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.

Fast Food

Taco Bell Outlines The Major Changes They Are Planning For 2017


As the New Year is finally upon us, we’re all trying to better our lives by making some rock-solid New Year’s resolutions. Some of us are trying to hit the gym more, eat healthier, oversleep less, and other objectives to improve ourselves in the long run.

Taco Bell is no different.

The fast food chain has set themselves a few goals they’d like to accomplish by the end of 2017 and beyond.


Getting rid of things that don’t make sense anymore


Taco Bell plans on saying goodbye to quite a few things that just aren’t relevant at the fast food chain, anymore. Going away will be XL soda cups, antibiotics from their chicken, and preservatives and additives where possible (by 2018).

Who even needs that much soda when you can simply just walk up and refill it yourself?

Giving patrons more of what they want

Taco Bell already promised they’d serve only cage-free whole eggs on their breakfast menu, a feat which they accomplished in 2016. Now, the fast food chain wants to expand this goal to everything else on their menu including their avocado ranch sauce, creamy jalapeño sauce, habanero sauce, and creamy chipotle sauce by the beginning of next year.


For a massive chain like Taco Bell to go cage-free, the act could potentially become a catalyst to influence the rest of the fast food industry. Swapping the eggs they use could, in turn, affect how farmers and providers treat their animals and products on an ethical scale.

Cutting back on the salt

Since 2008, Taco Bell cut 15 percent of sodium across their menu. The fast-casual chain is now shooting to cut an additional 10 percent of sodium (25 percent total) throughout their menu.

This move forward reinforces our belief that the fast food chain has low-key become one of the healthier fast food options out there.

More jobs and scholarships

By 2022, Taco Bell wants to create 100,000 more US jobs included with education and training programs. Over the next decade, the company plans on hiring 1.5 million young adults. Everyone needs to get some job experience under their belts, and getting a foot into the Taco Bell workforce would definitely instill some pretty solid work ethic in today’s youths.


The company is finally going to strive towards being a better neighbor in all its communities by reducing energy consumption and using more reclaimed materials and sustainable landscape features. For example, the Fiesta Taco Salad is transitioning from a plastic to a paper box.
Those are some pretty ambitious goals. Hopefully the company will be able to smoothly implement them without any hiccups, as these resolutions have the potential to revolutionize many aspects of the fast food industry.


Pizza Hut in America Is The Saltiest, Study Shows


Sometimes, nothing says Friday like a nice cheesy pie to go with that Kristen Wiig movie you just Red Boxed. Even though, halfway through the movie, you feel like you just washed your taste buds with a big helping of salt.

A study shows that Pizza Hut pizzas in the United States contain more sodium than 11 other countries examined with the same products. These included Argentina, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Finland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Since most Pizza Hut locations around the world tend to have varying menus, the data was examined with select pies that were a staple on the 11 international menus. This included the Pepperoni Thin N’ Crispy, Veggie Lover’s Thin N’ Crispy and the Meat Lover’s.

Specifically, Pizza Hut’s Thin ‘N Crispy pepperoni pizza has the most salt of any of the chain’s offerings. At 1,080 milligrams per 3.5 ounces of pizza (large slice), the pie has more than enough salt to last a lifetime. Or at least a two-hour rom-com.

As a whole, US Pizza Huts boasted nearly 70 percent more salt than some of the other countries they were compared to. Another study compared the sodium levels of pizza to other fast food menu items. It’s said that a single large fast food pizza could equal to the same amount of salt as seven Big Macs.

Better get yourself a glass of water after you finish that pizza. Probably a blood pressure test, also.

h/t CSPI


This Is How Much Salt You’re Eating, Visualized as Salt Mountains [INFOGRAPHIC]

According this infographic put out by industry commentators NGF by RIPETUNGI, the average US intake of salt hovers around 4,500 mg, over twice the daily recommended amount of 2,000 mg.We’re not the sodium police, by any means, and we all know fast food can pack it on heavy, but it’s always interesting to see how quickly salt intake can add up by eating certain foods.

Getting sick? Maybe you want to keep hydrated, so you drown yourself in water…and come night time, you try and soothe your throat with some Chicken Noodle Soup? Good move, right? Well, some chicken noodle soups can tax you near 1160 mg of salt. The move may soothe your throat, but will end up battling your fight for hydration.

Here’s a visual look at different amounts of salt in different foods you might eat throughout the day…if they were to-scale pyramids.

Click the image to see it in a bigger version:



A Beautiful Look at Snowboarding on Salt [VIDEO]

Filmed out on the Salt Flats of Utah, this awesome expedition of filmmaking and snowboarding on a sodium backdrop makes for one hell of a video. The same location used for movies such as Independence Day, Pirateas of the Caribbean and Tree of Life serves as the setting for breaking some serious speed limits. The boarders involved were being pulled along vehicles at speeds close to 50 mph.

For you cine-geeks out there, the short was shot on several different cameras, including the Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, Canon T2i and the GoPro. For those of you that don’t care, and just want to see some Shaun White type athletics take place on a field of salt, here’s a look:


Americans are Unaware and Unconcerned with Sodium Intake

Do you know how much salt you consume?

SFGate reports, according to a study conducted by the 2011 International Food Information Council Sodium Survey, 59 percent of Americans don’t care about the amount of sodium they take in. 70 percent of Americans don’t know how much sodium they need daily.

Now I need to confess that I am in the majority of people who definitely don’t know how much sodium I take in or how much I need a day, but it’s good to know there are studies like this to inform us.

[THX: SFGate] Photo Credit: Morton Salt