Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Publishers' Corner: 05/15/2013

Well seasoned

Like many of you, I am at that age in life when it’s good to be more careful about what I eat and drink. Let’s say, if I was a grilled steak (grass-fed beef of course), I would be at the medium-rare to medium part of my life, working hard at not being overdone too early.

Which brings the conversation to salt, something I’m trying to cut back on. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the average healthy person is 2300 milligrams per day (one teaspoon), but for those “sensitive” to sodium, it’s 1500 mg. People over 50 are considered “sensitive,” which I always thought was a compliment until now. Over half of all Americans fall into a “sensitive” category, by the way.

It’s not like I have a salt lick in my front yard, or am one of those people who automatically reach for the salt shaker to add salt to something that’s already been salted (you know who you are), but I need to pay attention.

Unfortunately, keeping track of sodium intake/serving size/RDA percentage is a little like trying to solve a complex math problem. Math makes my head hurt, which is probably an unintentional result of cutting back on salt. Someone should do a study.

Walking through the salt caverns that are our grocery stores today, and reading nutrition labels on processed foods is especially eye opening.

Though the food industry is putting more effort into providing reduced sodium products, some of these items had so much salt to begin with, you wonder what’s the point except to make it look like they’re doing something. After all, if a can of chicken noodle soup has a zillion milligrams of sodium, taking 25 percent out of that is still pretty close to a zillion. Again, I’m not good at math, but it’s probably best to avoid the canned soup altogether.

Fortunately for me, my wife likes to cook from scratch, so as long as we’re eating at home I’m fine. I have a new-found respect for lemon juice and Tabasco sauce. The problem is when we go out. Ann must have a sadistic streak, because on Mother’s Day she ordered a hamburger and French fries, which she ate with copious amounts of ketchup. She’s obviously a very (salt) insensitive person.

Why is it that almost everything that tastes good is bad for you? Salty snacks, beer, fat, sugar…thank God I don’t have to give up something I really enjoy, like kale, my new favorite vegetable…yum. -AP

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