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Low Salt Broth - King Rat
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Low Salt Broth

I promised to write more. What can I put here? I know! My efforts to find low-salt foods in Seattle.

Huh. And coincidentally today starts World Salt Awareness Week. I had no idea that was the case. I found that out because I wanted to include the official American Heart Association recommended daily limit on salt, so I was Googling®. Anyway, the U.S.D.A. recommends less than 2300 mg of sodium per day if you are healthy and less than 1500 mg of sodium if you have a heart condition. The A.H.A. says that’s too high, and recommends less than 1500 mg per day for everyone.

Finding low-salt foods is hard. Take today for instance. I want to make a hoppin’ john recipe tomorrow. The recipe calls for beef broth. I do most of my food shopping at regular grocery stores because they are cheaper. Today, Fred Meyer in Ballard was convenient. Five feet of one aisle devoted to chicken and beef broth, and not one low-salt alternative. Swanson beef broth has 800 mg of sodium per cup! There’s a less sodium version of it that has 400 mg per cup. But even at that level, I’d go over 1500 mg in well less than a day. Swanson has an unsalted beef stock that has only 130 mg of sodium, but you won’t find it at Fred Meyer, despite the jingle.

So I headed by Whole Foods on my way home, because I know they carry low-sodium broths. Huge difference! There are all sorts of options there. They didn’t have a low-sodium house brand (365 Everyday Value) for beef broth, though they do for chicken. But I could pick from at least three different brands (that I can remember now that I am home) of low-salt beef broths: Kitchen Basics, Imagine Foods, and Pacific Foods. There might have been others as well. The Imagine and Pacific brands of beef broth have 140 mg per cup. That’s 1/3 of anything that Fred Meyer offers, and it’s a bigger store. Kitchen Basics is a bit more at 180 mg.

From this I have to assume that Fred Meyer wants to kill people with heart conditions! Or at least the Ballard location does. I know it seems like a poor selling strategy, but so far all the evidence points that way.

crossposted from King Rat.

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6 comments or Leave a comment
the_4pril From: the_4pril Date: March 27th, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Salt is a cheap way to flavor something like broth. Those three from Whole Foods that you listed are more expensive than Swanson and are made with better ingredients (I especially like Pacific brand). I am kind of surprised that the Ballard Fred Meyer doesn't carry a better selection. Ballard Market has a great variety, and priced less than Whole Foods, if that's ever convenient for you.

If you really want to get into making a low sodium broth, get yourself some bones and veggies, stick them in the crock pot all day or all night and just don't add salt. A little lemon juice added at the end will enhance the flavors and adding veggies will really round it out. I save most of my bones (that usually still even have scraps of meat on them) when I cook and just throw them in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch of broth and then store most of that in the freezer so it keeps longer.
gkr From: gkr Date: March 27th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I cook with red meat, other than ground beef, so rarely that it's been years since i've had bones. Even so, I wouldn't be likely to make my own stock. Limited time and freezer space.
holyoutlaw From: holyoutlaw Date: March 27th, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was going to recommend the make your own method as well. Finding low-salt foods is harder than finding low-fat foods.

Pretty much, though, if you eliminate prepared (boxed/canned/bagged) foods you will do fine in the salt reduction department. And cheese, which has been the hardest for me to eliminate.
evillinn From: evillinn Date: March 28th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
oooh...yes, please post about your exploration of low-sodium cooking!

My mom is struggling with alarming blood pressure right now, so I'm trying to be long-distance cheerleader for her, but realize I'm utterly ignorant about low-sodium cooking. I've been busy so haven't had a lot of time to research, but the little bit of investigation I've done has only proven to overwhelm me. Next week I'll jump in earnestly.

I'm also thinking that we need to start aiming for a lower sodium diet, since I'm pretty sure Raven will have to worry about cholesterol and blood pressure some day, given his family history and eating habits. Seems wise to think about it now, rather than when we have to and the process feels punitive.

Also, i checked the beef Better than Bullion low-sodium - pretty pitiful 510 mg per cup.
evillinn From: evillinn Date: March 28th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
oh - also my mom is visiting in June so I'm hoping to use that as a chance to cook with her some and maybe turn her on to some simple recipes that will help. We'll see.
schmi From: schmi Date: March 29th, 2012 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Weird. Even QFC offers low-sodium version of broths and most everything. I've started avoiding canned anything for precisely this reason. I'm not hardcore enough to make my own broth though.
6 comments or Leave a comment