can find no salt bread for Thanksgiving stuffing? — name on File

    millilitresHere's a short list of what we have learned up to date as far as commercially available low sodium bread. In the west, Safeway has a "Mrs. Wright's Very Low Sodium Bread" with just 5 mg per slice. It's good, too.

    The only place Pete Eiden has found in Minneapolis that makes low sodium bread is an up scale grocery store called Byerly's. They make a few varieties.

    The Baker A Salt Free Honey Whole Wheat Bread is available via shipment by calling 1-800-995-3989, or check out their web site at
    Baker.com.

    Toufayan Bakeries An especially good no salt added pita bread. They are located in North Bergen N.J. Telephone number 201-861-4131.

    Food For Life Baking Company Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium Sprouted Grain Bread; This bread is available throughout the country including at Whole Foods.

    Alvarado St. Bakery Also under the Trader Joe's label. No salt bread from Alvarado St. Bakery is whole grain and 100% delicious when fresh. Store in zip locked bags. Breaks up easily, better when toasted. Their phone number is (707)585-3293,their website is Alvarado Street Bakery.

    Fry's FRY'S in California and Arizona carry a sodium free white bread (5 mg) Store in zip lock bags or freeze.

    The Giant Store Hunt Valley, Baltimore and Washington D. C. area. A store brand No Salt Added bread (10 mg)

    Garden of Good Eatin' Low sodium pita bread (30 mg). Can be frozen.



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    SNACKS

    Is there a good substitute for Chex Party Mix?


    no salt cookbooksI was wondering if there would be a good substitute for the Chex party mix recipe that I make every Christmas. I thought I could substitute garlic powder for the garlic salt, but what about the season salt, Worcestershire sauce and other ingredients. Thanks, again.

    low sodium cookbookChex is too high in sodium for our use. We substitute Nabisco bite size shredded wheat (0 mg), stir fry it lightly in a nonstick pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, unsalted peanuts and unsalted pine nuts. After that, we mix in golden raisins (purely a matter of taste). It works well. We use Oregon Spice Rack "Garlic Lover's Garlic."

    BAKING

    Can I substitute low-sodium buttermilk, or low-fat milk for the orange juice in some of your bread recipes?
    Your recipes say Featherweight has some sodium in it. Why does the Featherweight bottle state 0?
    How do I adjust Homemade biscuit recipes?
    Can one make your bread recipes without a bread machine?
    How many milligrams of sodium does my bread recipe have?
    How do I make pizza dough by hand?
    How do I use Featherweight Baking Powder with my cakes?


    ascorbic acid I have your baking book and see that a lot of the recipes rely on orange juice for all or most of the liquid. I'm not crazy about the taste of orange juice. Can I substitute low-salt buttermilk, or low-fat milk? Is there a general rule for how to change the recipe in a yeast-raised product if I don't want to use orange juice? Can I use a little Fruit Fresh for the ascorbic acid/citric acid that would be in the juice? — Thanks. Liz G.

    Ener-g baking powder Hi Liz, Yes you may. However, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid if you don't use the orange juice or the same amount of Fruit Fresh. The orange juice was used for our books before we had wide access to pure ascorbic acid. See: Where To Buy Ascorbic Acid (If you use buttermilk you might want to add the same quantity plus two tablespoons of buttermilk. Watch the beginning stages of the kneading process and see if it needs more buttermilk. Add ingredients at just one tablespoon at a time.)

    featherweight baking powder Greetings Don! How you doing? :) I know this is probably on your site somewhere but my state of mind isn't allowing me to find it /chuckle. What is the difference, when baking something, between "regular" baking powder and Featherweight's baking powder?

    I'm making a cake and the American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook is calling for two teaspoons baking powder. I was just going to use the Featherweight. Or... should I stick to the regular kind that has 120 mg of sodium per 1/4 teaspoon?

    Ener-g baking powder Unfortunately the well-intended AHA book is not designed for people who have heart disease or hypertension, but instead for healthy people. It helps them keep their sodium to sane levels. Two teaspoons of regular baking powder has 975.2 mg sodium. That's not good for us.

    When using low sodium baking powder, your cake won't rise as high, but will rise enough. If your cake is known to be "heavy" anyway, then I will add up to 1/4 teaspoon Calumet double acting baking powder. It helps enough and since the cake is cut into about 15 pieces the sodium is low enough. I still use the Featherweight even with that. If making a cake with Softassilk flour, just use the Featherweight or Ener-G baking powder. Remember to triple it if converting one of your recipes. Read on.

    You may use Featherweight with the following formula that has worked for me. In cakes double or triple the Featherweight. Yours calls for 2 teaspoons. I'd make my first try using 1 1/2 tablespoons.

    Mix your Featherweight in just before placing into oven. Low sodium baking powders are not double-acting, rising only once. I wait until putting into oven, stir it in well, then let it work its magic. If you put the Featherweight into your batter early and beat and stir it, it may not rise by the time it gets to the oven. It starts working right away in the batter. If taking too long, it will lose its energy by the time it goes into the oven.

    Featherweight works well with cookies calling for baking powder also. Once again, put into mixture just before putting into oven.

    Here are two cake recipes found on our site:

    White Cake

    Pound Cake

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    kettle potato chipsLooked at your low sodium pizza recipe & it said to use (Pizza Dough Thin Crust Bread Machine Preparation - Oven Baked). What if ya do not have a bread machine & can not afford one right now. Can one make pizza dough that is low in sodium – anyway for this recipe? — Tiger Lily

    splendaYes, first float the yeast in 1/4 cup of the recipe's water, warmed to about 80° F. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Mix into flour, oil and warmed water. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes until dough ball is smooth and elastic. Follow recipe instructions from there. Your recipes say Featherweight has some sodium in it. Why does the Featherweight bottle state 0?


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    kettle potato chipsLooked at your low sodium pizza recipe & it said to use (Pizza Dough Thin Crust Bread Machine Preparation - Oven Baked). What if ya do not have a bread machine & can not afford one right now. Can one make pizza dough that is low in sodium – anyway for this recipe? — Tiger Lily

    sugar substituteYes, first float the yeast in 1/4 cup of the recipe's water, warmed to about 80° F. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Mix into flour , oil and warmed water. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes until dough ball is smooth and elastic. Follow recipe instructions from there.

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    kettle potato chipsWhy does the Featherweight FDA label state it has 0 mg sodium and your recipes list otherwise? — Donna Vizzo

    splendaThe USDA does the nutrient data testing and the FDA has set the rules for label information. Unfortunately, manufacturers are allowed to minimize the levels by lowering the serving size and following the FDA rules that nutrient levels below 5 mg per serving size may be listed as 0. Featherweight lists its serving size as 1/8 a teaspoon. We've never seen a recipe that uses only 1/8th a teaspoon, but that measurement allows Hain to list 0 sodium. You will find this with other products as well. The USDA listing for measurements for Featherweight and other low-sodium baking powders is as you see them with our recipes.

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    hunt's kecthupI make bread- How many MG's of sodium is in my bread?

    My recipe is:
    • 2C white bread flour
    • 1C wheat flour
    • 1C milk
    • 1/3C sugar
    • 2tbs margarine
    • 2eggs
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 2 1/2 tsp yeast.
    —Leora

    salt free ketchupAs written, 2,276 mg. divide by numbers of slices to get total for each serving. This is very high by the way.. Recommendations:: Leave out the salt. Use unsalted butter, canola or olive oil instead of margarine. Margarine is dangerously high in tri-glycerides. Use nonfat milk or water or orange juice. (Orange juice offers a nice flavor and added nutrients and no fat.) With nonfat milk your loaf will have only 253.4 mg sodium. With water or orange juice: 126 mg sodium per loaf.

    Also add: 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten. 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid. See Where To Buy Page to locate vital wheat gluten and ascorbic acid. I also recommend that you cut your sugar down to one tablespoon.

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    bread machineCan one make your bread recipes without a bread machine? If so--do any of the amounts of the ingredients change, etc.? Majory

    best for bread flourYes, many of my recipes can be made without a bread machine although baking no salt bread requires a degree of consistency that regular bread forgives.First, you use the same amount of yeast but must prepare the yeast differently. All other ingredients are the same except possibly for the total amount of flour and the liquid.

    First float the yeast in about 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of the recipe's liquid (use water where orange use is called for as the bread's liquid), warmed to about 80 degrees F, no hotter. Use bottled low or no sodium water. Chlorine from the tap can harm yeast. Add about 1/4 teaspoon sugar during this process. Let stand for about 5 minutes until yeast "boils." Hold out one cup of flour and in a large lightly greased mixing bowl, begin kneading all ingredients. Slowly add in the rest of the flour as needed until your dough ball has a nice elastic firmness to it. Kneady for about 8 to 10 minutes after that.

    Roll into lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with light towel or even plastic wrap and let stand in room temperature area for up to an hour or until dough ball doubles in size. Gently push down on the dough, let rise again, doubling again.

    Form into loaves, buns or whatever you are making, following rest of recipe from the rise. Let rise again under light cloth, then bake per instructions. You may also forego the second rise if you like, but in most recipes it brings a lighter texture.
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    picklesDear Don, I just bought the ener-g baking powder because I have Meniere's disease. When I tryed to make home made bisquit mix, bisquits, or corn bread it turns out sour. What do I need to do to adjust it to my homemade recipes? — Thanks Doris L

    low sodium picklesHi, The Featherweight baking powder works a bit better than the Ener-G. It's nearly impossible to simply adjust your old recipes. The balance of ingredients often changes.

    Have you tried our biscuit recipe yet? Don's Biscuits

    At least with the above you can try to adjust yours to match this one. I also use both baking soda and baking powder. Always mix these substitutes into the dry ingredients last, stir. Then mix with wet and quickly get into oven. The Featherweight baking powder is not a double acting baking powder like you are accustomed to. It acts only once and it begins to act when it gets wet.

    Aside from the above, have you tried to adjust your recipe by changing the liquid? The Ener-g is pure calcium carbonate with a bit of citric acid. You can alter the citric acid flavor by exchanging for the Featherweight. Also, you use either orange juice or buttermilk for the liquid. When trying to exchange real baking soda and baking powder with the substitutes, you have to triple the amount.

    Also, use one tablespoon of cider vinegar as a preservative (which is what the salt is all about). The vinegar flavor shouldn't come through.
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    MEATS / FISH

    Are there any low sodium deli-meats??
    How long do I cook a turkey?
    Why fresh shrimp instead of frozen?
    How do I tenderize meat?
    Where can I find recpes for smoking fish?
    Are all chickens soaked in brine?
    Can I make gravy now?


    I was diagnosed with CHF two years ago this Christmas. I need some gravy on my mashed potatoes. Can you help me out? - Dennis Morris

    Try using a product called Bernard, Cream of Mushroom Soup & Gravy Base (0 mg sodium) from
    Healthy Heart Market. If you follow the instructions on the can, you won't like the gravy as it is, so here are my suggestions for making it "real gravy." Add some beef drippings, (after cooking the beef), and the Bernard gravy base will come to life. It doesn't take much, about three tablespoons for a pint of gravy. I mixed 2 tablespoons of the gravy base from Bernard with 3 level tablespoons of white flour (like the container suggested), and three level tablespoons of beef drippings. (You can add more if you like.) They suggest adding a pint of water. I thought that made the gravy too thin. So, I backed off the water to 1 cup (half a pint), and stirred while heating over a medium flame, bringing it to a boil. Simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. If gravy is too thick for you, add water 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time. Or, if you prefer, you can add more drippings from your cooked beef (or roasted turkey). Another kicker is to add minced garlic to taste. I don't know if you like garlic, but it likes your heart. I like the flavor of garlic, and add it to many cooked ingredients.

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    Dear Chef Don- Are there any reduced-sodium or low-sodium lunch meat products out there? I've asked about this at several local grocery store deli counters, but have not had much success. It seems the only way to have a truly low sodium sandwich meat is to roast an unprocessed meat yourself and slice it. Any ideas? I love this site! — Karen I.

    caloriesHi. Sorry but no, there aren't any that we know of. Processed meats have sodium nitrate and sodium nitrites in them. I roast a beef, have a meat cutter from Krups and thinly slice it. I then layer a package of this with wax paper per amount of slices I want in a sandwich and freeze them in a zip lock freezer bag. They thaw quickly when pulling enough out for a sandwich. I have not been as lucky with turkey or chicken, however. If you use a good herbs de provence or garlic slices inserted into the beef when you roast it, it will give you a very good sandwich flavor.

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    Hi there, I have found your website to be extremely helpful. My boyfriend is 25, and discovered at age 19 that he has high blood pressure. I have recently heard bits of information about the preparation of raw chicken for retail sale. Apparently some or all chicken is soaked in some type of sodium solution to improve shelf life. What I am wondering is whether this happens to all chicken, and if this added sodium exposure in taken into account in the commonly referred to nutritional values for plain raw chicken? Do you know about this? I would appreciate any help or ideas you might have. Thank you very much.— Allison Schroeder Vancouver, BC Canada

    caloriesHi Allison, If there's a single question on this website that has brought me more email than others, it's this one. The answer I have has been provided by Foster Farms and Zacky Farms. "No, fresh chickens aren't soaked in sodium to extend shelf-life. But frozen chicken parts generally are. We soak those in sodium for freezer protection. Also, any marinated or seasoned chicken meat is going to be high in sodium. We label our chicken packages accurately."

    Remember that fresh, skinless chicken is rated by the USDA at 18 mg per ounce. A package may state: Serving size 4 ounces. The sodium listed then will be 80 mg (rounded off according to USDA/FDA rules). If a package says no additives, then you have only the natural sodium in the bird to deal with.

    Tyson Chicken: Here's their written response after a phone call didn't get me the answer I wanted. They seemed to have missed the point of my question which was direct and clear. In the end they offered me a coupon to try out their New Broth soaked birds. Their message: "Thank you for your inquiry. Tyson recently began shipping our fresh chicken with chicken broth to enhance the natural flavor and to ensure tender, juicy results every time. In addition, enhanced products were significantly preferred in multiple taste test. Most likely, you have already tried enhanced chicken products, but did not realize it, as most all restaurants use them. If you would like a free coupon to try the product for yourself, please respond with your mailing address. " Dated March 9, 2003.

    So, for at least 50 million Americans with hypertension and heart disease, Tyson chickens are out of the loop. Patients with Meniere's, kidney and liver ailments may also want to avoid Tyson fresh and packaged chickens. Also, it's probably a good idea to ask your local restaurant or wherever you may want to order a chicken, "Where does it come from?"

    Albertson's own store brand doesn't list nutrient values at all. If you find other chicken products that are contrary to any of the above, please let us know.—Thank you, Don

    MBA Brand Smart Chicken. Air-chill processed rather than water processed. It does come with a price of about $5 per pound though.

    Chicken Storage Tips Store fresh, raw chicken in its original unopened wrapper at 40ļF or less, in the bottom, coldest part of the refrigerator. Store it there no longer than one to two days, and always be sure to cook or freeze raw chicken by the "use by" date on the label.

    For longer storage, immediate freezing is recommended. To prevent freezer burn, wrap chicken in foil or other freezer wrap. Separate parts into individual meal-size portions before freezing, so you can later avoid defrosting more chicken than you need. Refreezing chicken is never recommended.

    Cooked chicken should be wrapped securely before refrigerating or freezing. For optimum quality, follow the storage guidelines provided below.

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    Where can I find recipes for smoking fish and meats that do not use salt or high sodium ingredients for the brine mixture?—Dave Schwagler

    stuffing Here's an answer from our Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath. He has a great Wild Game Recipe book, available in any bookstore (although they probably have to order it. Or available directly from the author. We also have some.)

    "You can smoke salmon without a brine. It won't be cured, but it will still taste great. You can dry-rub the salmon with a Megaheart recommended seasoning and refrigerate for 12 hours. Then cold-smoke the fish slowly (150 - 175 degrees) until just done. Since the fish won't be cured, you'll need to refrigerate it for up to a few days or freeze it (I recommend vacuum packaging for any fish, smoked or otherwise)."—Scott Leysath.

    A Megaheart recommended seasoning would be a seasoning that you prefer but without salt, or salted spices. If you need help with that, let us know.

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    thanksgivingI'm having a large group this year and will be serving a 24 lb. turkey. I would appreciate you letting me kow if 1/2 hour per pound is correct. I plan on dinner being served at 2 P.M. Thank you.— Pamela

    christmasYou didn't say how you wanted to cook it, so here is a terrific website that covers all aspects of cooking turkeys. Hope it helps you.
    Cooking Turkey Techniques

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    hannukaThe recipe for Scampi in Wine on page 126 of the No Salt Low Sodium Cookbook has a footnote that reads, "You must use fresh shrimp — not imitation or frozen." Why? Would not thawed frozen shrimp do the trick? Or is there additonal sodium in frozen shrimp? Thanks!— Robert V Monticello,

    george bushThe recipe states you should use fresh shrimp only. Seven years ago when this recipe was put into the book, frozen and imitation shrimp were very high in sodium. I haven't purchased frozen shrimp since then so the best thing to do is check the packaging to see if things have changed (I suspect if they are fresh raw shrimp they have no salt in them now. Quite a few manufacturers and producers are catching on to the unnecessary addition of salt to their products. Make sure you don't buy "old" frozen shrimp. They may not hold up texture wise after cooking). If it does not contain salt (as a preservative), and the sodium levels per serving are low, then I see no reason why you couldn't use them for scampi. Imitation shrimp, I suspect, is still high in sodium.

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    emerilHi Don -- here's a question for you: What can you do to tenderize tough cuts of meat, such as London broil, without using one of the commercially available high-sodium products? Or do you know of any salt-free commercially available meat tenderizers?—E. Sachs

    cheese low sodiumWhen I first read this question I wanted to tell you "Just beat it to a pulp." Then I thought, NO, she'd think I was trying to be cute, or facetious. In fact, that's how it used to be done (ala the cube steak). But there are other ways of tenderizing meat without using salt or salty products.

    Before starting however, let's chat about what tenderizing means. It doesn't mean flavoring only. Meat is tender or tough due to its muscle fiber. There are some cuts of meat you won't have to tenderize, and depending on who is supplying the meat or where it comes from, there some cuts you may have to, yet, may not have to. In other words, the cut of meat you choose is what will determine the need for tenderizing. I don't want to go into the gruesome details of how meat is handled after it becomes a piece of edible meat. If you've ever lived on a farm or hunted animals, you'll understsand that handling the aninmal after its demise is quite important. Just that step alone may determine if it's going to be tender or tough. Properly handled meat will resist spoiling and be juicier with great flavor. Problem is you won't know until after you buy it and then not until after you cook it — unless you can tell by slicing it or pricking it with a fork.

    Once you've brought your meat home you have some tenderizing choices which include,
  • Pounding it with a mallet
  • Pounding it with the bottom of a pan
  • Pounding it with the nearest flat object other than the above
  • Turn it into hamburger
  • Score it with a knife
  • After cooking tough meat, slice thinly against the grain
  • Long moist cooking
  • Stew it
  • Braise it
  • Make an acid based marinade (vinegar, citrus juice, tomato products, other fruit juices) The marinade's acid chemically softens the connective tissue in meats. To be effective, sufficient marinating time is necessary. Always remember to marinate foods in the refrigerator. Almost all marinades containing alcohol are made with wine. Heart patients taking medications may want to skip this ingredient.
  • Barbecue it slowly with Don's Barbecue Sauce


  • What you don't want to use are powdered products and those liquid products with high sodium levels in them. Powder just adds a flavor to the exterior and draws out the juices, so that's counter productive.

    Now, on the off chance that what you really want to do is flavor the meat, then I suggest a good homemade marinade, poke holes into the meat with a fork so the marinade gets into the align of the cut. Let it marinade overnight in your refrigerator. To be effective, sufficient marinating time is necessary. Most dishes require an hour to overnight, depending on the food. Always remember to marinate foods in the refrigerator.

    Also, remember that all cuts of beef, pork and poultry can benefit from a marinade. It isn't just reserved for tough cuts of meat.

    THE RUB:The acid in a marinade may cause meat to lose its ability to retain water, so we are challenged with our no salt diets. The reason salt is in commerical marinades does exactly the same it does to our bodies: It helps retain the juices (fluids) in the meat. So, although the longer we marinade the better tasting the meat, do so in a refrigerator only for one to eight hours covered.

    Basic marinade Recipe: Red Wine vinegar.

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    CHEF DON



    cholesterol diet low sodiumHi, I hope I'm not being pretentious, but can you tell me more about Chef Don? Does he write all the material on this website? Thank you. Jack W.

    low sodium blood test This is Chef Don. I respond to all questions sent to Megaheart.com. I have lots of help, however, from others. Megaheart is a rather large site, too large for just one person to manage. Others who have helped include volunteers like writers Judie Wilson, Tony DiMarco a few doctors and nurses and dietitions and before his passing, Trevor Beard of Australia. (I hope I haven't left anyone out.) The original site was first developed for the web by a friend, Bill Karoly. Then it was muchly improved in design by my son in 1999. Visitors and members have helped greatly. The best proof readers are in our audience we love it. And then there's my wife, Maureen. She double checks and bops me on the head when I'm not quite on the money. :-) She also contributes some terrific no-salt recipes of her own.

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    CONVERSIONS



    conversionsAre there any tables to show me how much a pound or volume of food is, when converted to measurements? — D. L. Harper

    Thanks to your question we have added a few pages you might like.
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    TRAVELING / EATING OUT

    Any ideas how to eat on a trip to Japan?
    Any thoughts on getting no-salt message across in China?
    How do I eat out?


    japan Hi. I may have an opportunity to travel to Japan for a week. I know that soy sauce is out, but I wonder if you have any other suggestions on maintaining a low sodium diet in a foreign country? Thanks. — LeeAnn

    tokyo eateries Great question LeeAnn.
    I spent many months in Japan during the fifties. It was tough back then, but I think that in today's environment you'll do well to stick to American type restaurants. When I was there, there weren't any except for the one in the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Imperial Hotel, which no longer stands. They served terrific meals. Since I never have liked salt and learned to cook without it from youth, I was able to get them to prepare a meal for me that was fairly salt free, although not sodium free.



    The Japanese use soy sauce all right, but they also serve foods without it. If you want to eat in a native restaurant, then why not visit a local Japanese restaurant and ask their chef what might fit your diet. Japan and China have become so accustomed to Western diets however, that they cater to us more than we sometimes want.

    I think however if you have a local Japanese restaurant, they'd be very helpful.

    The search in Japan for fresh fruits and veggies may prove a bit difficult. They are expensive and not plentiful.

    Here are some highlights about Japan's eateries that demonstrate how Western they have become:
    They have 3500 McDonald's and are building and opening 220 more, although closing 130. (In the U.S. McDonald's will now cook your meat without salt and even make you a "lettuce wrap burger.")
    Hotels of fame in Tokyo and Kyoto and other places are named:
    Raddison
    Sheraton
    Comfort Inn
    Hilton
    Clarion
    Holiday Inn
    The point being, I guess, that you won't have too much trouble with finding Western food. It will probably come down to dealing with the kitchen once again about the salt and sodium.

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    sodium diet recipe Any thoughts about no-salt in China? I also travel to Europe a lot.

    low snacks sodium Yes,
    Click Here for a pdf file created by Ms Su Liuwho has written a message for you to carry on your trips to China. We also have an extensive suggestion for varoius European countries, based on their restaurant eating habits.

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    sodium diet recipe Dear Don, I am on a low dose diuretic for high blood pressure, and have asked my doctor about a problem I have. he was not that helpful, so I am hoping that maybe you can answer my question. the problem is that I enjoy eating in restaurants, and travel pretty often. when I consume too much salt, I retain fluid, even with the diuretic. I hate to give up eating out, and travel is one of the joys of my life. my dining out is largely limited to weekends. is there anything you can suggest? thank you so much for any help you give me. — Sincerely, Ellen Stern

    P.S. I never add salt in a restaurant, since, in my opinion, the food already has more than it really needs. why don't chefs cut down a little on the added salt. I think the food would still be tasty with half as much salt(sometimes even better), and those who want more salt can add it at the table. once, when at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. I told the student waitress that i found one of the dishes to be too salty, and asked why so much salt is used? she explained that the instructor chefs encourage the students to use lots of salt. Sorry i went on so long! thanks!

    low snacks sodium Hi Ellen, You've answered your own question. As one who eats out when I want to, I've learned the solution. The primary one is to ask the waiter/watiress to check with the chef for what can be prepared without using salt. Then, ask if they can steam vegetables or provide you something like a sliced tomato in place of highly salted veggies or rice, etc. If something has been marinated or pre processed or pre prepared, then don't touch it. A single restaurant meal can have as many as 14,000 mg of sodium. That's enough to kill me, frankly. So, I insist on no salt prepared, no salt added dining and anything cooked with "grease" must be cooked instead with a light dose of olive oil (not butter, margarine or other artificial cooking oils). I take my own homemade bread if I want bread. I don't touch theirs. Restaurant bread is high in salt/sodium because they want it to remain "fresh" and "soft" while it sits in the open. You don't have to give up on the eating out, you just have to take control of it. If your restaurant won't cooperate, then don't eat there. Excuse yourself and go to another. We call ahead though, when we can. On our recent road trip from California to the east coast and back we stopped in many places and experienced a problem in only one of them. All the rest accommodated us perfectly. Since I have cut my salt and sodium down to under 500 mg a day, I no longer have to take diuretics. Diuretics are hard on the kidneys and will eventually cause some damage, thusly my goal was not only to reshape and downsize my heart, but to save my kidneys. You can do the same. Let us know if you need further assistance in this regard.

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    INGREDIENTS

    How can I put flavor back in food?
    Where can I find Grandma's Chili Powder?
    Where can I find low-sodium buttermilk?
    Do you know where I can get pickles?
    Whatever happened to Hain's soyanaise?
    Where can I buy Herb-Ox?
    Where can I find special ingredients in your recipes?
    Will any type of unsalted tomato paste work?
    I'm having trouble finding whole wheat bread machine flour.
    Why do you use flaxseed meal in some recipes?
    Where Can I Find Vital Wheat Gluten?
    Where Can I Find low sodium tomatoes, broth, soup, etc.?
    How do I make my Chinese Baking Soda work?
    Where can I find Herb-Ox in Canada?
    Does liquid smoke contain sodium?
    Can potassium chloride in substitues be used safely?
    What can I use instead of Ener-g Baking Soda?
    I need to know about no salt foods.


    SPICES

    What spices are available to make food taste better?
    Where can I buy Sante Fe Taco Mix?
    Where can I buy Ener-g Baking Powder and Baking Soda?


    Thanks for the wonderful site and service you are providing to all of us. I have been on no salt (or very low sodium) diets for almost 15 years and lately nothing seems to taste good when I cook. I used to and currently use no salt seasoning, but it does not work anymore. My question is 'How do I make the food I cook taste good without salt? Thank you very much, — Ali

    Hi Ali, Salt substitutes are usually potassium chloride and indeed that destroys our palates as much as salt does. But over a short period our palates do return to a stage where we can actually enjoy the natural taste of food. To enhance foods and flavors we use fresh spices. We also provide ten very good spice mixes you can make for yourself in our
    No Salt, Lowest SodLight Meals book .

    And here, as a special treat is page 172 of The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Light Meals Book.

    BASIC SEASONING WITHOUT SALT AND SALT SUBSTITUTES Spices and herbs can be used directly on meats and vegetables as shown below. This extensive list may help you become an expert sooner than you thought possible.

    (Scanned November 9, 2008)
    MEAT, FISH, AND POULTRY

    Beef-Marjoram, fresh mushrooms, nutmeg, onion, garlic, pepper, sage, thyme, coriander, bay leaf (soups), dry mustard powder (stews, barbecue), green pepper, dill weed, lavender, and rose- mary.

    Chicken-Green pepper, lemon juice, marjoram, mushrooms, paprika, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, coriander, car- damom, savory, lavender, and pepper.

    Fish-Bay leaf, curry powder, dry mustard powder, green pepper, lemon juice, marjoram, mushrooms, and paprika.

    Lamb-Curry powder, garlic, mint, mint jelly, pineapple, rosemary, cloves, a touch of ginger, and pepper.

    Veal-Marjoram, oregano, bay leaf, curry powder, ginger, apricot, and pepper.

    VEGETABLES

    Asparagus-Garlic, lemon juice, and vinegar.

    Corn-White pepper, green pepper, pimento, and fresh cilantro. Cucumbers-Dill weed, chives, and vinegar.

    Green Beans-Lemon juice, marjoram, dill weed, nutmeg, pepper, and oregano.

    Greens-Garlic, shallots, onion, pepper, and vinegar.

    Peas-Mint, white pepper, parsley, garlic, and onion.

    Potatoes-Rosemary, white pepper, parsley, onion, green pepper, chives, and pimento.

    For other dishes, flavoring with spices and for soups and broths lime or lemon juice works very well. Our latest book, The No Salt, Lowest Sodium International Cookbook and our Light Meals Book have terrific soups, salads and international recipes with plenty of flavors -- and we never use salt substitutes. You can find those books at Our Cookbooks Please let us know if there are any specific recipes you have that you'd like help with. We're here to help.

    I need to know about no salt foods. alternatives for gravies, margarine, breads, main meals etc. - Catherine

    See
    Gravy for your gravy query. Margarine is taboo for heart patients and healthy people as well. It's the most dangerous of all fats in that margarine is mostly transfatty acids. We recommend extra virgin olive oil for most cooking and much of baking but when a hard shortening is needed we recommend unsalted butter. Crisco and any other coconut based oil (palm kernel, coconut, cottonseed) are too dangerous for heart patients.

    We have a good supply of bread recipes at the website and in our books, The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbooks, easily obtainable at any bookstore or on online at Amazon.com.

    Many main meals are avialable at the website and in the book mentioned above. The book also has a 28 day meal planning guide which provides for a full day's meals all under 500 mg of sodium per day.

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    If I cannot purchase Ener-G Baking Soda, what is a reasonable substitute. -- rshore

    There are none that I know of. You can get Ener-G baking soda at
    Healthy Heart Market or call 1-888 685 5988.

    It is a product hard to find locally. My orders from Healthy Heart have always arrived within a few days. Ask them for a printed catalog for other very fine products that are hard to find locally.

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    I'm interested in baking some of the breads, but they call for the substitute baking powders or sodas. I'm wondering if they can be used safely if the doctor says you shouldn't be eating potassium salt substitutes? - Mia C.

    You'll have to ask your doctor about the potassium levels in Featherweight and other potassium based substitutes in relationship to your own potassium level. His advice however sounds solid. Potassium is nothing to mess around with. That said, we aren't sure the potassium chloride in the substitutes harms or helps — but we play it on the safe side and use it sparingly. I don't recommend salt substitutes because they help you build a crutch through heavy use of potassium chloride — and before you know it, you're back to eating the old way again. It's best to devise your own spice mixes. After about six months of no salt on your food, you'll discover than even a bare hardboiled egg tastes great.

    Ener-G makes a baking powder that uses calciumc carbonate instead of potassium. What to use then: Ener-g also makes a subsitute no-sodium baking soda. You can find these products at
    Healthy Heart Market. If you are baking some of my bread recipes, substitute baking powder and soda are rarely used. To make bread really rise and bake as well as commercial breads, you'll only have to add a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten, a teaspoon of granulated sugar (if the recipes doesn't already have sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acide. This works with any yeast bread. If you are speaking of muffins, then you may want to exchange some of your sodium count for the day by using a 1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon of regular double acting baking powder.

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    Does liquid smoke contain sodium? We have the book, and love the Italian recipes! Thanks - Nancy

    Yes. The average for a non salted liquid smoke is about 10 mg per teaspoon.

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    success with heart failure Where can I Grandma's Chili Powder? I've searched the Web and it's just not there. Thank you — Lou ann

    heart failure successGrandma's Chili Powder is now named after the company that makes it: Williams Chili Powder. You can get it at Healthy Heart Market.

    We contacted the Lenexa, KS Chamber of Commerce and received back this very nice note:

    Hi Donald,
    Grandma's Spanish Pepper Company is owned by a company here in Lenexa by the name of Williams Foods. Their telephone number is 913-888-4343. Please call them and they will be happy to help you.
    Serena
    With The Lenexa Chamber of Commerce

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    success with heart failureWhere can I buy the Santa Fe Taco Mix? Thank you Pat

    heart failure success  The Santa Fe Taco Mix is no longer recommended. The manufacturer decided to add salt to the product and now the sodium is too high to use in a low-sodium meal plan.

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    Herb-oxCan you tell me whether the low sodium Herbox bouillon is available in Toronto/Ontario,Canada? Maria S.

    low sodium chicken brothSorry not yet. Here's a response to an inquiry to Hormel Foods, makers of Herb-Ox.

    Don,
    I apologize, we don't have Herb-Ox products in Canada. Thank you for your interest in Hormel products. We currently sell Stagg Chili, SPAM luncheon meat, and Real Bacon Bits in Canada. We are always looking to launch additional items into the Canadian market but Herb-Ox is not one of our short term strategies.
    Again, thank you.

    Michelle Sausen
    Hormel Foods - Canada
    905-625-4000 ext. 237
    905-625-7034 fax



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    no salt food where can buy I just used the no sodium Chinese baking soda ordered from Healthy Heart Market in my banana bread recipe. The bread did not get as dark and it was more course. Do recipes taste and look different with that product? I have your book and I love it. Thanks for offering a source for those of us who have to change our lives. — Margaret

    Your Chinese baking soda is really Ener-G Baking Soda from a Seattle Washington company and sold in local natural food stores or at Healthy Heart Market. It is calcium carbonate with some citric acid in it. It works well if used thusly: Double or triple it when replacing standard baking soda. Mix it into the wet ingredients just before popping it into the oven. Don't let it sit outside of the oven. If using in muffins, cakes, or other "heavy" baked items, add one or two teaspoons of Featherweight Baking Powder for that extra kick. That usually does the trick.

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    no salt added tomatoes Where can you find low sodium canned whole tomatoes, beef broth, chicken broth & soup, mushrooms, cream of celery, & cream of mushroom soup? Thanks — DG

    low sodium treatment You've compiled a list of generally not easy to find items. But here goes:

    No Salt Added Tomatoes are manufactured by S&W (lowest in sodium), and by Hunt's, Heinze, a few regional brands and Del Monte.

    Beef Broth, chicken broth and fish broth recipes are each provided in the new No Salt Lowest Sodium Light Meals Book. This book has all the broths you'd like to make and many great soups with absolutely no chemicals to help enhance them. Many of the commercial "quick" broths either have too much potassium chloride or a high level of trans fats.



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    no salt food where can buy Where can I find low-sodium buttermilk used in your baking book? — Denise

    There are a few brands in the U.S. we know of. They are:
    Knudsen (130 mg)
    A & P (125 mg)
    Borden (130 mg)
    Crowley (130 mg)
    Drigold Trim (130 mg)
    Weight Watchers (140 mg)

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    I am very impressed with your web site, it has helped me a great deal. I have been looking for bread recipes and have found some interesting ones but have a small problem -- I don't seem to be able to find the product called vital wheat gluten can anything else be substuted for this? I am having a lot of difficulty making salt free bread that has a good texture. - Leone Rogers

    You can find vital wheat gluten at Bob's Red Mill website. Just visit Our Where To Buy Page scroll down to Bob's Red Mill. We are not associated with them, but this link will take you to their website. You can order from there.

    As to texture in salt free bread. The vital wheat gluten helps along with an acid like vinegar or asccorbic acid (vitamin C such as from grated orange or lemon peel. Sugar is also a must.

    I find texture improves when making the dough in the bread machine, then forming it into what you want (buns, bread, rolls, baguettes, etc.) and letting it rise again, then baking in your standard oven. P.S. Leone. In Australia you can purchase a bread enchancer that already has this mix in it.

    wholewheat breadYou use flaxseed meal in some recipes. Why?

    flaxseed mealFlaxseed Meal is amazingly high in fiber with only a ľ cup providing 6 grams of fiber. It's also been credited with fighting colon and breast cancer tumors and lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL). Flaxseed Meal with a small measure of water can replace oil, butter or margarine. Flaxseed Meal will also add a nuttier flavor to your breads. It's great with waffles, pancakes, muffins and quick breads, and with whole wheat or other grain breads. It's also great to mix in with your cold cereal. A formula for replacing oils or shortening is a 3 to 1 ratio. For instance, replace Ĺ cup of butter, oil or other shortening with 1 Ĺ cups flaxseed meal. Add about a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup liquid when you make this exchange. When substituting flaxseed for shortening, the baked good may brown more rapidly. I use the "grainy" flaxseed meal. There is also a refined flaxseed flour.

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    spicesDear Chef Our father has had trouble keeping his salt under control. Finally he just quit using it and found everything without taste. He was wondering if there are any spices he can add to his foods besides garlic, onions and basil to spice up his life ! Could you please find time to write back and let us know ? If it is a certain brand of Mayonnaise soup or anything please we will buy it, as he is tired of and wants better meals and prefers to cook for himself .

    rosemaryYour question is asked a lot. First, most foods can be enhanced with spices, herbs, vinegars and the like, but each food, meal or ingredient calls for a different variety of spices. In my book I have a special spice mix I created that works with all meats. For sauces, salad dressings and other such mixes. you might start using red raspberry vinegar. When making your own bread (commercial bread is loaded with salt and sodium), use orange juice instead of water. Drop in some caraway seeds, or poppyseeds or fresh rosemary. If you'll let me know what he likes to eat the most, I might be able to help you more.

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    appetizer low sodiumHello! I'd like to thank Don for writing and sharing all his great low sodium recipies. I was diagnosed with Meniere's Syndrome 6 months ago and the first thing my doctor told me to do was go on a low sodium diet. I find your book to be very useful for everyday cooking. My family is eating everything that I prepare and are especially enjoying the homemade breads. I'm having trouble finding whole wheat bread machine flour. I contacted Healthy Market and several health food stores and they don't carry it. Do you have any suggestions who I can contact? Again, thanks for all your help! — Sincerely, Amy Wiles

    low sodium foodHi Amy. You can use any whole wheat flour, not just bread machine whole wheat or "best for bread machine." Just add 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten for each cup of flour.

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    soft waterIn your book, some recipes call for Contadina Natural Tomato Paste, with 102 mg sodium, rather than a no salt added tomato paste. Is there a particular reason for this, or would either type of tomato paste work equally as well in the recipe? (For example, on p. 165 there is a recipe for enchilada sauce.) Thank you. I haven't yet tried all of the recipes, but I am working on it. :)—LeeAnn

    hard waterContadina has no salt in it. They just don't use the phrase "no salt added." Others may do the same, but some don't. Any tomato past without salt will work. The sodium comes from the tomatoes used. About 10 medium to large tomatoes are used to make that one small can of tomato Paste.

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    sodium free waterI can find no overall source in the Portland area that handles the specific foods mentioned in your program. Health food stores may have a few things scattered here and there, but it's difficult to find helpful clerks to locate them. Any suggestions for source? Do I have to go to mail orders and shipping from distant sources? — Wayde H. Johnson

    water purifiersPete Eiden put together a collection of such items and started his company Healthy Heart Market, which now carries nearly all low-sodium ingredients foods you may be searching for. His toll-free number is 1-888-685-5988. By the way, shipping is low-cost and from HHM it's quick. Also, please check our Where To Buy Special Ingredients at this Web site.

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    water filters Hi Don, I have your cookbook and have loved it. I have checked the healthyheart website and haven't been able to find where to buy Herb-ox broth mix which is in many of your soup recipes. Where can I get it? I live in Utah-haven't found it anywhere yet.— Thanks, Kathy

    low sodium vegitarian recipes Herbox Low Sodium is available at Safeway and Raley's in our area, as well as Albertson's, Ralphs, and others.. If you have a Safeway and they don't have it, ask the manager to get it. If you can't find it in your area, it's made by Hormel Foods, a national product. They sell it online at:
    Hormel Foods  I strongly recommend however that for flavor you make your own broth. If you haven't picked up a copy of The No Salt Lowest Sodium Light Meals Book then you may want to. It's chock full of great unsalted broths and soups and none use artificial ingredients like Herb-Ox, which is mostly potassium chloride. You can freeze broth in amounts you would use later.

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    low sodium vegetarianI used to be able to buy low sodium pickles by Eden Brand, but have not seen them for years. Do you know if they still make those and if so where I could buy them? Thank you for any information.—Jo Humber

    no salt recipesYou're in luck. We have a great pickle recipe in The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook. It's on page 301. Make them, store them in the refrigerator. They are wonderful. Also, you can find terrific B&G bread and butter pickles and chips at Healthy Heart Market

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    book cook no saltWhatever happened to Hain's soyanaise?



    no salt softeningWe went to Pete Eiden at
    Healthy Heart Market for the answer to this question. "Featherweight made the soyanaise. They dropped it a few years ago. Hain makes the eggless mayo. I cannot get it anymore. They were shipping it to my wholesaler with just a month or 2 until expiration date so I am guessing it is nearing the end of it's life." — Pete

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    CHEESE



    no salt water softenersI can't find Alpine Lace Low Sodium Swiss in any of the markets around here. Where can I get it? Thanks—Jim M.

    food guide low pocket sodiumAlpine Lace sold out to Land o' Lakes. Land o' Lakes states that they never had a low sodium Swiss. Probably they didn't, but Alpine Lace did. Now you have to find a regional or local Swiss. In the west we know that Safeway stores has an excellent house brand No Salt Swiss called Best Buy. You can find this in the dairy section.

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    EGGS



    Please tell me the best way to make hard boiled eggs and what to put on them instead of salt. Thank you.

    I have to smile when someone asks for the "best way." With eggs you could probably get a "hundred best ways" from a hundred different people. The way I do it, and it's successful every time, is place the eggs into a pot/pan and cover with water. Then bring to a boil over a high or med-high flame. When it boils, turn off the heat, put a cover on the pan and let sit in place for 15 minutes. Then take the pan to your tap water and run cold water into the pan replacing the hot water. Then let sit a minute and then cook on a plate or rack, etc. To replace salt when eating a whole egg is yet another thing. I use white pepper and onion powder. Mix a dash of pepper with a teaspoon of onion powder and dip the egg when eating. If you don't like pepper, then use just the onion powder.

    OUR BOOKS



    When does your next book come out? I read somewhere where it has lots of soup recipes that are very good. — Sally James

    First Sally, thanks for asking. It is due January or early February, 2005. The book is available for pre-order at
    Amazon and Healthy Heart Market at this time, though. It has a lot of great soup recipes, salads and dressings, spice mixes and new bread recipes as well as about 25 terrific sandwich recipes. We think it may take front seat in your cookbook shelf. Visit back soon and we'll keep everyone posted.

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    multi vitaminsPlease tell me how to get a copy of your No Salt Lowest Sodium Cookbook for C.H.F. & other patients. I have read some of the testimonials and am trying to find something to help my mother who has C.H.F. She has had this for many years but as of late it has begun to really affect her. She is 64 yrs old. She has gained around 30+ pounds in the last 2 weeks despite the fact that she is on 2 different water pills. This is out of control!!! Send info and/or recipies a.s.a.p.—Anna H.

    multi-vitaminsYou can purchase the book at any local large bookstore or by ordering with a smaller independent bookstore. Just give them the title. Or you can visit Amazon.com

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    SUPPLEMENTS / VITAMINS /NUTRITIONISTS

    Is Dr. Oz a nutritionist?
    What is FDA recommended amount of iodine?
    What can you tell me about Co Enzyme Q10?
    Is there sodium in our vitamins and other medications?
    What is croscamellose sodium?
    How Do I replace Iodine?
    More About Idodine


    iodineHow do I replace the iodine in my salt now that I'm salt free? Thanks. - Suzzy

    magnesiumThis question is asked often. Dr. Trevor Beard of the Queensland Hypertension Association has written about it in his series of "Leaflets," or newsletters. To read his excellent rundown on iodine, Click Here. Read Next Q & A for more.

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    iodized saltWhen a product is said to contain salt, is that usually iodized salt? I am worried about developing hyperthyroidism. (I also eat a great deal of onions which are said to be high in iodine). - Shawn H.

    iodineNo processed foods contain iodized salt. Food manufacturers use standard, untreated salt. Only some table salt products contain iodine.

    . Research shows that iodized salt is not needed in the USA since our diet includes many foods with iodine and some foods are grown in iodine rich soil. Sources: Seafood is rich in iodine. Cod, sea bass, haddock, and perch are all good sources. Kelp (seaweed) is the most common vegetable seafood that is a rich source of iodine and is added to many processed foods. Dairy products such as cow's milk, whole (boiled) eggs, mozzarella and yogurt also contain iodine. Strawberries are a good source as well. Other good sources are plants grown in iodine-rich soil. Daily requirements according to the NIH are:

    Infants - 40 - 50 micrograms.
    Children 1 - 3 years - 70 micrograms
    4 - 6 years - 90 micrograms
    7 - 10 years - 120 micrograms
    11+ years - 150 micrograms
    Pregnant women - 175 micrograms Breastfeeding women - 200 micrograms
    150 mcg of iodine is also available in some multi vitamins.

    We don't want to over consume iodine. Too much iodine can disrupt the thyroid and possibly cause either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism in some of us, as well as increasing the risk of thyroid cancer.

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    multi vitaminsIs TV's Dr. Oz a dietitian or nutritionist?

    dr. ozNo, Dr. Oz is not a dietitian. Here's a link to what other doctors think about his TV persona.
    Click here for PDF view.

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    multi vitaminsI see CROSCARMELLOSE SODIUM in my vitamins. What is it and do I need to consider it a type of sodium that will increase fluid retention? Thank you.- Christi

    According to the medical and vitamin sites we visited, Croscarmellose sodium is an internally cross-linked sodium carboxymethylcellulose for use as a disintegrant in pharmaceutical formulations. The cross-linking reduces water solubility while still allowing the material to swell and absorb many times its weight in water. As a result, it provides superior drug dissolution and disintegration characteristics, thus improving formulas' subsequent bioavailability. Croscarmellose sodium also resolves formulators' concerns over long-term functional stability, reduced effectiveness at high tablet hardness levels, and similar problems associated with other products developed to enhance drug dissolution. The range of sodium in multi vitamins that we have found is between 5 mg and 60 mg per tablet.

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    Is there sodium in our vitamins and other medications?

    coq10Yes. Here's a response from one of our Megaheart members: "Hi Don, This is a note for your hidden sodium section and for the "supplementing with a multivitamin" paragraph of the preface to the meal planner if you publish another cookbook: Read the label of your multivitamin/multimineral supplement for sodium content. If sodium content is not listed, ask the pharmaceutical company. My multivitamen/multimineral supplement had a whopping 60.43 mg of sodium! It was the CVS Spectravite Senior which is comparable to the popular Centrum Senior." — Susan McKnight

    I checked with some vitamin manufacturers and didn't get very far for other vitamins like C, E, A, B series and others. When we get a definition of all these, we'll post them. If you already have these figures, we'd appreciate hearing from you. Thank you. — Don

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    supplements vitaminsWhat is the FDA recommended amount of iodine that should be in table salt? Please reply urgently.Thank you—P. Presser

    To meet iodine requirements, the current recommended daily iodine intakes are:
    50mcg (greek-m) for infants (first 12 months of age)
    90mcg (greek-m) for children (2-6 years of age)
    120mcg (greek-m) for school children (7-12 years of age)
    150mcg (greek-m) for adults (beyond 12 years of age)
    200mcg (greek-m) for pregnant and lactating women

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    kidney diseaseWhat can you tell me about Co Enzyme Q10? — Lee Ann

    br>
    This is what Dr. Andrew Weil has to say about 'standard' CoQ10: "In addition, because I eat a mostly vegetarian diet low in zinc, I take a supplement of that mineral as well (30mg a day). I also take the supplement coenzyme Q (100mg a day) which increases aerobic activity and protects the heart muscle. While coenzyme Q does occur naturally in all fruits and vegetables, again, it is difficult to get enough of it on a daily basis from food alone. Men who have proven coronary heart disease should consider taking 300mg of coenzyme Q a day, as should women with breast cancer, since this dosage has been shown to increase survival times in women with that disease."

    Research has shown that statin drugs for cholesterol (such as Lipitor), or beta blocking prescription drugs (such as Coreg), seriously deplete CoQ10 in your system.

    I have varied through the past 8 years taking 75 mg and 125 mg softgels a day. My cardiologist and my internist now believe in it. And so does my heart.

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    NUTRITION / DIETETICS



    I hear bad things about Splenda. Can you clean that story up?
    What is Nutritional Yeast?
    Help. I'm on blood thinner and was told I can't eat Vitamin K.
    Can you tell me where I can find a list of foods with potassium?
    Your Carrot Stick recipe has been chastised at Amazon. Why do you have it?
    Are your nutrient data numbers accurate?
    Do you have no salt, no sugar high protein diet?
    Where are the USDA figures for nutrients are located online?
    Is there a cookbook or diet plan that can assist me with a renal diet?
    Is the low carb diet good for heart patients?
    I'm looking for a menu planner for my neighbor.
    Can you check the attached nutrient data for me?
    Can you recommend foods that have natural diuretic properties?
    Can you explain confusing nutrient analysis between books?
    Are fat free foods beneficial for us?
    Is there a site or some software that might make diet analysis easier?
    What can I eat to help lower cholesterol?
    Can you tell me if Mocha Mix is bad for us?
    Can you elaborate on why margarines are so bad for us?
    Can you tell me which foods have sodium nitrites in them?
    Can I wash off the sodium in canned vegetables?
    Will your cookbook work for a no, not low, salt diet?


    I am not supposed to eat any potassium. Can you send me a list of foods with potassium in them? — J. Blanchard

    You will find potassium in all foods. Here are four Web sites with the information you seek.

    Health Touch
    Drugs.com
    Kidney.org
    Healthy Eating Club.com

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    What is Nutritional Yeast?

    nutritional yeastTo begin, it is not the same as baker's yeast. It is also not brewerís yeast, a bitter by-product of the beer-making process. If you are going to use nutritional yeast in your vegetarian diet, then do not try to substitute active dry yeast or baking yeast. Those yeasts froth and taste pretty awful — if you use them they'll froth so much the episode might remind you of the old movie "The Thing." Baker's yeast is alive. Nutritional yeast is literally "dead." The brand used most by Vegans is
    Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula because it is a good source of vitamin B12 and contains no whey. Whey is an animal product that is used in some other brands. In the U.K., nutritional yeast is sold under the Engevita brand and in Australia as savory yeast flakes.

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    Splenda, what about it?

    splendaFrom an article by Dr. MICHAEL R EADES, MD.

      Do you know what your children are eating?

      So asks the ubiquitous anti-Splenda advertisements.

      These ads go on to say:

      Splendaís advertising claims that it is ďMade from Sugar, so it Tastes Like Sugar.Ē What it doesnít tell you is that Splenda is not natural, itís a chlorinated artificial sweetener.

    Since rational people donít want to send their kids off to school with a lunch box full of swimming pool disinfectant, these ads have gotten a lot of attention.

    What is the real truth behind the Splenda and chlorine? Letís look at the evidence.

    But before we do, I want to lay out my position. First, MD and I donít own any stock in the companies that manufacture or sell Splenda. We donít sell it. We have no financial involvement with Splenda in any way. Second, we do use it. We donít use a ton of it because we would rather do without sweets of any kind as much as possible. But, when we do want to sweeten something, we use Splenda as our artificial sweetener of choice. Unlike aspartame Splenda is heat stable so we can cook with it, and unlike aspartame it doesnít break down into toxic substances. In fact, very little of it is absorbed. And we have never had patients who had problems with Splenda as we have had with aspartame. We first found out about Splenda in Canada back in the mid 1980s when we attended a medical conference in Toronto. Splenda was in use at that time in Canada and has subsequently been approved for use here in the U.S., and since then tens of millions of people have used it without major problems showing up. We have never seen anything in the medical literature showing that Splenda is in any way harmful. So, we donít have a problem with Splenda, and until we find something that changes our minds, weíll continue to use it as our artificial sweetener of choice.

    Now on to the Splenda attack ads.

    These ads are the brainchild of Rick Masters, a former Democratic operative who has gone into the public relations business. He was profiled last March in the Atlantic Monthly in an article entitled ďJ-School for Jerks,Ē which was a piece about how Mr. Masters conducts a course for people who want to be the next Bill OíReilly. Mr. Masters works for Qorvis Communications, a large, Washington, DC based public relations firm.

    Qorvis Communications and Mr. Masters were hired by non other than the sugar lobby to mount an attack against Splenda. Why the sugar lobby would want to attack the folks who make Splenda, I canít imagine.

    Mr. Masters and ďa group of concerned consumers, led by sugar cane and sugar beet farmers across AmericaĒ (read: Sugar Association, the sugar lobby) put up a website purporting to tell the horrible truth about Splenda. But does this website tell the truth or is it simply sugar lobby propaganda? Letís take a look.

    We can forget about all the posturing and all the doctors and others who are on the site claiming that Splenda is a menace because thatís all lip service. Letís cut to the chase, to the real nitty gritty.

    The main attack against Splenda is that it is a chlorinated artificial sweetener. Is that true? Well, yes and no. It is chlorinated, which, as weíll see shortly, doesnít mean squat. And it is really a sugar molecule, so it really isnít an artificial sweetener as is, for example, saccharine. Itís artificial in the same way a bowl of ice cream with artificial flavors added is artificial. The bulk of the ice cream is made with cream, milk, and sugar, so does the little bit of artificial vanilla extract make the whole shebang artificial? I donít think so. But in Splendaís case, the additive isnít even really artificial.

    But what about the chlorine? That sounds like the real problem. It canít be good to consume chlorine.

    First of all, every time you eat salt, half of what you are eating is chlorine. Common table salt is sodium chloride, half sodium and half chlorine (since the chlorine is in its ionic form itís called chloride). Chloride is a natural substance. In fact chlorine is one of the elements in the periodic table. No one would consider salt artificial, so how can chloride Ė a natural element Ė be artificial?

    So, Splenda isnít really an artificial sweetener. If anything it would be more accurately called a chemically altered sweetener.

    Splenda is made by replacing three hydroxyl groups (and oxygen-hydrogen combination) on a sucrose (common table sugar) molecule with three chloride ions. By doing so, the sweetening power of the sugar is increased by a factor of about 600. So, in actuality, when you consume Splenda, you consume real sugar, but because of the huge increase in sweetening power only about 1/600th of what you normally would . Instead of a teaspoon it would be a tiny grain.

    But what about the extra chlorine? Doesnít that cause any kind of problem.

    Well, you do eat salt donít you. A teaspoon of salt contains many thousands of times more chlorine than you would get from the teaspoon of sugar equivalent of Splenda.

    If you want even more evidence that the tiny amount of chloride in the Splenda is harmless consider that like with blood sugar you have about a teaspoon of chloride circulating in your blood at any given time, which is more than 20,000 times the amount you would get from a dose of Splenda. How do we figure this?

    A normal value for chloride as a component of an electrolyte panel (common lab measurement of blood that doctors often look at) is about 100 mEq/L. One mEq of chloride equals about 35 mg. 35 mg times 100 equals 3500 mg. One teaspoon is about 4000 mg, so 100 mEq of chloride is a little less than one teaspoon.

    So, knowing what we now know, itís easy to see who is telling the truth about Splenda. With the above in mind, letís look at a particularly egregious example of truth stretching on the sugar lobby-underwritten, anti-Splenda website:

    Fiction: The chlorine found in Splenda is similar to that found in other foods we eat.

    Fact: The manufacturer of Splenda claims that chlorine is naturally present in such foods as lettuce, mushrooms and table salt, but they never directly state that eating Splenda is the same as eating these foods. Remember, Splenda is not a natural substance, it is an artificial chemical sweetener manufactured by adding three chlorine atoms to a sugar molecule.

    Would you trust your health to the sugar lobby?

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    I am writing this for a friend who recently had her thyroid removed due to cancer. She has been put on a NO Salt--not low, NO IODINE--not low, diet that she must follow strictly for several weeks before starting iodine treatments. Would this cookbook be a good one to get her? Thanks in advance, Theresa

    Yes it is. The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook uses no salt, neither does it use any ingredients containing salt. Salt is however, where we used to get our iodine. Iodine is not found in foods we eat at any levels that will affect your friend.

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    Do you have a diet high in protein, no sugar, and no salt? — Ruth Anne

    Our cookbook,
    The No Salt Lowest Sodium Cookbook has a variety of recipes that will help you. You may leave out any of the above or add in any of the above (such as protein) whenever you need to. Use Splenda sugar substitute to recplace sugar in any recipe calling for it. Use equal measurements. Splenda does not affect diabetics. Most meat dishes are high in protein, but many bean dishes and soups are as well. Our No Salt Lowest Sodium Light Meals Book might be the perfect balance for you. Soups, Salads, Sandwiches each one listed as to diabetic adaptable or acceptable. None of our recipes contain salt, not even salt in teh ingredients we use. You really can't get much lower than the recipes in our books. www.megaheart.com/amazon_link.html

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    I saw at Amazon.com where someone wrote they didn't like your book because of a single recipe for carrot sticks. What's up with that? - W. Forbes

    That's gotta put a smile a guy's face, doesn't it? Carrot sticks are probably the greatest source for beta carotene (see:
    for reasons why we published it.) We listed carrot sticks in our 28-day meal planning guide, which is afterall what we are into here — saving and extending lives through a new lifestyle of no salt and low sodium. Therefore, we included a way for readers to prepare and preserve carrot sticks for daily "grazing" or just a one-a-day snack. We still think it's a darned good idea.

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    I can't eat vitamin K because I'm on blood thinners. So, what can I eat?

    You can eat vitamin K. Just eat a balanced diet. Your blood thinner can be adjusted to fit your lifestyle, you don't have to adjust to it. For an excellent read on Vitamin K and blood thinners,
    Click Here for clot control.

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    Canned vegetables contain quite a bit of salt. If I were to drain off the liquid in the can, rinse off the vegetables under running salt free water and then boil them in salt free water, would this lower the salt content to any noticeable extent? - R. Shore

    The canned vegetables have been marinating for months in those cans and you can wash, beat, drub, scrub, but according to the USDA, you're still going to get all the sodium listed.

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    Can you tell me which foods have sodium nitrites and nitrates in them? B. Laird

    Sodium Nitrates and Nitrites, often linked to cancer, can generally be found in processed meats; usually deli-meats. It's also found in bacon, hams and in some packaged foods. The best thing to do to make sure, is to read the FDA labels. If no labels are attached, your grocer (by law) must provide you with a nutrient list of the food you are buying.

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    Can you tell me where the USDA figures for food values or nutrients are located online? Thank you. WB

    ,marc silver First click on
    USDA. This is where you'll find the text entry box to look up foods while you're at their website. Type in your word and hit "enter" on your keyboard. Type in just one word if you can, such as: Carrot. Don't use plurals when possible. The complete list for carrots will appear. Use your browser's back key to return to the search box.

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    mocha mix Can you tell me if Mocha Mix is bad for us? Thank you. - Susan

    pamela rice hahnMocha Mix is comprised mostly of hydrogenated soybean oil. Hydrogenated fats are not generally a product we want to consume because they are basically transfatty acids. (See Margarine question and answer below). However, if you use Mocha Mix in less than moderate dosages, such as a teaspoon in a cup of coffee, I'd say it shouldn't cause any harm. Remember, all oils generally have the same amount of fats, with some having more saturated than others. Try to choose those with higher monounsaturated fats than they have saturated fats. Below are the nutrient data for hydrogenated soybean oil per tablespoon. See next question and answer for more about this subject.

  • Calories: 120.2
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  • Total Sugars: 0 g
  • Total Fat: 13.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.026 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.848 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.114 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Calcium: 0 mg
  • Potassium: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Vitamin K: 0 mcg
  • Folate: 0 mcg

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    david anderson Can you elaborate on why margarines are so bad for us? Have been using Brummel and Brown and thought I was making a healthy choice!! I do use unsalted butter and lots of olive oil, but still crave that margarine on my sandwiches. Thanks - Betty

    thomas andersonMargarine is vegetable oil (i.e., soybean, corn, canola, etc) that has been hydrogenated. During hydrogenation, the unsaturated fat becomes more saturated, causing the fat to become more solid at room temperature (think butter). It is during this process that trans fatty acids are formed. The more trans fatty acids there are, the more the fat will act like saturated fat. Hydrogenated fats, although not saturated, act like saturated fats in our bodies and can do as much, or maybe even more harm. Unfortunately, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats are found in not only margarine but in almost every prepared food (i.e., crackers, cookies, potato chips).

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    american heart association I've been keeping track of my diet on www.fitday.com and it works pretty well. My only complaint is I can't easily add a complete recipe with combined ingredients such as spaghetti..I have to add each ingredient separately. Is there a site or some software that might make this easier? Jan L.

    low-salt cookbook american heartFitday is a website where you may practice at what you are searching for, but it can't be all the things you want. The only way to put recipes into a program and get back a full reading, one that will help you, is to buy a piece of software that you install in your own computer. In our research, we've not found a single online service (free that is), that provides this service at a level desired. I personally use a program from
    The Nutrition Company, called Foodworks. You will find their latest version when you visit the site. This is a company that supports its product, too. It's easy to learn, completely reliable and far better than any online service.

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    the no-salt cookbookHi, Iím wondering if you know of any natural (other then eating oatmeal until the cows come home) remedies to lower cholesterol. Iím already doing the watch the fat thing, watch salt, ( of course I have your great cook book too!) and lose weight. Maybe some vitamin or something that isnít wacky or off the wall? -- Jessica Bad Heart Bull

    no salt cookbookThis is another area for R.D.s to help you with. There remains some controversy over what will lower and what will simply maintain cholesterol levels. I too eat oatmeal nearly every morning, but have not had any recognizable lowering of cholesterol (although my "good" cholesterol has risen). I confer with my cardiologist and R.D. about this all the time and suggest to all others to do the same. It's really the best way to get help since they know our records much better than we do.

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    Hi, I just read the answer to the question (below) and wondered what you know about fat free foods. Are they really beneficial for us? Thank you. -- Tony D.

    I am not an R.D., but heres a response, quoted straight from a company that provides a nutrition newsletter on a daily basis. "You won't see "fat-free" as a sales pitch on foods that are generally healthy for you like whole-grain bread. Most foods labeled "fat-free" are foods that should be eaten on occasion. If you are hung up on fat, these fat-free products are for you. But what advantage is there? Most of these foods have similar calorie contents to their full-fat cousins because the fat is replaced with enough sugar to make up for the missing fat."

    I will add that most fat free foods are much higher with sodium. Fat is the flavor in many "fatty" foods and processors add a lot of salt to kick up the missing flavor.

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    megaheartI love soups, I also have high blood pressure. I've started to make my own stocks for soups and stews. I have purchased a few low sodium and no-salt cookbooks and I am confused by the nutrient analysis page. For example, in the American Heart Association low-salt cookbook (copyright 1990), page 44-45 the sodium analysis for those stocks is 60 for the chicken and 56 for the beef. Now for the confusing part. In the American Heart Association Cookbook (5th Edition) copyright 1991 on page 86-87, the chicken and beef stock lists 56 mg per serving. Please note that each of these recipes adds a whopping tableSPOON of salt. How can this be? What happens to the salt during the cooking? Ps. I have made them both ways and the one with the salt has a better flavor which makes me think the salt is still there. Please help if you can as I have not been able to find anyone who can answer this. Thank You— Bruce Smith

    prwebsite.comYou are right to question all cookbooks and their nutrient columns. Many are inaccurate. The AHA book was written for healthy people not for those of us with chronic diseases. You would need to make about 125 cups of broth with all that salt in order to get it down to 56 mg per serving or per cup. Salt does not "boil away." Instead, it intensifies in the food it is cooked with — one reason chefs centuries ago started adding salt to foods (along with its benefit as a preservative). Most of the broth helpers are high in sodum also, even those labeled "lower sodium." Look out also for "lower sodium" soups and broth from Swanson's, Campbells and others. The sodium is lower than their regular cans of soups, but way too high for our diets. Most of these brand names also add MSG. In the end, it's best to make your own broth.

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    egraphicscompany.comOur teenage daughter was recently diagnosed with Crohn's. I have purchased your No Salt Lowest Sodium Cookbook and thank you so much. She is on prednisone and we want to reduce the weight gain secondary to prednisone. Can you recommend foods that have natural diuretic properties? She cannot have high fiber veggies and fruits. We would appreciate any info. Thanks again.—Mary L.

    lowsodiumdiet.orgWe asked our resident R.D. this question and the response was that there are no known foods that serve as diuretics. For a better plan for your daughter it was suggested that you visit the Registered Dietitian website and try to locate an R.D. near you who can help plan out your daily dietary needs. Keeping your sodium low is certainly a help in keeping body fluids down, but you also will also want to watch the daily caloric intake. An R.D. might be able to put all this together for you.

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    artondisplayHi, I've been using some of the Monthly special recipes at the American Heart Association website and this month's Scalloped Potatoes seem to be off target as to sodium levels. Either that or I'm reading the recipe wrong. Can you take a look at it and help me? Thank you. Marevic J

    eden organicIt's tough for one author to critique another or find errors in their book. My own has a few. The AHA has a long history with their Low Salt cookbooks. Straight up we have to remember that their books were designed for healthy people, to help them stay healthy. A healthy person can ingest more sodium than those of us with heart disease or other maladies requiring a no-salt or low-sodium diet. That said, I checked the recipe for you and you are right. They have nearly halved the sodium level if we input exactly what they list in the ingredients. Here is what they listed, followed by what the USDA listing for the same ingredients are:

    Nutrient Analysis from AHA
    Calories: 109
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19 g
  • Total fat: 1 g
  • Saturated: 1 g
  • Polyunsaturated: 0 g
  • Monounsaturated: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 4 mg
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sodium: 111 mg
  • Potassium: 500 mg
  • Calcium: 108 mg

    USDA Listings from Foodworks Program
  • Calories: 74.7
  • Protein: 6.382 g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.82 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.504 g
  • Total Sugars: .782 g
  • Total Fat: 1.288 g
  • Saturated Fat: .726 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: .404 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: .086 g
  • Cholesterol: 3.446 mg
  • Calcium: 106.7 mg
  • Iron: 1.12 mg
  • Potassium: 507.6 mg
  • Sodium: 194.8 mg
  • Vitamin K: .942 mcg
  • Folate: 31.6 mcg

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    no sodiumI'm looking for a menu planner for my neighbor. She has trouble keeping her sodium at the level it is suppose to be, so I am trying to get her a menu on what she can and cannnot eat. Have checked lot of web sites but no luck. So I was hoping you could help me on this matter? Thanks so much for your time!— DIANE LAMBERT

    eggsThe best meal planner is the 28-day meal-planning guide in the back of
    The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook . Your neighbor can use this plan to develop her own and use the recipes in the book to help keep her sodium levels low. Click on the book image at the top of this page and you can pick a copy up for your neighbor for just $11.97 at Amazon.com.

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    scrambled eggsI have used recipes from other websites that claim to be low sodium, but today realized some of them really aren't. Some recipes use baking powder or soda, sea salt, etc. and claim to be low in sodium. Then I discovered that a recipe I really liked, had bad nutrient data. Apparently they don't seem to really get into it with this. Now, I must ask, are your numbers accurate?— Frank S., Los Angeles

    Our nutrient data are supplied by Foodworks from Nutrico. They are based exclusively on the latest USDA figures. These figures change annually although minutely. Each year the USDA also adds new figures and new products. As to the other websites, I caution everyone who asks – to be very careful. Our lives depend on accurate numbers. I would feel inexorably awful should I intentionally or accidentally not provide accurate numbers. I live by this program, so you can bet I work hard to make sure they are accurate. I have, as you have however, discovered inaccurate figures in newspapers, magazines and throughout the web world. Some who claim to be "no salt chefs," others who claim to have the "secret" low sodium recipes, are not always on target. It's tough to pick through them. My wife who is an excellent chef (a word not used loosely around here), and I create each recipe from scratch. Sometimes that takes a long time for a single recipe and then we end up often with a recipe that's familiar to other recipes although much different. It takes a single item sometimes to throw it out of the loop when considering sodium, fats, cholesterol, tri glycerides and now trans fats. We are always experimenting, too. We have just recalculated all our bread recipes and added a new ingredient to nearly each of them. This slight alteration will not affect sodium or fat levels, but will make each bread recipe a joy to produce. The next printing of the baking book will reflect this minor change and our website recipes will all change too. That's what we do. Constantly stay on top of this no salt low sodium world and try to present to all visitors the latest in what is good, healthy and accurate. Megaheart and our books are our only job. We are not part-timers. This website provides 24/7 service. If ever you think one of our recipes is not on target, please let us know. So far, that's not happened and we've been at this for 7 years now. Megaheart was the first online low sodium service and our history and record for accuracy and helping to save lives is thus far impeccable. We really hope and intend to keep it that way.

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    chicken marsalaI Need Help! My 67 year old mother has just come home from the hospital after a quadruple coronary bypass. She is also in kidney failure and is a Diabetic. None of these conditions were diagnosed before surgery. The heart doctor gave her a cardiac diet; the renal Doctor gave me a renal diet and the diabetic teaching nurse gave me a 1800 calorie ADA diet for her. But no one has told me how to integrate them. It seems what is allowed on one is not on the other two or vice versa. Is there a cookbook or diet plan that can assist me with this difficult dilemma? Any assistance is greatly appreciated. — Sincerely, Cyndi

    fried potatoesHi, here's the response to your question from our registered dietitian. "She needs to meet with a registered dietitian. Send her to
    The American Dietetic Association website and have her put in her zipcode to find a dietitian in her area. Most health insurance plans and Medicare will now cover diet consultation for a diagnosis of renal failure and/or diabetes, so she should be able to get some good diet counseling from an RD covered at least in part by insurance."

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    date barsIs the low carb diet good for heart patients? My father wants to go on it.

    chocolate chip cookiesI am neither an R.D. nor a doctor, but I read a lot of material. Below, find a reprint of a section of a report from Jane Brody who writes for the New York Times. The article is dated July 4, 2004. She is reporting on the findings of studies concerning potassium loss and/or intake, released by the National Academy of Sciences Insitute of Medicine. Keep in mind that small changes of potassium levels can be harmful to your health and your heart especially.

    "Most people have little or no warning of potassium deficiencies. They may feel tired, weak and irritable, but unable to pinpoint the cause."

    To make matters worse, high-protein levels in diets result in acid formation that increases the loss of calcium, the primary bone mineral. Studies have demonstrated an association between higher consumption of fruit and potassium and increased bone mineral density. The more protein in relation to potassium consumed, the greater the risk of bone loss in the hips and spine.

    In its report, the institute was especially critical of the currently popular low-carbohydrate high-protein diets. although these diets may contain enough potassium from protein, they lack enough alkali-generating substances from fruits like oranges, bananas and grapes to counter the high acid fomration associatied with a protein rich diet."

    "In a six-week study of 10 adults on a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet, calcium loss in urine increased by 50 percent and was not compensated for by an increase in intestinal absorption of dietary calcium.

    The researchers concluded that the diet overloaded the kidneys with acid, increased the risk of fomration of kidney stoens, led to a net loss of calcium and might have increasd bone loss. The institute noted that there had been 'no published studies of the long-term metabolic effects of this kind of diet in any group of individuals.'"


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    MENIERE'S



    hamburgerMy son has just been diagnosed with Meniere's disease and looking for information I found your site. We are very new in making a life style change! Finding things that taste good have been a challenge for him. Salt substitutes have tasked so bitter and we have invested so much money trying all we find. Are you familiar with AlsoSalt? I found a site for it but before I tried it I thought maybe you might know something about it. Thank you so much for any help —Judy Lightfoot

    cheese burgerHi, Also Salt is just another of the many "substitutes" to hit the market since 1996 when Megaheart first began to supply those with Meniere's and Heart Disease with salt free recipes that taste very good. Also Salt is mostly potassium chloride much like many others and that includes Featherweight Baking Powder. It also includes a bit of L-lysine mono-hydrochloride and some calcium stearate. (L-Lysine is an essential amino acid, which means your body cannot manufacture it. It must be obtained through the diet or by supplementation. L-lysine has been shown in a few studies to increase the absorption of calcium and it may reduce its excretion.)

    Too much potassium in your diet can create an unstable heart rate and even death. The same is true with too little potassium. We must maintain a balance, and a balanced diet does that. For those taking diuretics, a doctor may prescribe a potassium tablet of about 20 MEQ to replace the potassium that the diuretic forces out of our bodies. Many of us who consume fewer than 500 mg of sodium per day, do not need to take diuretics for heart disease or Meniere's Syndrome. Also Salt has 355 mg potassium per 1/4 teaspoon. That's a lot. We do not recommend salt substitutes of any kind unless you make up your own with spices and herbs. We also highly recommend that your son learns to eat fresh foods that are prepared without salt or salt substitutes, but instead, use herbs and spices to flavor his food. After a while, he will come to dislike the flavor of salt, since it is a "foreign" taste to us and introduced to us early on with baby foods.

    Dr. Beard, in his book
    Salt Matters, states, "No mother would add salt to her baby's mother's milk." So, why do we add it to baby foods? The answer is simple: to add some flavor since baby foods are mashed, bashed, boiled, beaten and generally processed until there's no flavor. Voila! Add salt.

    Many Meniere's patients have realized incredible success with a no salt, very low sodium lifestyle. Your son can, too. He will have to develop his own program though. Our book, The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook has been the leader in this field for a long time now. The back of the book has a 28-day meal-planning guide he can use to develop his own for his own tastes. The book has 350+ recipes in it he can use for everything from breakfast to dinner and it includes desserts, snacks, treats, breads. (Our bread book is terrific, too.) You can get the cookbook for just $11.97 at Amazon.com by clicking through our book image at megaheart.com

    The book may prove to be the best investment you'll make for your son.
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    HOLIDAYS

    Thanksgiving Stuffing?
    Can you put your Thanskiving Stuffing into the turkey?

    Can you put your Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing recipe into the turkey? - LeeAnn S.

    Yes. But I wouldn't eat it afterwards. You can use plain bread to stuff a turkey or add celery, onions, garlic, cloves, etc. as well. Stuffing adds no flavors to the turkey but does absorb a lot of the turkey's juices, remaining blood and other inedible juice. I recommend against the use of edible stuffing inside a turkey. We don't serve or eat stuffing cooked inside a turkey for a few important reaons. The primary reason is that salmonella can be transferred to the stuffing. Other toxins may also be transferred to the stuffing. A hot enough temperature cooking the turkey will kill salmonella in the meat, sometimes leaving the residue in the stuffing which may or may not get as hot as the "insulator" or turkey meat itself gets. Note: Next time you hear someone tell you their "turkey" must have been spoiled because they became ill after eating it, might very well have eaten contaminated stuffing that was cooked insided the turkey.

    Always remember to cook your turkey until it reaches a temperature of at least 170° F for the breast, 180° F for the thigh or dark meat. If you are going to go ahead, and eat your stuffing, then make sure the temperature of the stuffing reaches at least 165° F. If using turkey drippings for gravy, you'll want that juice to be no lower than 180° F. I would suggest making the gravy by bringing it to a boil, then simmering, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. (See below for low sodium gravy.)

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    stuffed turkeyI was happy to find some Thanksgiving recipes on your site. I would like to make the stuffing, however I am too lazy to make the bread myself! Is it possible to use the low salt bread from Publix instead? It has only 15 mg. for two slices. It's a little sweeter than regular bread. Thanks, — Margaret Davis

    As long as you account for your sodium it will be fine to use the bread you mention. Dry it out first, so that it's crunchy hard.

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    MISCELLANEOUS

    Does the potassium in no-salt foods interact with medications? Do you have a substitute recipe for Miracle Whip?
    Is canola oil made from rapeseed?
    Are the recipes I got in the mail from Coreg good?
    Why do you recommend bottled water in your recipes?
    Why does the thin layer appear on the milk when its being boiled?
    Can I print your recipes?
    Do you know of any guide books and/or cookbooks that detail foods with low oxalate?


    GlaxoDoes the potassium in no-salt foods interact with medications? Yes. Applies to: Cozaar (losartan) If you are taking losartan you should avoid potassium-containing salt substitutes or over-the-counter potassium supplements without first talking to your doctor. This can cause high levels of potassium in your blood. High levels of potassium can cause weakness, irregular heartbeat, confusion, tingling of the extremities, or feelings of heaviness in the legs. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms. In some patients grapefruits and grapefruit juice may decrease the efficacy of losartan. Grapefruits and grapefruit juice should be avoided if an interaction is suspected. Orange juice is not expected to interact.

    GlaxoI've read where canola oil is made from rapeseed. I've also read that it's made from a canola plant. Is it made from rapeseed?

    canola oil rapeseed No, canola hasn't been made from rapeseed now for more than two decades. Rapeseed proved too toxic so the "canola plant" was devloped and that's where canola oil comes from today. It's perfectly safe and it's healthy.

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    GlaxoDo you have a substitute recipe for Miracle Whip?


    miracle whip Sorry, but no. Haven't successfully matched MW's unique flavor. We tried, but after much effort, stopped. Most substitute recipes I've seen for MW use a great deal of oil and raw eggs,which MW uses. Our Yo Cheese proved to be a good base, but the flavor provided by the high level of oil and fructose corn syrup in MW along with eggs and sugar was too overwhelming for our goal.

    Miracle Whip itself has a high level of high fructose corn syrup with soybean oil being it's leading ingredient. It also uses MSG (which is what "Natural Flavor" means in its FDA ingredient list). To match it we'd have to use raw eggs and raw yolks, a few cups of oil and a good dose of sugar or Splenda along with paprika, garlic and starch. Because high fructose corn syrup is not good for anyone, but especially for heart patients, we were never able to come to the same flavor as MW.

    The serving size on the MW FDA label states 15g. That equals 1-tablespoon. The USDA's latest figures show sodium level at 131.4 although the jar states 125 mg sodium. That's for one level tablespoon. Our best effort contained about 7 mg of sodium, but like I said, it didn't match MW's flavor.
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    GlaxoI received some recipes in the mail today from the makers of Coreg. They seem a bit high in sodium, well, most of them do. Are they okay to use on our low sodium diet? They don't list any nutrient values.—Donna D. Caution.
    Glaxo/Smith/Kline, makers of Coreg (Carvedilol), are mass mailing a small pamphlet titled: "Recipes For The Heart." Many of these recipes are not acceptable by our low-sodium and low-fat standards without making some adjustments.

    Coreg The recipes in the booklet do not list nutrient values. Some ingredients may also include partially hydrogentated fats (margarine) (unhealthy for anynone), salt, and other high sodium ingredients like black olives, double-acting baking powder, etc. We recommend that if any of these recipes appeal to you, you write us for adjustsment or make adjustments yourself. We wrote to Glaxo/Smith/Kline about this matter. They replied with a standard form letter that failed to respond to our questions. Our recommendation is to file this booklet/pamphlet away as just another pharmaceutical company promotional effort. For sample nutrient Values of Glaxo/Smith/Kline's pamphelet,
    Click here. If you want one of the recipes evaluaged by us, then plesae E-mail us using the Ask Don link at the top of this page.


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    trail mixDon - I have your No-Salt, lowest Sodium cookbook and really find it helpful. My husband, Greg, has a multitude of concerns - He has a family history of high blood pressure and high colesteral. He has recently been diagnosed with another problem - kidney stones. I am constantly trying to feed him good food - with all medical constraints in mind. Do you know of any guide books and/or cookbooks that detail foods with low oxalate? I have a short list of do's and don'ts, as far as foods he can and cannot eat, but I am looking for a more detailed list and/or a cookbook. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated. And, thank you for your wonderful web site and all of the information you have provided!! — Linda Garmong

    belgium waffles low sodiumJust click on the below. sites
    No More Kidney Stones
    The Kidney Stones Handbook : A Patient's Guide to Hope, Cure and Prevention
    The Official Patient's Sourcebook on Kidney Stones (2002)
    Nutrient Data Info
    Diet Help

    I think you can expand from these sites. Let me know if you need more help.



    low salt menuI would like to know why does the thin layer appear on the milk when its being boiled. Thank you— Hans John

    receiptsWater boils at 100° Celsius (212° F) and 1 atm. pressure (i.e., pressure at sea level). Variation in boiling point and expansion of liquids are due to the presence of various other substances. When a low boiling liquid is present along with water, the mixture will boil at even lower temperatures. But only the low boiling liquid will be evaporated. In case of milk, during heating, fatty organic substances present in the milk separate out and float on the surface due to their light weight. Those fatty matters cover the surface like a blanket, and prevent any loss of water or any other substance by evaporation. This increases the pressure beneath the layer and leads to expansion. Milk consists of mostly water and some fats, proteins, lactose and minerals. Milk fat is a mixture of glycerides of fatty acids with a density less than that of the milk serum. The solid fat is dispersed in the serum in the form of small globules. When the milk is heated up, these fat globules rise to the top and at a temperature around their melting point, about 50° C (106° F), form a layer of skin on the hot milk.

    If making a "cafe latte," the steam bubbles that form within the milk get trapped by this skin and accumulate under it. They grow and coalesce and build up a pressure that eventually raises the skin which will also make some of the milk spill over, stirring breaks the skin, releases the pressure and prevents spilling over.

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    chfHi, I really enjoy the recipes that are on this site. Now the question is: can I print these recipes that I use and share them with the other patients at the CHF align that my husband goes to? We are always looking for recipes that are tasty and low enough in sodium that heart patients can use.— Thanks, Elly

    stanford medical centerYes you may. What you can't do is republish them. My publisher might get a bit upset about that. :)

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    chf Is there that much difference between the bottled water your recommend and our home water? We do have a filter on our refrigerator water. Would that make a difference? .— Thanks, Pam

    stanford medical centerWe recommend bottled or filtered low-sodium water unless your municipal system has low sodium water and you filter out the chlorine in cold water system. You can call your municipal water company and get the level of sodium per liter. If it's below 4 mg per liter then you're okay. Some water in the U.S. reaches as high as 440+ mg per cup (8-oz). However, some municipal water also has a great deal of chlorine in it and that can affect your bread making by killing the yeast. Since it's impossible to come close to everyone's individual water supply in a recipe book we chose to use a "known" quantity. Bottled water will have some sodium in it (read the ingredients), but the levels are generally below 1 mg per pint or liter. Purified or Distilled water has nothing in it including nutrients. It's okay to use for cooking but you don't want to drink that during the day. You need the nutrients normally found in water. We have a two-stage filter in our house. It does not get rid of sodium but it does get rid of MTBE, chlorine and other spores. The sodium in our municipal water system is less than 1 mg per liter. Well within our limits. As to your refrigerator: If the filter is kept fresh, that is changed at manufacturer's recommended times, then it should be useable. Read the data on the filter box next time you get a replacement.

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    SUBSTITUTES

    Why don't you like salt substitutes?
    What is Amplify? I hear it's a salt substitute?
    What can I substitute for mayonnaise in recipes? Can you tell me how to substitute baking powder and soda?
    What is your opinion regarding the salt subtitute "VEGE-SAL?"
    My question is concerning substituting the white flour with spelt flour
    How much unsalted butter for the applesauce in your brownies?r
    Can egg substitutes be used in our recipes?
    What can I replace orange zest in bread recipes with?
    Can I replace sugar with Splenda for a diabetic?
    Can I use the product Spike or is it high in sodium?


    Help! I've scoured the internet without success. My mother is sugar diabetic and cannot eat sugar. I have a recipe for green tomato chow (like pickles) that takes sugar but I was thinking that I could just substitute splenda. However, my wife womders if that will cause a problem as these will be preserved in the form of canning. Will splenda still work? -- Sam

    Updated Answer, February, 2010: Splenda does have carbohydrates. Although the "nutritional facts" label on Splenda's packaging claims that a single serving of 1 gram contains zero calories, each individua yellow packet (1 gram) contains 3.31 calories and .9 carbohydrate and .8 sugars. The FDA permits this labeling in the U.S. by allowing a product to be labeled as zero calories if the food contains less than 5 calories per reference amount customarily consumed and per labeled serving size. This also applies to sodium listings. Splenda contains a relatively small amount of sucralose, little of which is metabolized. Most all of Splenda's caloric content is from the dextrose or maltodextrin bulking agents that give Splenda its volume. Like other carbohydrate, dextrose and maltodextrin have 3.31 calories per gram. This 1 gram measurement equals 1/4 teaspoon of Splenda, which is equal to the sweetness of two-teaspoons of sucrose (sugar). The granulated version however has a different sweetness level and a change ni the dextrose, maltodextrin levels.

    Here are the conversions for granular Splenda for carbohydrates only:

    1 cup = 24 grams carbs
    3/4 cup 18 g carbs
    2/3 cup 16 g
    Ĺ cup 12 g
    1/3 cup 8
    1/4 cup 6 g
    1 Tlbsp 1.5 g
    1 tsp .5 g

    Splenda does have carbohydrates although they do not cause a spike in blood glucose. It also has calories (just like sugar calories), sugars and some potassium. The labels are misleading.

    Initial answer: According to McNeil, makers of Splenda, yes, it will work. Sucralose, the no calorie sweetening ingredient in Splenda, is not a carbohydrate and has been shown in studies to have no effect on blood glucose control or insulin levels. It is not recognized by the body as sugar or as a carbohydrate and has no calories. Sucralose has also been shown not to cause a rise in hemoglobin A1c (a measure of your average blood glucose level over time). See
    Splenda. I have used Splenda in every one of my recipes calling for sugar and it has performed beautifully in each of them. I suggest testing it first with a jar or two. Splenda does dissolve a bit differently but in the end it tastes the same.

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    Why don't you like salt substitutes?



    Many products billed as salt substitutes today are nothing more than potassium carbonate or potassium chloride with some adding Lysine to mask the potassium bitterness. We need potassium but it is already naturally in most all our food. Too much potassium can be just as dangerous to our heart as too little. Check the FDA ingredient label of each product you buy to make sure you're not getting too much potassium. Click Here For Research Proving Salt Substitutes are not good for us. At Megaheart, we say the best salt substitute is you. Let your palate take over and actually taste the flavor of fresh foods. You might even like them and you won't get hooked on chemical substitutes. (It takes about three months without salt in your diet for your palate to heal. Salt damages our palate, but it will repair in that 90 days if you don't eat any salt.)

    Additionally, we recommend learning about herbs and spices, lemon juice, and vinegar. So Many herbs and spices are good for us when considering nutrition, even working as anti-inflammatory and as antioxidant agents. The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Light Meals Book and the No Salt, Lowest Sodium International Recipe book contain exciting collections of spice mixes you can make up and use on nearly everything from breakfast to dinner.

    You can add flavors to unsalted breakfast cereal or bread by simply adding flaxseed meal, which provides a nice nutty flavor as well as adding more fiber to your diet.

    We also recommend not overcooking fresh vegetables. Either steam, grill quickly, or drop into boiling water for one or two minutes maximum. You can also cook them in your microwave, on your barbecue or by baking some. Overcooking destroys the flavor and nutrients.

    Baking bread without salt is not only possible, it gives you the chance to make exciting bread recipes. You can produce any bread from Cinnamon Buns, Naan, Ciabatta and hamburger buns, to Challah, or even Ethiopian Spice Bread (one of my favorites).

    Baking bread without salt can be done in your oven or in your bread machine. It does take a little extra effort, but not much. You'll need an acid, a sugar or sugar substitute like Splenda, and some gluten. We recommend bread flour that states the bread is good for bread making. We also recommend Fleischmann's Bread Machine yeast, even if you are making your bread by hand. Fleischmann's Bread Machine yeast is the only yeast we have found with added ascorbic acid. You can buy ascorbic acid on line through Where To Buy.

    For freshness we add vinegar, some potato flour, some soy lecithin (nutty flavor), and olive oil (except for recipes like baguettes where no add fat is called for). You can make unsalted bread with orange juice, low-sodium water, nonfat milk, or buttermilk.

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    Is the product Spike high in sodium?



    Products like Spike are generally high in sodium and MSG. MSG comes under different titles like "Added Flavorings," "Hydrolized Protein," etc. See: Truth In Labeling Make sure when reading FDA labels that you check the nutrient data against the serving size. The USDA has no listing for SPIKE, but reading the ingredient label I'd say their original is heavily laced with salt and MSG. However, read on:

    A visitor to Megaheart has pointed out that Spike now makes a salt-free version. Modern Fearn Web site shows this product. They have pretty much taken every spice of the shelf and mixed them together for this mix. Ingredients include: Defatted soy, onion, orange crystals, nutritional yeast, garlic, celery, dill, horseradish, lemon peel, mustard, orange peel, parsley, white pepper, turmeric, green and red bell peppers, rosehips, summer savory mushroom, safflower, coriander, fenugreek, basil, marjoram, oregano, thyme, tarragon, cumin, ginger, cayenne pepper, cloves, spinach, rosemary, cinnamon, paprika, tomato

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    What can I replace the orange peel/zest with in your bread recipes? I don't care for the taste of orange. J.M.

    We used orange zest for bread recipes to work with the sugar and gluten to build what we referred to as a "bread enhancer." The orange zest provided us citric acid. Thanks to Carol Desmond, a Megaheart member, we now have King Arthur's pure
    citric acid. Before, we recommended orange or lemon zest or Sure Jell Ever Fresh, which has ascrobic acid in it, unfortunately along with sugar. Sure Jell and Fruit Fresh also work as mentioned in most of my recipes, but if you're diabetic you won't want to use these brands. When using pure ascorbic acid, you need use only a 1/4in place of the measurements listed in my recipes.

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    get the salt out I read about a product from Con Agra called Amplify. It's supposed to be a salt substitute. Where can I get it? Is it good?

    salt get outI wrote to Con Agra and a gentleman called and explained that Amplify is indeed a salt substitute. I asked how much potassium it had in it and it's minimal. However, you can't purchase Amplify as a substitute. It's strictly a product for manufacturers to use as a sodium lowering ingredient. As a matter of fact, at this writing, he explained that McDonald's and other similar chains are becoming very interested in the product in order to cut the salt way down in their food products, which of course would lower sodium impressively.



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    Can egg substitutes (Scramblers, for example) be used in your recipes? Jim F. -

    It depends on which recipes you are addressing. Ener-G Egg Replacer can be used in any of my bread or waffle/pancake mixes in place of real eggs. Egg Beaters has 80 mg sodium per 1/4 cup while Ener-G Egg Replacer has only 40 mg for the same measurement.

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    egg substitutesI have a question on a substitution in your recipe for "Legal" Brownies. You use applesauce in it, but state that it can be substituted for with unsalted butter. Unfortunately, you don't state how much butter to substitute for the applesauce -- is it a straight 1 to 1 conversion? I am anxious to try this recipe, but don't want to use too much/too little butter. Any help is appreciated.—Elizabeth Whamond

    cardioversionYes, unless otherwise shown all suggested exchanges in the book are measurement for measurement.

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    cardiovertMy question is concerning substituting the white flour with spelt flour. I am trying to stay away from wheat. I have never made bread and would like to know how. Idon't know if your book addresses substituting spelt flour or not. I guess I will find out today. Thank you for this website so that I can receive support in this lifestyle change. — S. Witwell

    blood draw I tested spelt flour a few years back and we had success with even exhanges, sometimes with just a bit less but it was inconsequential. Remember to check the dough during the kneading stage if using a machine. If it's too sticky, add some more spelt -- about a tablespoon at a time. If it's too hard or doesn't ball up, add liquid one tablespoon at a time. For more bread recipes check Megaheart Recipes, Or pick up a copy of The No Salt Lowest Sodium Baking Book.

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    salt freeWhat can I substitute for mayonnaise in recipes? Thanks for your help.—W. Faulkner

    sepsis
    The No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook has a good mayonnaise replacment recipe on page 306. Sodium is much lower and you can "flavor" it anyway you want. Try it as written first, though, since it works quite well.

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    no salt In regard to salt free foods, what is your opinion regarding the salt subtitute "VEGE-SAL." I have relatives in Mexico who have discontinued using regular table salt, and use'veg-esal" extensively. Does "VEGE-SAL" HAVE ANY HARMFUL EFECTS?—Cleatus

    low sodumVege-sal contains 355 mg sodium per 1/4 teaspoon. That's high at about 1420 mg per teaspoon. Vege-sal's main ingredient is salt. Add a few spices and some dehydrated vegetables and you have a shaker nearly as bad as pure salt.


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    low saltCould you please tell me how to substitute any of these baking powders or baking soda for regular high-sodium products in the making of biscuits? Can I expect to get basically the same cooking results (rising) with the product when making biscuits or are biscuits something better left untried with this product? —Gehlin Menti

    low sodium recipesHi, when trying to replace baking soda and baking powder with Featherweight Baking Powder and Ener-G baking soda, you will either have to double or triple the amount orginially called for. And you must mix the substitutes into the batter last, just before placing into oven. This is very important. These two products begin their "rise" right away and wear out very quickly. They need to be in the oven when they do it. Will they perform the same as real soda/powders? Sometimes. If put into oven as mentioned, they will give you terrific rise but if you don't have the correct amount or it sits in the wet mix on the counter for even a few minutes, the rise won't be as good. With our bicuit recipe you'll come very, very close to getting the "real thing." For the biscuit recipe see:
    Dons Biscuits.

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    BLOOD SODIUM

    How much sodium are we supposed to eat?
    Do you really not use any salt at all?
    Do you really not use any salt at all?


    dehydrationI read your article on Salt and Sodium and found the answer to why blood sodium being low is more. It totally confused me and talked to my doctor about this. You stated that people taking diuretics should have high blood sodium. My doctor states that taking diuretics purpose is to lower sodium levels not raise them.—Jean

    queensland hypertensionI confess that this can be confusing. Here is the paragraph you refer to: "A word about "blood sodium" when you see this on your blood chemistry forms. Blood Sodium does not indicate what we are ingesting or the sodium we are concerned about unless we get too little or far too much. The kidneys keep the blood sodium constant within narrow limits, and they do it by dumping all surplus sodium into the urine. That is why a blood test tells you nothing about your sodium intake except that you are getting enough. A 24-hour urine collection may reveal that your sodium intake is excessive and that your kidneys are doing a lot of work to get rid of it."

    When the kidneys want help they have the ability to raise your blood pressure — the sodium leaves faster when they do that.With diuretics your blood sodium will not change, just your dietary sodium. For more read below.

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    dehydrationHow much sodium do we need?

    queensland hypertensionHumans need only 8 to 10 mmol/day. That translates to 144 to 180 mg of sodium per day.

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    maureen gazzangiaI read on the Net (site included) that too little salt would make my blood sodium drop and cause something called hyponatremia. Is this true? Can you check out this Web site for me? — F. C.

    alan gazzanigaThis question is more medical than "recipe." However, I did research this subject a few years ago and renewed my research with your question. (See my comments about my own low sodium lifestyle since 1997 at the end of this.) But first, let's talk about reliability of sites on the Web. The site you sent is owned by the Salt Manufacturer's Association of Great Britain. The suspicion immediately is: What else are they going to say? At this particular site they also failed to point out whose study they were quoting. A more reliable information-website (there are many) is one known as
    LabTestOnline.org The bottom line from most legitimate sources (ask your own doctor) is that salt/sodium intake does not affect blood levels and does not cause hyponetremia except in rare cases. Here is the explanation from that site and one that I generally find at other legitimate medical oriented sites:

    A low level of blood sodium means you have hyponatremia, which is usually due to too much blood-sodium loss, too much water intake or retention, or too much fluid accumulation in the body (edema). If blood-sodium falls quickly, you may feel weak and fatigued; in severe cases, you may experience confusion or even fall into a coma. When blood-sodium falls slowly, however, there may be no symptoms. That is why blood-sodium levels are often checked even if you donít have any symptoms.

    Hyponatremia is rarely due to decreased dietary sodium intake (deficient dietary intake or deficient blood-sodium in IV fluids). Most commonly, it is due to blood-sodium loss (Addisonís disease, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, diuretic administration, or kidney disease). In some cases, it is due to increased water (drinking too much water, heart failure, cirrhosis, kidney diseases that cause protein loss [nephrotic syndrome]) and malnutrition. In a number of diseases (particularly those involving the brain and the lungs, many kinds of cancer, and with some drugs), your body makes too much anti-diuretic hormone, causing you to keep too much water in your body.

    A high blood sodium level means you have hypernatremia, almost always due to excessive loss of water (dehydration) without enough water intake. Symptoms include dry mucous membranes, thirst, agitation, restlessness, acting irrationally, and coma or convulsions if levels rise extremely high. In rare cases, hypernatremia may be due to increased salt intake without enough water, Cushingís syndrome, or too little anti-diuretic hormone (called diabetes insipidus).

    Feburary, 2012: I have been on a very, very low sodium intake diet since January, 1997. When I began this program my blood sodium reading was 134. Last month, results of my latest test showed that my blood sodium level was, yep, you guessed it: 134. I'm not a test subject, but that's clear enough for me to accept medical science's research concering dietary sodium and blood sodium and realize that dietary salt/sodium intake is not what affects blood sodium.

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    VEGETABLES

    Does draining bean water lower sodium?
    Does it significantly reduce the sodium to drain and rinse canned veggies?
    Is it a rib of celery or a stalk?
    Is it a rib of celery or a stalk?
    Where Can I Find Nutrient Data for Red Potatoes?
    Is celery high in sodium?

    SOUPS

    Can I use the meat from broth for something?
    Is it possible to enjoy Thai food?


    Hi Don, I have been told that Celery is very high in sodium, is this true? Thanks, MaryAngelhorse

    Sort of. But the rest of nutrients are too good to pass on. You can use a small, medium or large stalk of celery in soups, salads, etc. A large stalk has: 55.7 mg A medium stalk has: 35 mg Here are the total nutrients you need to know concerning a large stalk of celery:
  • Calories: 10.2 Protein: .48 g
  • Carbohydrate: 2.336 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.088 g
  • Total Sugars: 0 g
  • Total Fat: .09 g
  • Saturated Fat: .024 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: .017 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: .044 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Calcium: 25.6 mg
  • Potassium: 183.7 mg
  • Sodium: 55.7 mg
  • Vitamin K: 7.68 mcg
  • Folate: 17.9 mcg

    P.S. Spinach, carrots and celery are all at levels that might surprise you. A large carrot has 25 mg, a medium carrot has 21 mg. (I eat a lot of baby carrots for snacks, still don't hit the 500 mg a day level I've set for myself.)

    Spinach: 1 10 ounce package = 244 mg
    1 leaf = 7.9 mg
    1 cup = 23.7 mg


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    michael gazzanigaI am making a great potato salad and it uses red potatoes. I can't find any information about them..calories, sodium, protein. White potatoes, I would guess, are different. I have this huge book that gives nearly everything, but not that. It calls for a lot of the potatoes. The recipe was in a recent issue of Penzey's spices catalog, and I have done some adapting. Anyway, if you could give me that information, I'd be grateful. - Jo Knight.

    low sodium dinnerTo learn all about red potatoes, visit: USDA Nutrient Database Or, you can access the USDA Nutrient Database at our website. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the USDA button in the Site Map. You'll discover medium red potatoes have about 5 mg sodium each.

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    coca colaI just discovered truffels at the base of our old chestnut stump. How are truffels fixed for eating? - D. Ham

    pepsi colaTruffles are a subterranean fungi, generally referred to as a Tuber. Similar to mushrooms in taste, the truffle may be used in salads. You can also make with trout a la bourgeoise, poached eggs with truffles, or make a truffle omelet, and better yet -- stuff a turkey with truffles, etc.

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    low sodium breakfastHi Don,I was referred to your site by a CHF nurse. I had called her asking about Thai food. Before diagnosis last June, we had enjoyed eating at Thai restaurants occasionally.

    My favorite thing on the menu is chicken panang. One of the main ingredients seems to be coconut milk. According to my low sodium book, that is pretty low. Do you know anything about Thai food and sodium content?

    I would love to be able to go to that restaurant and order normal food. Thanks in advance for your information. — Margaret Davis

    best for bread flourI have a friend with whom I worked a few years. His name is Picha Srisansansee. Together we ventured to many Thai restaurants. He knew what he was doing since he was Thai. He is back in Bangkok now, making movies there instead of in the high-paced world where we worked.

    Picha told me (today via email), that most Thai food or recipes don't add salt, but they do consider the nam plah (fish sauce) a "salt." I have some recipes and he's right, most Thai recipes use nam plah, which is highly toxic with sodium. If you go to a restaurant, you'll have to ask the chef what ingredients he uses. If he uses nam plah or any other fish sauce, stay away from it.

    A few years ago Picha gave me a recipe for a Thai salad. It's on page 193 of The No Salt, Lowest Sodium cookbook, and it's tasty.

    Update: Try our new Thai Soup Recipe

    Here is Picha's note unabridged: NAM PLAH is fish sauce or anchovy sauce. It's made from fermented fish (anchovies) and used instead of salt in Thai, Laotian and Vietnamese cooking. Being "sauce," it will smell fishy (and can get really strong if you keep it for a period of time). You will be better off buying a small bottle and use it up quickly instead of getting the regular size bottle (750ml?) You can get it at any of the above markets (Laos, Thai, Vietnamese), or from a bigger Chinese market. But Don, good luck in finding a Thai recipe that doesn't use Nam Plah. — Picha

    Don's Note: Anchovy paste (sauce) has 180 mg sodium per level teaspoon. Thai recipes generally call for 2 tablespoons, which equals 1,110 mg sodium.

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    white whole wheatI notice that in your recipes for chicken broth in your cookbook, you say to discard the chicken and vegetables simmered with the broth. Isn't it possible to use the cooked chicken for anything? — LeeAnn

    king arthurYes, pull the meat off the bone, discard bones and fat, use it for anything you want even put back into the broth for chicken soup. It will be soft. Or try it in a casserole or chicken salad. Bottom line: It is usable.

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    bob's red millI recently purchased your book, and in the recipe, they call for a stalk of celery. This seems like a large amount. Are they instead meaning a rib of celery? thank you — Mary Ann Johns

    It's a "rib." The USDA calls a "rib" a stalk, so we went with that.

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    white unbleached flourMy husband is on a very low-salt diet. My question: A can of green beans has 400 mg of sodium per 1/2 cup. If the beans are drained of all liquid and rinsed well, wouldn't the sodium count be less? How much less?—J. Allen

    no salt bread recipeSorry, but draining and washing doesn't change a thing. It's the same for other canned goods, too. Olives are a good example. They are very high in sodium because they are soaked in brine. So were the beans. Washiing them changes nothing. Beans, beets others in cans are soaked to the point of absorbing the sodium from the salt water. They are blanched in salt water before canning and therefore we can't wash it out. There are products out there with no salt added. A no salt added, lowered sodium can of green string beans has about 1.5 mg per 1/2 cup. Check with Healthy Heart Market to see if they carry these beans. Fresh beans are easy to prepare by the way. They dont' have to be boiled, either. Snip only one end of the beans after cleaning. Steam for about 5 to 8 minutes. Serve hot. Delicious and far mroe nutritious than a can of beans.

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    chicken fingersDoes it significantly reduce the sodium to drain and rinse canned veggies? If it does, is there a way to determine how big of a difference it makes? I would like to include more beans in my diet but they all seem to have so much sodium in them. Thank you for your time— Julie Travis

    starbucksIf a recipe calls for liquid in a can to be drained, then the sodium listed is for the beans alone. They remain high since the beans are generally cooked in the "brine" that comes with them. You can check the USDA website by scrolling to the bottom of this page and clicking on the USDA NUTRIENT DATABASE button in the Site Map. I suggest you either purchase Eden Organic (no salt added) beans or that you prepare fresh beans for consumption. You can find Eden Organic at Healthy Heart Market

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    GRAVY

    gravyI feel if I really understood the physics and chemistry of roasting meat I might be able to buy a piece of meat specifically for making gravy and somehow extract much more gravy out of it than is obtained by normal roasting.


    gravy by Scott Leysath, America's Favorite Sporting Chef

    Gravy has 3 components...fat (flavor), flour, cornstarch or arrowroot (thickener) and either stock, water or a dairy product (liquid). Fat equals flavor. However, I've found that you can get additional flavor from roasting beef bones and using the stock made from the roasted bones for more flavor without salt.

    Get some beef bones, rather than cheaper cuts of either tough or fatty beef, and roast them in a 375 degree oven with lots of celery, carrot, onion - the usual. Once well-browned evenly, place everything in a stock pot with cold (not hot) water. Add some garlic, peppercorns, fresh or dried herbs...anything that'll add flavor to the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for several hours. Pour the whole mess through a colander lined with cheesecloth. Pour the liquid into a tall container and allow to cool. Once cooled, remove the fatty solids at the top of the container. Place the remaining liquid in a saucepan and continue to reduce until liquid starts to thicken. Whisk in cornstarch mixed with equal part cold (again, not hot) water until thickened.

    Although it may seem a bit time consuming, you can make a big batch of stock every few months or so and freeze it in batches. I used to do so in ice cube trays, but found that freezing the reduced stock in freezer-safe zipper lock bags is easier. Cool the stock, put them into the bags with an inch or so of room for the stock to expand when frozen. Lay the bags flat in the freezer until frozen. I like it to be about 1/2 inch thick. When I need stock for gravy, sauces, etc, I break off a corner of the frozen stock.

    You can also add your frozen stock to any meat drippings you get from roasts.

    It's not about the blood...thankfully.

    Note about fat: Unfortunately, fat does equal flavor, but it doesn't mean that you can't replace flavor lost as a result of removing fat. Roasted vegetables, peppercorns, garlic, onions, etc. will add a ton of flavor to otherwise bland sauces.

    If you want to take the fat removal a step further, place the stock in the fridge overnight to solidify even more of the fatty solids. You can also reheat the de-fatted stock and pass it a couple of times through a few layers of cheesecloth. That will remove some of the remaining fat and help clarify the stock. There are also a few fat separatoers on the market. One can be found at Megaheart.com

    You can watch Scott prepare recipes on HuntFishCook (television) or at HuntFishCook.com

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    LIFESTYLE CHANGES

    What are Carb Choices and How Do We Count Them?
    Do you have a table for carb choices?
    Is the diabetic menu at this Quaker Website okay? It seems to me to be very high in sodium.
    I'm a diabetic. Can you tell me how many calories are in a gram of carbohydrates?
    Where can I find a quick and healthy breakfast?
    Any reasons we must avoid salt substitutes?
    I'm 67, I love salt, can I really change?


    quaker diabetic meal planI've recently been diagnosed with hypertension, and am trying to revise my diet. Any thought on where I can find suggestions for a quick & healthy breakfast? — Wendy M.

    quaker oatsUnfortunately "quick" and "healthy" don't often go hand in hand. It is suggested by dietitians that we have a grain/fruit/calcium breakfast. Fiber and nutrients. That's why, we suppose, an unsalted breakfast cereal with a fruit and a 1/2 cup of milk or yogurt has been our suggestion for years. There aren't a lot of unsalted cereals. Spoon Size and some whole grains are about all we've found. (About 60 mg of sodium total.)

    For a cooked breakfast meal we recommend oatmeal with a diced apple and some cinnamon. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and cook quick oatmeal with a sliced/diced apple with some cinnamon. A bit of nonfat milk with added vitamin A and you have a low sodium, high energy and high fiber breakfast. (About 60 mg sodium total.)

    A piece of our 7-grain or 10-grain bread toasted with a level tablespoon of unsalted peanut butter joined with a banana contains the nutrients you need for an early morning meal. (About 16 mg of sodium.)

    If these don't appeal to you then you can try some of our other breakfast recipes in our No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook or right here at Our Recipe Page but quickness doesn't come to mind when preparing more complex breakfast meals.

    liver diseaseCan you tell me how many calories are in a gram of carbohydrates?

    1. There are 4 calories per one gram of carbohydrates.

    2. A single gram of carbohydrates contains roughly four calories of energy.

    (Proteins also contain 4 kcal/gram; fats contain 9 kcal/gram)

    Using the above figures, diabetics who are on a 1200 a day calorie diet may then eat 150 grams carbohydrates a day. This makes up ten Carbohydrate Choices (per our cookbooks). One (1) Carb Choices equals 15 carbohydrates or 60 calories.

    Depending on your height, normal weight, you will have to figure out your daily calorie target, then apply the above numbers to figure out your acceptable carbohydrate intake for the day.

    liver diseaseIs the suggested daily diabetic menu at this site from Quaker Oats okay? It seems to be awfully high in sodium. — Sally Graham

    cleveland clinicHi Sally. In a word, no it isn't. I'm not sure who designed that plan but although it might help with carbs and fiber, it's a killer with sodium. I don't know how Quaker can consciously publish a dietary plan that has 3,900 mg of daily sodium when they claim it's "heart healthy." I have tried to find an e-mail address to contact them but no luck thus far. With the American Cardiologist Association, the JAMA, NIH and other orgs each recommending between 1300 to 1800 mg of sodium per day for healthy people, 3,900 mg is way over the top. Also, I noted that the oats themselves have 27 carbohydrates per one-half (½) cup. That's equal to two Carb Choices and that doesn't include any milk or other liquid you might use. In most diabetic literature I have read orange juice is taboo, whole the orange itself is the choice diabetics should make. If anyone reading this can provide me with an e-mail address to a responsible party at Quaker or a telephone number to someone other than the outsourced general help, I'd appreciate. Visit our Contact page and send me the info. Thank you.

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    liver diseaseDo you have a data table for carb choices?
    carbchoicescYes. Click For Carb Choices Table

    The Following Provided by The American Diabetes Association.

    What Foods Have Carbohydrate?

    Foods that contain carbohydrate are:

    • starchy foods like bread, cereal, rice, and crackers
    • fruit and juice
    • milk and yogurt
    • dried beans like pinto beans and soy products like veggie burgers
    • starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn
    • sweets and snack foods like sodas, juice drinks, cake, cookies, candy, and chips

    Non-starchy vegetables have a little bit of carbohydrate but in general are very low.

    How Much Carbohydrate is in These Foods?

    Reading food labels is a great way to know how much carbohydrate is in a food. For foods that do not have a label, you have to estimate how much carbohydrate is in it. Keeping general serving sizes in mind will help you estimate how much carbohydrate you are eating.

    For example there is about 15 grams of carbohydrate in:

    • 1 small piece of fresh fruit (4 oz)
    • 1/2 cup of canned or frozen fruit
    • 1 slice of bread (1 oz) or 1 (6 inch) tortilla
    • 1/2 cup of oatmeal
    • 1/3 cup of pasta or rice
    • 4-6 crackers
    • 1/2 English muffin or hamburger bun
    • 1/2 cup of black beans or starchy vegetable
    • 1/4 of a large baked potato (3 oz)
    • 2/3 cup of plain fat-free yogurt or sweetened with sugar substitutes
    • 2 small cookies
    • 2 inch square brownie or cake without frosting
    • 1/2 cup ice cream or sherbet
    • 1 Tbsp syrup, jam, jelly, sugar or honey
    • 2 Tbsp light syrup
    • 6 chicken nuggets
    • 1/2 cup of casserole
    • 1 cup of soup
    • 1/4 serving of a medium french fry


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    liver diseaseVery informative site......I'm 67 and can't get the b.p. below 158 or so even on medication. Doc wants it no more than 140. Bottom seems okay......like in the 80's. I LOVE SaltY FOODS......can I do this? — Pat

    cleveland clinicYes, you can get the bp down, but you can't eat those salty foods anymore. I'm not a doctor but I've enough experience as a patient with the same condition to guide you a bit. First, researchers have proved over and over that exercise works best for lowering blood pressure. I walk between 2 and 7 miles a day (I know the mileage on the routes I take). I also keep my sodium below 500 mg a day. I've been doing the latter so much, that I find it difficult to eat more than 500 mg. With two blood pressure medications and the above program, my daily average blood pressure is 90/60. Five years ago when I started this, I could barely walk into the doctor's office. I couldn't breathe in bed without propping up a bunch of pillows, and I was too weak to do much else. Today I can breathe practically normally without any pillows and I walk a very hilly route without stopping to breathe. You can do it too. It takes perseverance, and the adoption of a mission. I might also tell you that there are no forgiving sources for believing you can do it one day and not the next. It's a 100% effort, day in and day out. You will change your lifestyle, but once adapted to it, the new lifestyle will seem normal to you and all those you know.

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    morton heart centerGreetings, Don! My question is about my Mom: She has had heart problems and is now on a reduced salt diet. But it seems her doctor has told her to avoid -any- salt substitutes. Are you aware of any reasons why she must do so, and since she must, how would this affect so many recipes (or over-the counter products) where manufacturers -are- using such (alternative) ingredients to keep the ~real~ salt content low? In other words, HOW would the average consumer have any way of knowing what chemical combinations to avoid? Thank you, so very much, for the courtesy of your reply. I really appreciate it. — - 4OH Mom

    usc heart programSome salt substitutes are nothing more than pure potassium chloride. To use these could imbalance your mother's medications. Potassium levels in the body are generally kept in balance by a healthy diet. If she's taking a diuretic however, she's probably also taking a potassium tablet. The term "Salt Substitute" generally means "I'm going to use it everyday." Not a good idea.

    Other salt "substitutes" have 1/2 salt, half potassium chloride or some spices or herbs. Sodium level for these amounts to about 1,300 mg a teaspoon.

    I have avoided salt substitutes in all recipes for the above reasons and for another reason that plays heavily in success or failure in adopting a no salt lifestyle.

    And there is the Crutch theory. If we use crutches all our life, we'd probably end up not knowing how to walk. Salt substitutes becomes a crutch against learning how to prepare foods so that you still enjoy them, and keep your daily sodium levels below 500 mg a day.

    Our No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook has a 28 day meal-planning guide at the back of the book. You can make your own plan based on this one. It's important to try it. Cutting salt out and changing our lifestyles is saving the lives of many of us, include my own. It was no joke for me...I quickly developed a plan, stuck to it and now, after nearly 6 years, I'm practically normal again.

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    HOW DO I MAKE . . .

    How Do I Make Cream Puffs?
    How Do I Make Tasty Salt Free Popcorn?


    My friend who's husband has CHF, is on a no salt diet, low potassium diet, is doing very well. She has accepted this challenge and has done extremely well I think. I am in awe of her. Anyway, what do you put on popcorn? She is wondering what you can suggest, or if one of your members have a suggestion. We would greatly appreciate it. They are not happy with the air popped popcorn. Thanks a lot. -- Carole

    You can buy the very best unsalted popcorn on the market at
    Healthy Heart Market. You pop it in the microwave for about 3 minutes or slightly more at the high setting. After it's done, you sprinkle it with onion powder. I like to spray a bit of olive oil on it as it's transferred from the paper bag to the bowl. Then sprinkle the onion powder. Hmmmm, very, very good.

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    soy flour I grew up in San Bernardino and have thought of those cream puffs that were on that helms truck a million times. Would you happen to know the recipe for those? I loved the story about the truck and how wonderful it was. Those were the days. — Nipper

    rice flour For a terrific Helms Bakery type cream puff, Click Here. By the way, I remember those Helms Bakery guys quite well. Hmmm, they were good.

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    CANNING

    Can I can vegetables and tomatoes without salt?
    Is it possible to bottle tomatoes from my garden without adding salt?




    rice flourI am planning on canning tomatoes this summer, my husband who loves these in the winter, has had a heart bypass and needs to cut out salt. Would you have any suggestions on canning tomatoes without salt?


    canning tomatoesYou don't need salt to can any vegetables. However you do need to use a pressure canner for all vegetables except for tomatoes. Tomatoes have a high acidity so they don't need the salt. Salt is added to vegetable canning only for the flavor of salt. You can read more about canning vegetables safely from this file from Iowa State University: Iowa State Publication

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    FAD FOODS



    Paleo Diet Answer:

    paleo diet low sodiumPaleo diet has been referred to by many as "just another fad." In a manner of speaking, yes, it is. But aren't all diets created outside of the "standard balanced meal" a fad? Those who argue for the paleo diet state it is not a fad, that instead it's been around for a few million years. Ever since the paleolithic human (whose life expectancy was around the mid twenties). Watching TV shows demonstrating the paleo diet and hearing that reasoning got us to thinking. "Did the peleo hunters really have processed/grown gardens of kale, carrots, beets, et al? During the past seventeen years we have reviewed all diets that came our way. Ours was teh first "dash" diet. Dash means dietary approach to stopping hypertension. That phrase was created at the NIH and two years after or No Salt, Lowest Sodium Cookbook appeared, the well-known (now) DASH diet appeared. Ours and theirs could be termed a fad.

    Except for one thing. Ours was designed to reverse heart disease and it has been highly successful. Other diets claim to aim at eveyrthing from losing weight to living longer.

    As to the newer paleo diet, if you remove the dairy products in some of our recipes then yes, it is very much like the paleo diet. Paleo excludes all dairy products except for an ocassional egg. We use fresh vegetalbes and fruits, lean meats and we do our best to avoid inflammatory foods. We don't restrict readers and plan users from any select foods. Ours is recommended as a guide for you to plan your month and have the food on hand when you need it. But to your taste, that is, we recommend zero salt added and no salt ingredients and low saturated fats. Paleo is not Vegan so don't confuse it with that. Paleo rejects inflammatory foods (mostly dairy products, legumes and grains) but allows meat (for protein) and the use of eggs.

    As to that long life? Well, profesional diatitians will tell you, "Eat what you want, but in moderation and balance your diet for protein, calciuim, potassium and fats and other nutrients. In other words, "Eat a balanced diet of lean beat, vegetables and fruit, some dairy and plenty of fluids.
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    XangoI found a new "energy" drink called Xango. Do you know what is in it concerning sodium, etc.?

    Sango Mangosteen JuiceXango might be considered a fad food in that it appears to be another "snake oil" fix-it-all product. The nutrition label seems to mislead unless they've changed it. It shows nutrient levels for 1 ounce, yet a bottle has about 25 ounces and the assumption is you'll drink the bottle contents. A bottle then has 250 Kcalories. As to sodium, I'd have to take a guess it has as much as 75 mg for the bottle. Processors are allowed to list up or down a difference of 5 mg. So if each ounced actually had 4.99 mg of sodium they can list 0 mg. Every ingredient listed has sodium and some of the ingredients have as much as 55 mg per cup. Below is a copy of their ingredients and nutrient list.

    For More Info About Splenda


  • XanGo Ingredients: Reconstituted garcinia mangostana juice from whole fruit puree (Don's Note: this is really mangosteen juice and has about 15 mg of sodium per cup), apple juice concentrate, pear juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, pear puree, blueberry juice concentrate, raspberry juice concentrate, strawberry juice concentrate, cranberry juice concentrate, cherry juice concentrate, citric acid, natural flavor, pectin, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate.
    Back to the top. Supplement Facts
    [Back to Top]
    Serving Size: 1 Fluid Oz. (30 ml)
    Servings Per Container: 25
    Calories
    10
    Calories from fat
    0
    Total fat
    0 g
    Sodium
    0 mg
    Total Carbohydrates
    3 g
    Sugars
    2 g
    Protein
    0 g