Reducing Sodium

To: Chip in NC

Your question: Your recipes tend to be high—quite high in some cases—in sodium.  Is there a way you can decrease that component in your recipes?

The Cooking Cardiologist’s answer: In my cookbook, which is in its second edition, I do not add salt to the recipes (if desired, it is an option), and I always choose reduced salt options when possible.

However, the issue is complex. For example, when I list an egg substitute to reduce fat and cholesterol, the processed egg has two to three times the amount of salt as a real egg. It’s really a trade off. Case in point, a popular vegetarian chicken patty has 430 mg of salt. Until food manufacturers change the way they produce lower fat and vegetarian options, you have to decide what the best choices are for your diet and health.

You can try to work around this by using fresh ingredients, but I doubt the average home cook will make a veggie burger from scratch or cook beans for eight hours to avoid using ones from a can.

Fortunately, in the past year, manufacturers are trying to reduce the amount of salt in the products. Prior to four years ago, it was difficult to find “no added salt” chicken or vegetable broth. Up until a year ago, canned beans had an excessive amount of salt. And now you can even get salt free ketchup. 

Thanks, Chip, for your comment. I’m on your side trying to lessen the work in the kitchen while maintaining heart health. When reading my recipes, always purchase newer food ingredients with the words ”reduced salt” on them.

Dr Collins.