Saturday, May 28, 2011

The search for healthy foods

I'm not the healthiest eater on the planet, but I do OK. Not much in the way of sweets, junk food, white trash carbs, or soft drinks. Every once in a while I read an article that gets me thinking a bit more. The latest was in Julie's Cooking Light, suggesting that everyone really focus on cutting back on salt.

We get most of our salt through processed foods, rather than something we add in cooking or at the table. So, I took a wandered around the kitchen, exploring all the food I had consumed. I learned some interesting things:
  • My oatmeal is sodium free
  • The milk I put in my oatmeal has quite a bit of naturally occurring sodium.
  • The rest of my oatmeal ingredients were sodium free (flax seed, raisins, cinnamon, and walnuts)
So, my normal breakfast is very low in sodium. The lunch I had just eaten wasn't as good.
  • A banana, no problem
  • The whole grain chips we buy at Costco were surprisingly low in sodium. I thought they would be terrible. Good thing, as we tend to buy 5 big bags each trip to SLC.
  • The can of all-white chicken breast was terrible! It has half my day of sodium by itself.
Chips good? Chicken bad? Go figure.

Off to the grocery store. I am on a weight loss cycle, to compensate for my apparent winter slumber. When I exercise hard and try to lose weight, I snarf lots of protein. At the store, I grabbed a nice can of healthy, organic black beans.

Then I read the nutritional info. One can of beans (not re-fried) was as bad as my chicken. You literally had half your days salt. Who is packaging this stuff and what have we done to our taste buds? I wonder how much remains if you rinse the beans really well.

Then I found something that appeared to be at the other end of the spectrum. One of the Kashi cereals listed 13 grams of protein per serving and 10 grams of fiber. My God! That's incredible for cereal. How do they do it?

Then I saw the ingredients, which they kindly put on the front of the box: "Naturally Sweetened Fiber Twigs". Yuck! I'm pretty sure I could get a lot of fiber in my diet if I hung out with beavers.

So, I continue my search for those rare healthy, but tasty foods.

Oh, one more surprise. The can of mixed nuts (again, from Costco) was bad for calories and fat, but surprisingly low in sodium, even though they are sold as "Salted". I checked another can of peanuts. I could eat several fistfuls of nuts and get less sodium than from a cup of organic milk. You just never know.
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