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Health Science

Scientists Claim That This Salt Blend Lowers Sodium Content Without Sacrificing Flavor

Photo: So Delicious

Seasoning your food with salt is a delicate balance. We constantly tell you to do it, but we also tell you that too much can be bad for you. So what is the sweet spot in all of this? Science has an answer on how much sodium we need to use for good taste but also healthy outcomes. 

As I was saying recently while salting my popcorn before seeing Avengers: Endgame, I am not content until my lips are all bloated because of all of the salt I’m consuming with my kernels. That’s not good! I get that instinctively, but sometimes I forget. Salty is my favorite taste in the world so it’s hard to reconcile that and go for a healthier option. But luckily, science is going to help me with that.

Salt is important because it enhances the flavor of the food you’re consuming and it also creates some chemical reactions that make your food infinitely better. That’s why we usually add a dash of it to desserts as well. A new published study has found a so-called golden ratio of saltiness and health that we should all apply in the future. Lower sodium levels, but the same salty flavor? Is this magic, you might ask?

How much sodium are we allowed to have? 

The American Heart Association says that having too much sodium gives you a greater risk factor for hypertension, which in turn might lead to strokes and heart attacks. The recommended daily consumptionis 2,300 mg of sodium, but the ideal we should all strive for is in fact 1,500 mg of sodium.

The problem is all of the hidden sodium, though. It lies in salty snacks, in chips, fries and all kinds of processed meats. And reducing the quantity you eat daily or weekly is also going to get you in trouble with salt cravings. (That’s my main problem!)

Science Has Figured Out How Much Sodium You Need for Taste and Health
Scientists have tried mixing different salts to find the golden ratio.

The research team at Washington State University have a solution for us salt fiends! They recommend mixing salt with other products that, when combined, help your snack or food retain the saltiness, but now with less sodium.

For instance, potassium chloride and calcium chloride don’t increase your blood pressure like sodium chloride (aka table salt), but they also don’t taste as good as the original flavor. So mixing them might give us the best of both worlds.

The researchers tried to find out how much sodium they could replace before all flavor was lost so they mixed the salt and the salt replacements in different ratios. Then they organized taste tests (would have loved to be a part of that, but maybe invite me next time?)

So how much sodium should your salt have before it loses all meaning? 78 percent sodium chloride and 22 percent calcium chloride turned out to be an acceptable substitute. Even better was a formula that contained 96.4 percent regular salt, 1.6 percent potassium chloride and 2 percent calcium chloride.

The scientists recommend a mass replacement of salt with this formula. This will probably improve the health of all of us. I would definitely get on board. Until then, pass me the salt, please?

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Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Grocery Health

Is Sea Salt Actually Healthier For You Than Table Salt?

Photo: Angelus_Svetlana//Shutterstock

Let’s talk about sea salt vs table salt. You may have heard the minerals in sea salt make it healthy. But is that true?

You’ve probably given some thought to the type of salt you use at home—particularly, whether you choose sea salt or good old-fashioned table salt. Less processed than traditional table salt, both sea salt and Himalayan salt retain more of their original mineral content, such as magnesium and potassium. But do the trace minerals and elements mean sea salt is healthy?

It turns out—maybe not.

Sea Salt vs. Table Salt

Lots of people think sea salt is better because of its minerals—but sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value, according to the Mayo Clinic. Both sea salt and table salt also have a similar amount of sodium by weight.

According to a study published in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal, sea salt has more than trace minerals, too. In many cases, there’s also plastic leeched onto sea salt. Yes, plastic! The problem is, thanks to the plastic bags and other debris in waterways, most sea salt brands contain plastic microparticles.

What About the Iodine in Table Salt?

Produced in salt mines, traditional table salt is more processed than sea salt. This means it’s mostly devoid of natural minerals, which might be where a lot of table salt’s bad press comes from. It’s worth noting, however, that since the 1920s, producers have added iodine to processed salt. It’s an important mineral for keeping your thyroid happy.

Here are more surprising things you probably didn’t know about salt.

Here’s the Bottom Line

When it comes to salt intake, your best bet is moderation. No one type of salt is better for you, so you can’t go wrong by lowering your intake. For inspiration, check out our roundup of low-sodium recipes that are kind to your heart. You can also find easy ways to reduce sodium in your diet here.

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Article by Shanna Mallon for Taste of Home. View the original article here.

Categories
Restaurants

This Steak Is Cooked In A Shell Of Salt And Hung Over An Open Flame

As Foodbeasts, we’ve seen chefs utilize multiple techniques when cooking up a nice, juicy steak. So it’ll take a pretty unique approach to catch us off guard and grab our attention.

Well that’s what chef Ricardo Zarate, chef of Los Angeles’ Rosaline, did with his unconventional style of steak. Chef Zarate, the “Godfather of Peruvian cuisine”,  has had popular restaurants like Picca and Blue Tavern under his belt before moving to Rosaline — located in Hollywood, CA.

Rosaline, which highlights a combination of classic Peruvian dishes with elevated street fare, actually features a dish that encapsulates chef Zarate’s Peruvian flair.

Named the Lomo El Trapo, the steak is cooked in a manner many haven’t seen or heard of before. At least we sure haven’t.

The aptly named El Trapo, which means “cloth” in Spanish, is seared and wrapped tightly in a banana leaf that’s padded with rosemary and thyme. Then, the steak is wrapped in a cheese cloth that’s filled with a blend of seasoned salt. Think of this as a meaty caterpillar preparing to go into a mouthwatering metamorphosis.

The wrapped steak is hung three feet over an open wood flame and then finished directly in chef Zarate’s Josper Oven.

Once it’s ready, the steak is removed from the heat and the shell is smashed open revealing a perfectly cooked steak. How perfect? You can pretty much slice it with a fork and dip into a specially made chimichurri sauce.

Customers have to give the restaurant a heads up if they plan on ordering the steak dish, but trust us, it’s worth it.

Categories
Health News Science

Study Shows That Average Americans Eat Enough Salt Daily To Damage Our Hearts

Apparently, on average, we’re all progressively harming our hearts on the daily with the amount of salt we’re ingesting.

A new study out of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia evaluated 3,000 adults and found that half typically consumed two teaspoons of salt (or 3730 mg of sodium) a day. That amount of sodium is enough to regularly damage the heart and make it harder for blood to flow, and those who ate more than two teaspoons displayed heart enlargements and strains that were characteristic precursors of structural damage.

Currently, the World Health Organization recommends consuming less than a teaspoon of salt a day, which is about 1800 mg of sodium. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also notes that Americans consume 50% more sodium on average than recommended and considers it a key reason why a third of all adults experience high blood pressure.

This doesn’t mean you should stow the salt shakers, since those only account for about 9% of salt ingestion per day. A lot of processed foods that are high in sodium, like chips, cheese, meats, and the like, were the major contributor to dietary sodium, according to a 1991 study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

While the government tends to receive regular pushback when they try to cut the recommended dietary intake of salt, you can still cut it at home by decreasing processed food consumption and becoming more in control of the sodium you ingest on a regular basis.

Categories
Culture Video

Here’s Why We Pair Pepper With Salt In Our Food

We use salt and pepper every day to season our foods. As you spice up that bland piece of chicken on your fifth diet of the year, have you ever wondered how the black and white pairing came to be?

Popular YouTube Channel It’s Okay To Be Smart took a look at the history behind the two iconic seasonings.

Salt, as we all know, is an essential chemical compound to human diets. We need to consume a daily 6 grams to maintain blood pressure and other functions in our bodies. Early hunters and gatherers met this requirement with their animal diets. Raw blood and all.

As humans incorporated more plant-based foods into their diets, people began to discover different ways to harvest salt. Salt was commonly used to preserve food as well as accentuate other flavors like bitters, sweets, and umami.

So why do we use pepper, as opposed to hundreds of other spices that salt could be paired with?

Black pepper is from a flowering vine that originates from Southeast Asia called Piper nigrum.

Peppercorns became a very common ingredient in Indian cuisine for at least two millennia. Eventually, pepper was introduced to other countries, becoming a main commodity in the spice trade.

History believes that the popularity of black pepper came from King Louis XIV. The picky monarch demanded that his meals were to be “lightly seasoned,” only throwing salt and pepper on his food. The French cuisine that was developed in that period of time became the basis of much of what we eat today in the Western world.

So there you have it.

Imagine if King Louis preferred cinnamon instead? Food history could have drastically changed with the most minute of details.

Categories
Features Hit-Or-Miss

5 Ways To Get Rid Of Smelly Garlic Fingers

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We’ve all worked with garlic in the kitchen before. While an incredibly delicious and essential ingredient, the tiny onion (yes, it’s an onion) tends to leave your hands smelling pretty bad long after you put down the cutting board.

As you may know, soap does pretty much nothing and the smell can linger for the rest of the day unless the appropriate action is taken.

If you want to make sure your hands smell the freshest they could possibly be after mincing, smashing, peeling, or pureeing some garlic, check out these fives ways to get rid of that odor from your fingers.

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Stainless Steel

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Stainless steel is one of the most popular ways to get the garlic smell out of the way without wasting any other food resources. Rubbing your fingers, after handling garlic, on the flat side of a knife or the inside of your sink works.

We recommend the inside of a sink or even your faucet. That way, there’s less of a chance that you’ll accidentally cut yourself.

Lemon Juice

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It’s always a good idea to keep some lemon wedges around when in the kitchen. After working with garlic, squeeze a generous amount on your fingers and rub them together. You’ll get the smell off in no time.

The only downside is if you happen to accidentally cut yourself when working with the un-peeled cloves. Then it’s gonna burn.

Coffee Grounds

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There’s nothing like waking up to the aroma of fresh coffee brewing in the morning. So if you can’t get your hands to stop smelling like garlic, maybe you can get them to smell like something else more pleasant.

Coffee grounds can also exfoliate your skin, helping get rid of the garlic funk quicker. Just dunk your fingers in some excess grounds and rub them around for a minute before rinsing them off.

Salt

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Think of it as washing your hands with soap and water. Once finished with the garlic, apply a generous amount of salt to your hands and scrub them diligently. The smell should disappear as you rinse your hands with warm water. Like the lemon juice, however, make sure you don’t have any fresh cuts to your hands before adding the salt.

You can also wear gloves when working with garlic, but where’s the fun in that.

Tomato Juice

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A common solution when getting skunked, the bright-red liquid that comes from the tomato can work wonders when trying to get rid of unwanted odors. If you’re in a pinch, soak your hands in some tomato juice for a few minutes until the smell dissipates from your fingers.

Categories
Health

New Rule Forces Chain Restaurants To Start Labeling Highly Salty Foods

Today the New York City Board of Health will start implementing a new rule approved back in September of 2015 to start labeling any exceedingly salty foods being served at chain restaurants that go over the recommended 2,300 milligrams — or one teaspoon — of salt.

Strap yourselves in nice and tight fast food companies, because you’re about to get fuuuuuuucked.

This new rule will only affect chains of 15 restaurants or more across the United States and a variety of movie theaters and concession stands.

The whole point of the new rule is to help American citizens better combat the number one killer in America: cheeseburgers! Na, I’m just playing, it’s actually heart disease. Heart disease is out to get you. Cardiovascular disease accounts for roughly 17 million deaths worldwide a year. Death from heart complications makes up 30% of global deaths, making it the leading killer of all y’all.

The move will also force many restaurants to find new ways of making some of their food. Seeing the large salt shaker symbol (which will be used as the new label nationwide) is intended to draw the consumer’s eyes to the amount of salt it contains in the hopes of spurring them on to be more conscious of what they eat.

Many restaurant owners are having trouble getting on board with the new rule, claiming that following our nation’s federal guidelines for food would be much easier to deal with, rather than a wide variety of state rules that could make things even more difficult as a restaurateur, depending on where you live.

“I understand the [New York] City Board of Health is very pleased to lead the way on these nutritional initiatives,” says president of the New York State Restaurant Association Melissa Fleischut. “But what we see is that it ends up creating a patchwork of regulations across multiple states.”

It’s interesting to me that they decided to make the change from words to pictures in order to inform consumers what exactly they’re putting in their bellies. In comparison, people have been trying to change the labeling on cigarette packs for decades, yet the U.S. labeling laws are so lackadaisical that any warnings usually come on the side of the pack, in small letters, and in the same color as the pack, making them virtually indistinguishable.

Both salt and tobacco can have dire effects on the cardiovascular system, so perhaps this is the start to a new era where pictures replace text on warning labels. Who knows? Maybe next they’ll start putting pictures of car crashes on beer bottles.

Image Source: Crain’s, Food Navigator, American Heart Association

Categories
#foodbeast Hit-Or-Miss Humor

8 Popcorn Toppings And The Moviegoers Who Choose Them

Popcorn is the best snack to have at the movies. It just embodies all that you’re about with a day or night at the theater: slight escapism. You’re not looking to get crazy, but you clearly want to treat yourself. How you do it, though, is up to you, whether it’s well mannered or really going for it. Here’s a few routes to take.

1. Regular

You’re not a wild man or woman, but you make solid decisions. People respect that about you. Maybe you bought popcorn for the group and don’t want to try anything fancy because it may snub a member’s tastes. It’s possible you fear losing your reputation as a reliable person, or it comes down to the fact that you just like things the way they are. A dip or two of butter and a pinch of salt is as far as you’ll go, but even that’s calling it close.

2. Salt

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We’re not talking a civil sprinkling here. This isn’t a polite kiss of salt that’s going to delight any and all. No, this is the addition of salt that makes you wonder if heart disease runs in your family. It’s the kind where you spend the movie realizing you might die in your seat, frenzied up with questions about yourself, like why you have this affinity for salty things and how it may be a problem. But you don’t stop because you don’t want to stop. It’s just too good. Salt is life! You’re practically high on the stuff!

3. Flavored Toppings (Butter, Caramel, etc.)

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I know this seems like one of the safest moves, but it’s absolutely not. This is such a reckless all-or-nothing deal. It’s like trying to diffuse a flavor bomb. If you nail the ratio, you’re pretty much destined to become a fabled hero. If you add too much, which is all too easy, that voluptuous bag of popcorn is ruined. You then have to buy another one or boldly ask for an empty bag to try and salvage it.

4. Chocolate Candy

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Here’s an umbrella move that could mean anything from Junior Mints to a broken-up Butterfinger. It’s all delicious, that sultry yet classic bite of sweet and salty, and yet it doesn’t ring as store-bought. You feel some ownership, like you successfully cooked up a dish without reading the recipe at the snack bar. Personally, I’m a Reese’s Pieces kind of guy, but it’s all pretty killer.

5. Gummy Candy

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This is an acquired taste, maybe even simply niche. It’s got a specific taste and texture that you might not be ready for (or even be that kind of the person). It’s probably for people with really strong jawlines. I mean, there is some serious chewing involved here. People are probably going to think you’re trying to kick cigarettes. Don’t be fooled though, because if you are the type of person who enjoys this, you really enjoy it.

6. Jalapenos

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This is an underutilized move. It’s got boldness; it’s got sass. Butter and spice and everything nice are at play, and you feel like a king or queen scarfing it down. Of course this combination works, you pridefully think with each handful every time you make this magic happen at the movies. They’ll make a statue out of me someday, you consider, already delusional with pride before the full lights go down. Do work, me, you likely whisper before licking your salty pickled lips.

7. Nacho Cheese

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Did you come here to ball or what? This is a game-changer move, or it at least feels like you’re pulling a sly run out of the naughty playbook. “You’re just replacing chips with popcorn,” some yokel might say with a dismissive shrug. Your reply should be obvious: “Oh, I’m just replacing chips with popcorn?” What, like this is an everyday occurrence? Hell no, make them take it back. You did the unthinkable. Where’s your biopic?

8. Tapatio & Lemon Pepper

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This is if you’re straight up just down to bring your own gear from home. It’s an insanely delicious combo, but this is you playing God. If you get carried away with hot sauce power, be sure to bring a spoon, because you’re going to have to eat it like cereal. If you’re capable of restraint, bring a bottle of Tapatio, not some measly packets. Go big or go home, you know? Oh, you do? Okay, good. Yeah, you look like a confident person.

See you at the movies!