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 Low Sodium Options

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lowsalt01

  • Total Posts: 8
  • Joined: 3/27/2006
  • Location: Billeirca, MA
Low Sodium Options Mon, 03/27/06 9:40 AM (permalink)
I apologlize as I am not a restaurant professional but have a situation I believe the restaurant industry is either unaware of or is not sure how to handle. I am on a low sodium diet due to heart failure. I will be vacationing in Texas and have started searching chain restaurant websites for nutrition information and the amount of sodium in their offerings is appalling! Has anyone in the industry tried to address this issue? At better restaurants I know it's possible to ask for dressings and sauces on the side in most cases, but some of my favorite places use preprocessed foods or don't want to give the "naked food" option. Some just absolutely refuse to disclose nutrition info which makes me quite leary. Any suggestions on where to go or how to not drive myself crazy? Thanks.
 
#1
    Sonny Funzio

    • Total Posts: 902
    • Joined: 2/13/2006
    • Location: Detroit, MI
    RE: Low Sodium Options Mon, 03/27/06 3:34 PM (permalink)
    What surprises me is that in restaurants there are relatively few instances of recipes that have been modified using the all-potassium product such as "no-salt" available at any grocery store.

    I regularly make the substitution (at 100%) in recipes at home and no one so far has noticed any difference in flavor.

    Not only do all-potassium salt products lower the sodium content of any recipe you use it in, and of course, generally does it in the same ratio that you replaced the table-salt in(that is, if you replace half the salt called for in a recipe with the potassium version, you lower the sodium content by half ... to the degree it was the sole source of sodium in the recipe)
    ... but also most peoples diets are deficient in potassium to begin with.

    A very simple solution, particularly in the "heart smart" (etc) area of the menu that would be healthier for everyone.

     
    #2
      Adjudicator

      • Total Posts: 5055
      • Joined: 5/20/2003
      • Location: Tallahassee, FL
      RE: Low Sodium Options Mon, 03/27/06 7:37 PM (permalink)
      I think the original poster's message was why the food industry as a whole has done little if nothing to address this issue...
       
      #3
        lowsalt01

        • Total Posts: 8
        • Joined: 3/27/2006
        • Location: Billeirca, MA
        RE: Low Sodium Options Mon, 03/27/06 8:13 PM (permalink)
        Yes, that is my original question, but I seriously doubt I will get an answer from anyone on the business.
         
        #4
          lleechef

          • Total Posts: 6216
          • Joined: 3/22/2003
          • Location: Gahanna, OH
          RE: Low Sodium Options Mon, 03/27/06 8:22 PM (permalink)
          Because that's the taste that people want when eating at a chain. If they used salt-free ham and sausage on the breakfast sandwiches or left it off the coating that's on french fries or onion rings there would be a revolt. And people STILL reach for those little salt packets. All pre-packaged, pre-processed food manufactured for chain restaurants have salt.....and a LOT! Arby's actually INJECTS a solution into the meat to give it that flavor.
          Most non-chain restaurants will be happy to leave the salt out if you ask.
           
          #5
            roossy90

            • Total Posts: 6695
            • Joined: 8/15/2005
            • Location: columbus, oh
            RE: Low Sodium Options Mon, 03/27/06 8:29 PM (permalink)
            http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/797_salt.html

            I deleted my orignal post as it had really nothing to do with the original question, sorry, but upon doing some research, I found these 3 articles.

            http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/497_menu.html

            *If you go about half way down to the From Debate to Plate Paragraph, there is some interesting reading on this link.
            http://www.restaurant.org/business/magarticle.cfm?ArticleID=356
             
            #6
              Adjudicator

              • Total Posts: 5055
              • Joined: 5/20/2003
              • Location: Tallahassee, FL
              RE: Low Sodium Options Mon, 03/27/06 8:46 PM (permalink)
              And the producers of Lasix and similar meds. continue to rejoice in the dietary habits of most Americans.
               
              #7
                dogmeat

                RE: Low Sodium Options Tue, 03/28/06 9:34 AM (permalink)
                We use lots of fresh lemon juice, some with small amounts of sea salt, and fresh herbs to flavor chicken and fish for individuals on low sodium diets. We bake items on fruit for added flavor and try to accomadate but it is difficult with the foods offered to restaurants. Salad dressings are especially tough if they are not made from scratch based on their preservative content. You should look for a non-chain quality restaurant which cooks from scratch when you get to your destination and they can probably take care of you during your vacation.
                 
                #8
                  lowsalt01

                  • Total Posts: 8
                  • Joined: 3/27/2006
                  • Location: Billeirca, MA
                  RE: Low Sodium Options Tue, 03/28/06 9:47 AM (permalink)
                  I'm not asking all meals be prepared with low salt, just that there be an option. I don't expect that at a place like Wendy's but I don't understand why places like the Outback which are a little higher-end can't accommodate or at least have one or two meals that are lower in sodium. They have low fat, no fat, low carb, Atkins approved, Weight Watchers and things like that but refuse to address the sodium issue completely.

                  Hey, no joking about Lasix! The reason I'm on the low sodium diet is due to congestive heart failure and I'm on them. They aren't any fun, but you are correct-they would probably go out of business if we all didn't eat so much sodium.
                   
                  #9
                    sizz

                    • Total Posts: 1682
                    • Joined: 2/12/2004
                    • Location: San Jose, CA
                    RE: Low Sodium Options Fri, 04/28/06 10:40 AM (permalink)
                    quote:
                    lowsalt01 Posted - 03/28/2006 : 09:47:26
                    you are correct-they would probably go out of business if we all didn't eat so much sodium


                    Looks like you answered your own question.................
                     
                    #10
                      -Tricky-

                      • Total Posts: 305
                      • Joined: 9/4/2004
                      • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                      RE: Low Sodium Options Fri, 04/28/06 10:43 AM (permalink)
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by Sonny Funzio

                      What surprises me is that in restaurants there are relatively few instances of recipes that have been modified using the all-potassium product such as "no-salt" available at any grocery store.


                      Asking my husband to use a salt substitute would be like asking him to use margarine. Salt is probably the single most important ingredient to any chef - and that's probably why most restaurants have no low-sodium options. Somewhere in there there's someone who considers him/herself a chef...

                      Heck, Patrick wouldn't even let me bring Mrs. Dash into the house, and I only wanted it because it was a blend of dried "Italian" herbs to add to my crockpot ratatouille... He actually bought all of those dried herbs individually because there was going to be no salt-substitute in his house...
                       
                      #11
                        kland01s

                        • Total Posts: 2835
                        • Joined: 3/14/2003
                        • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                        RE: Low Sodium Options Fri, 04/28/06 11:29 AM (permalink)
                        Well.... here is a good one for you all.... I just spent 4 days in ICU because I had extremely low salt in my body! And I was told I drank too much water! Normal body salt level is 135, mine was 105, according to my nephrologist, I had the lowest salt level of anyone he had ever seen who was still : walking, talking, alive. They pumped me full of saline, monitored my heart, fed me bacon and just about anything for meals and sent me home warning me to drink minimal water! I have very happily spent the last week eating just about anything and enjoying fries with salt! My blood pressure is the lowest it's been in 15 years! I had my blood tested yesterday, we'll see where I am at! Crazy!
                         
                        #12
                          Pigiron

                          • Total Posts: 1384
                          • Joined: 5/11/2005
                          • Location: Bergen County, NJ
                          • Roadfood Insider
                          RE: Low Sodium Options Fri, 04/28/06 11:56 AM (permalink)
                          The vast majority of Americans would lose 2-4 pounds in one week if they completely eliminated added (not found in nature) sodium from their diets. Salt holds onto water. Get rid of the salt, the water will follow.

                          Try it for 5 days. I guarantee you will feel better. It happens quickly, and it's amazing.

                          Disclaimer: be forewarned- you'll be peeing like crazy!!
                           
                          #13
                            Michael Hoffman

                            • Total Posts: 17810
                            • Joined: 7/1/2000
                            • Location: Gahanna, OH
                            RE: Low Sodium Options Fri, 04/28/06 12:46 PM (permalink)
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by -Tricky-

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by Sonny Funzio

                            What surprises me is that in restaurants there are relatively few instances of recipes that have been modified using the all-potassium product such as "no-salt" available at any grocery store.


                            Asking my husband to use a salt substitute would be like asking him to use margarine. Salt is probably the single most important ingredient to any chef - and that's probably why most restaurants have no low-sodium options. Somewhere in there there's someone who considers him/herself a chef...

                            Heck, Patrick wouldn't even let me bring Mrs. Dash into the house, and I only wanted it because it was a blend of dried "Italian" herbs to add to my crockpot ratatouille... He actually bought all of thos dried herbs individually because there was going to be no salt-substitute in his house...

                            Mrs. Dash isn't a salt substitute. Mrs. Dash products are flavor enhancers.
                             
                            #14
                              -Tricky-

                              • Total Posts: 305
                              • Joined: 9/4/2004
                              • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                              RE: Low Sodium Options Fri, 04/28/06 12:48 PM (permalink)
                              quote:
                              Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

                              Mrs. Dash isn't a salt substitute. Mrs. Dash products are flavor enhancers.


                              But the tag-line is "Add a dash of flavor instead of salt." They market them as salt substitutes, hence his objection.

                              We have kosher salt, fine kosher salt, sea salt, celtic grey sea salt, popcorn salt, two other kinds that I don't remember and "plain old" iodized salt.
                               
                              #15
                                prisonchef

                                • Total Posts: 296
                                • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                • Location: st augustine, FL
                                RE: Low Sodium Options Fri, 04/28/06 3:51 PM (permalink)
                                lowsalt01,
                                as an american culinary certified chef and over 20 years as a chef i am sorry that you feel like no one in the profession will give you an answer.
                                the answer is very simple and is only comprised of one word and that word is "economics"
                                now i know this seems simplistic and on the face of it it is but bear with me.
                                think about the biggest economic factor that can affect anyone in food service. that factor is litigation.
                                i worked for 15 years in the conference and convention field. i studied on my own time and took courses for special diets and to be honest loved doing them. thats the good part. now for the bad part and that is the customer. to protect ourselves special dietary plates were taken out by our most trusted server to ensure proper delievry of the product to the customer. so far so good but we went one additional step to protect ourselves in the event of a lawsuit over not delievering a special diet meal. that server watched the customer. if the customer attempted to take food items not sent to him or her (called plate sharing) the server would advise the customer against it reminding them of their special dietary requirements. the server would then log down the table number and time which could be crossed referenced for our lawyers use if needed.
                                now here comes the really said part and for me it was sad since i really enjoyed the challenge of making good food taste good when there are so many restrictions.
                                IN 90 TO 95% OF THE CASES THE SPECIAL DIETARY CUSTOMER IGNORED THE SUBTLE ADVICE OF THE SERVER WHICH WAS GIVEN AS A VERY POLITE REMINDER TO STAY ON THEIR DIET AND WENT AHEAD AND ATE FOOD FROM ANOTHER PLATE!!!!
                                in a nutshell that is why you are going to be hard pressed to find the special diet you need.
                                sorry but it's the truth
                                but on a happier note special diet people were better than the vegatarians if that is any consolation
                                 
                                #16
                                  djtomatoe

                                  • Total Posts: 197
                                  • Joined: 9/13/2005
                                  • Location: santa cruz, calif
                                  RE: Low Sodium Options Sun, 04/30/06 1:43 PM (permalink)
                                  if you are going to chain reswtaurants, you can,t expect alot of special diet consideration.

                                  i would suggest looking at different types of restaurants that tend to cater to people that have dietary modifications.
                                  natural food & vegetarian restaurants are the way you may need to go. these typel of restaurant, especially in larger cities, are not"hippie" joints, and can be very creative and tasty without using alot of sodium.

                                  if you are in a serious medical diet modification need, you may just have to start to change the way you eat
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Michael Hoffman

                                    • Total Posts: 17810
                                    • Joined: 7/1/2000
                                    • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                    RE: Low Sodium Options Sun, 04/30/06 2:39 PM (permalink)
                                    quote:
                                    Originally posted by -Tricky-[br


                                    But the tag-line is 'Add a dash of flavor instead of salt.' They market them as salt substitutes, hence his objection.


                                    No they do not. Mrs. Dash is marketed as a salt free product, not as a salt substitute.

                                    Objection overruled.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Jimeats

                                      • Total Posts: 3175
                                      • Joined: 8/15/2005
                                      • Location: Ipswich Ma
                                      RE: Low Sodium Options Mon, 05/1/06 6:39 AM (permalink)
                                      I'm going into the hospital tommorow for a ticker procedure, and I'm already trying to figure out where to stash my salt packets for my meals. Chow Jim
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Michael Hoffman

                                        • Total Posts: 17810
                                        • Joined: 7/1/2000
                                        • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                        RE: Low Sodium Options Mon, 05/1/06 2:28 PM (permalink)
                                        quote:
                                        Originally posted by Jimeats

                                        I'm going into the hospital tommorow for a ticker procedure, and I'm already trying to figure out where to stash my salt packets for my meals. Chow Jim

                                        Can't you keep them in a drawer. That's where my wife kept her pepper and Mrs. Dash.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          -Tricky-

                                          • Total Posts: 305
                                          • Joined: 9/4/2004
                                          • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                                          RE: Low Sodium Options Mon, 05/1/06 2:52 PM (permalink)
                                          quote:
                                          Originally posted by Michael Hoffman


                                          Can't you keep them in a drawer. That's where my wife kept her pepper and Mrs. Dash.

                                           
                                          #21
                                            Greyghost

                                            • Total Posts: 1336
                                            • Joined: 8/19/2004
                                            • Location: Albany, NY
                                            RE: Low Sodium Options Sun, 05/7/06 10:09 PM (permalink)
                                            Years ago I went on a salt restricted diet and counted every milligram of sodium. I had no problem with the flavor factor and did not give up my favorite foods. In those days I cooked everything from scratch. Sausage? No problem, I made my own no salt added version, all that was needed was to take the herbs and spices up a notch or two. The result was great sausage with a depth of flavor that beat every commercial product available.

                                            Thirty years ago I fired the doctor that put me on that restrictive regimen as it was intrusive and provided no positive results. It was then and there that I came up with my doctrine that doctoring can only lead to more doctoring. I have come to view this as a learning experience and still visit this young doctor's grave, throwing a bit of salt over my shoulder when I do.

                                            I still do avoid excessive salt however, simply because I do not like the taste of food with a lot of sodium in it, unless it is something like country ham which I enjoy on special occasions and in small amounts.

                                            As far as restaurant food and processed food is concerned I do not think there is any help for it. The bottom line is that salt is cheap and satisfying to many people. My advice is to limit these meals and to cook most of your fare yourself using real ingredients that you know you like. It will go a long way in creating a balance that you can live with.

                                            It may not be for everyone, but I firmly believe that quality of life which one does have some control over is worth more than quantity of life, which is always an unknown.
                                             
                                            #22
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