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Salt, low salt, no salt?

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Salt, low salt, no salt?

Postby dropscone » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:17 am

Does anyone worry about/limit salt intake, if so why, and how do you get your food to taste delicious without it (or with less)?

Apparently my blood pressure was a bit high last time I went to the doctor and I'm trying to follow all the recommendations for lowering it (so reducing sodium, increasing potassium by noshing on bananas and potatoes more, eating more garlic and oats, less coffee) so I get a good result next time and can say "ha! it was just an abberration" and go back to guzzling things drenched in soya sauce :) I've heard (I think it was in a book called 'The man who ate everything') that only a small fraction of people are sensitive to salt though, so people being overly cautions and drastically reducing salt from their diets are doing so for nothing according to the author (who is a food columnist).

What do people think? Also, should I start a separate thread for the blood pressure? I gather it's very unusual for veg*ns to have high blood pressure though :|
"and all the world is biscuit shaped, it's just for me to feed my face, and I can see, hear, smell, touch, taste..."
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Re: Salt, low salt, no salt?

Postby shananigans » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:17 pm

A number of things can contribute to high blood pressure, many of which vegans are not immune to (such as genetic predisposition, age, and stress!).

I don't go to great length to watch my salt intake because I don't have particular reason to. I mostly eat food I prepare myself and little processed or restaurant food, so I figure my salt intake is probably kept in check somewhat anyway. I don't have any experience trying to make zero-salt-added food taste good, but I imagine upping the spices, adding lemon juice, other flavorings, etc. might help?

You might want to try tracking your sodium intake (potassium might not be a bad idea either), check your blood pressure regularly, and see if you can track a correlation. I would suspect that limiting sodium may be useful for lowering blood pressure, but only to an extent. Past a certain point, lowering your sodium probably won't make much, if any, difference. There are herbs/teas that are supposed to help lower blood pressure as well (even if just as diuretics), might want to look into that.
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Re: Salt, low salt, no salt?

Postby Raiem » Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:30 am

I like salt. I think a lot of the salt/sodium is in processed foods. So, as vegans we cook more than those who hit the drive thru or pick up a box of Hamberger Helper (Yuck) Unless of course you eat potato chips all day. But, I do have to watch myself with the shaker. I like sea salt or kosher salt. They have a fresher flavor. When I think I've done my bit for the day, I use the pepper mill instead.
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Re: Salt, low salt, no salt?

Postby debiguity » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:15 am

[quote="dropscone";p=698]Does anyone worry about/limit salt intake, if so why, and how do you get your food to taste delicious without it (or with less)?

I've heard that celery can mimic the taste of salt, so that might be an idea. Also, your taste buds will adjust over time, and you'll need less and less salt to satisfy your taste buds. And, it looks like it helps lower blood pressure at the same time!

Color Me Vegan is one cookbook that uses less than average salt in the recipes.
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Re: Salt, low salt, no salt?

Postby Ariann » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:32 am

I've also learned (from a nurse who was teaching a nutrition class I took in college and had just been engaged as a subject in a study that was investigating salt sensitivity) that lots of people don't have a salt-sensitivity when it comes to blood pressure (i.e. no matter how much salt they take in, their blood pressure will not be affected). BUT that doesn't mean eating exceedingly large amounts of salt is really okay for anyone. Excess sodium is problematic even if your blood pressure is perfectly fine.

My grandmother had high blood pressure for about 50 years and was scrupulous about not using salt ever, so she never cooked with salt and then my mother never cooked with salt and I didn't have a taste for it until I started cooking with my husband who MUST HAVE SALT. I've found that spicing food very heavily helps cover a lack of salt. Adding oil and alcohol also brings out flavors so you might not notice the missing salt. There are different schools of thought about when to add salt to maximize flavor potential, but I generally follow the rule of not adding salt during cooking and just adding it at the table because then you need less to get the same saltiness level.

I would also recommend adding aerobic exercise to your routine if you haven't already. Also, do you have sodium-free or low-sodium salt in the UK? It's Potassium Chloride instead of Sodium Chloride. Mrs. Dash is also pretty good as a salt sub. I think it's just a mixture of dried veggies and herbs.
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Salt, low salt, no salt, a modicum of saltyness, a sea breez

Postby VegeTexan » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:43 am

I have high blood pressure, have for years.
I know I'm predisposed to heart disease and stroke, but I trust that my veganism of the last 13 years and my vegetarianism for 33 years will balance things out.

Genetic predisposition, age, and stress, I has them.
And I am a few pounds overweight with bad sleeping habits (about 6 hours a night at most). I used to smoke, a risk factor for high BP, but had my last cigar a year ago. :balloon: :balloon: :balloon:


:innocent: and that little bit of weed I smoke a couple of times a year doesn't count, doncha know. It's for medicinal purposes, for some time ago long ago when, I can't remember exactly when long ago when, in the past ago, some bug I caught in Jamaica which caused my high blood pressore. :cough: :damnthatsnice:

Thanks for the nice smilies, Shiva :up: and I promise not to use them so much in the future.

I know How to get my BP lower, but I fail to exercise or meditate or eat celery everyday. I do avoid salt, except for tortilla chips and soy sauce which are usually once a week items. I buy unsalted nuts, don't use processed foods, cook fresh produce and flavor with herbs, spices and chiles, lots of onion and garlic ( which also is good for your heart and a natural antibiotic.)

Garlic also has antifungal and antiviral properties according to a lot of research.

I just love the taste, soes I eat several cloves of garlic everyday in my meals.
*In grits for breakfast or in a tofu scramble or in a toss of soyrizo, potatoes, garlic and onions.
*For lunch, in soups or stews or in a salad dressing of Vegenaise, crushed garlic, lime and Daiya white.
*For dinner with stir-frys or Italian dishes or a cajun gumbo or in any rice recipe.

The possibilities are endless.

hmmmm, I should make some garlic soymilk ice cream...it might need a garnish of cilantro...and should be served in a corn tortillo cone.
Then I should include that recipe in the new cookbook I am writing, "Authentric Vegan Cuisine From Around the World."

:chef:

Wait, I'm changing the title to
Garlic Cookery: Quick and Easy Recipes for Vampire Slayers by Professor Abraham van Helsing
(with a foreward by Buffy Summers)
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Re: Salt, low salt, no salt?

Postby Raiem » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:06 am

Can I please have a chapter in your cookbook for.....wait for it......wait for it......

Vegan Redneck Recipies???

I'm still looking for a good vegan replacement for possum.
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Re: Salt, low salt, no salt?

Postby VegeTexan » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:29 am

That would make an excellent chapter to the book. Thanks, sis.
I just googled "vegan possum recipes" and got nothing.
But to make it relevant, It has to be "Garlic Stuffed Possum"


Except from Chapter Seven,
Redneck Vegan Recipes

Garlic Stuffed Poseum


Ingredients:
One medium sized Pose-um ( possum substitute, avalable from Dixie Diners dot com or veganessentials)
One large onion, diced
One rib of celery, sliced
etc etc
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Re: Salt, low salt, no salt?

Postby Shiva » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:21 am

[quote="VegeTexan";p=880]
Ingredients:
One medium sized Pose-um ( possum substitute, avalable from Dixie Diners dot com or veganessentials)

:laugh: :laugh:
~Shiva , Chief Troublemaker
If this post was edited, it was probably for spelling.
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Re: Salt, low salt, no salt?

Postby Raiem » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:03 pm

[quote="VegeTexan";p=880]That would make an excellent chapter to the book. Thanks, sis.
I just googled "vegan possum recipes" and got nothing.
But to make it relevant, It has to be "Garlic Stuffed Possum"


Except from Chapter Seven,
Redneck Vegan Recipes

Garlic Stuffed Poseum


Ingredients:
One medium sized Pose-um ( possum substitute, avalable from Dixie Diners dot com or veganessentials)
One large onion, diced
One rib of celery, sliced
etc etc



I just knew you would find it for me!! I have really missed my possum stew. :laugh:
Just what you want to be, you'll be in the end--Justin Hayward
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