Cooking and Salt – A Happy Median

When i cook i use salt. There, i said it, now wait while people gasp and look all disgusted like i am doing something horrible. Lately, i know salt has been getting a really bad rap, and for the most part, i completely agree, have you read the labels on a lot of packaged food – it is scary!

Here’s where i have a problem though – my father is not suppose to have a lot of salt – something that we argue about ever time i pull the salt out of the cupboard to add to a boiling pot of pasta or to add to a sauce. My point is this – take this pork chop and mushroom dish that he makes (that i love btw). He use to always use a can of mushroom soup in it – that is until my allergy to soy and our having a really hard time finding a can without soy) but anyways – he makes a really good substitute, but at the same time – the flavours don’t pop – and i find i add salt at the table (which isn’t as tasty as adding it while cooking) and having him make comments about the fact that i am eating too much salt.

SO! i want everyone to consider this for a little while before you eat your next out of a can or out of a box meal.

This particular can of mushroom soup has 860mg of sodium per 125ml condensed (note that the can is 284ml, so really the whole can is adding 1953.92mg of salt to the dish). Since nothing in this particular dish had salt that is a really big difference no? Well here’s the kicker! 1/4 tsp sea salt has 500mg of sodium, even if we added 1/2tsp of salt to the whole dish (this particular dish serves 4) we are still adding in HALF the salt that we would have if we added the can of mushroom soup. Surprising? it use to be to me – but since i stopped eating a lot of packaged foods (health reasons/allergy reasons, not moral life choice ones) i have to say, it’s really not the salt we add while we cook – it’s the salt in the things that we add while we cook that really add up in the end.

So the next time you taste something that you made from scratch, and think, it could use a little salt, lose the guilt, because the truth is, chances are you are adding a whole lot less by eating what you make, than by eating out of a box.

AND! on my more than cereal kick – check out how much sodium you get in a bowl of popular cereals – you might be surprised.

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