Eating to Live

@Raelove (22408)
Saco, Maine
June 28, 2020 6:57am CST
I've been a plus-sized gal all my adult life. I started "blooming" when I was around 10 years old and never stopped. I shed a few petals now and then. But basically, I've stayed "fluffy" all my life. Now, at 70, my intermittently poor eating habits have caught up with me in the form of heart disease and pre-diabetes. I was likely to get heart disease anyway, as my father developed it before he turned 60. But aside from other more obvious health issues, I didn't suspect I had it until a few years ago. I've had a few tests and am going on Tuesday for what's called an arterial catheterization and an angiogram. I'm not looking forward to it, but it must be done. To that end, I've been working hard to change how I eat, and I'm also taking meds to help with high cholesterol (mine was through the roof), blood flow, and blood pressure. While they can't fix the partial blockage, they may be able to put a stent in the artery to open it up more. Since I started this new eating regimen and those new pills, I've felt a lot better. But fatigue is also a symptom of heart disease, and the only things that help that are more exercise to get the oxygen to my muscles that my heart is working hard to hold on to. One of my downfalls has always been salt. All my life, I've put way too much salt in and on my food. So it was with great joy that I recently discovered a product that satisfies that craving but contains no sodium at all. It's called Nu-Salt, and I can get it at one of my local grocery stores or online. It's potassium chloride, and it gives food the salty flavor that is missing for me. I don't need it on all foods. Eating less salt means that I notice it more now, so anything that already has salt in it is fine. Giving up salt (sodium) has lowered my blood pressure and my feet and ankles don't swell anymore, even on the muggiest days. Up until recently, I was so focused on fats and carbs that I hadn't given salt a second thought. My doctor reminded me of it, and I've been paying close attention to it ever since. I sure wish I had done this years ago! When you're young, you don't think in terms of "life and death." But as you age, you do. I've never smoked, so that works in my favor, as my lungs are clear and strong. While I did do a fair share of drinking and partying in my day, those days are long behind me, so alcohol is not a factor either. If I can get my long-standing issues with food under control, maybe I can get a few more years out of this thing called life. And this salt substitute is really helping! (Free Use Image)
10 people like this
11 responses
@m_audrey6788 (31668)
• Germany
28 Jun
I like little salt in many of my cookings but I make sure to put little sugar as I can. Good thing that you found some salt that can help you out with the salt taste of your food
3 people like this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
Thanks. Yes, it is helping a lot.
2 people like this
• Germany
28 Jun
1 person likes this
@rhuenz (768)
28 Jun
@Raelove actually too much salt is really dangerous to our health.salt is not necessary in food if your dealing with health. I was living in hongkong before and there they are not using salt . Funny maybe but its true.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Jun
Pepper is my season of choice, but i do eat salt on some things like watermelon. I try to encourage my family here to eat healthier. I've got enough relatives that have or had heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure that I am doing my part to not be apart of that. I'm glad you found Nu-Salt.
2 people like this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
There are actually other salt substitutes out there, so I'm going to research them. I like some pepper on my food, but it doesn't provide the enhanced flavor that salt does. I grew up among salt addicts, so I'm glad I finally am able to reverse that.
• United States
28 Jun
@Raelove I was thinking about Sea Salt. I feel like a few years ago it was touted as being a better substitute but I am not sure if they are saying the same thing today. We had a lot of salt when I was growing up too, but then over the years the amount of salt we use has decreased.
1 person likes this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
@ScribbledAdNauseum It is still sodium. Just a purer less refined form. "Table salt and most sea salts all contain about 40 percent sodium by weight." American Heart Association
@Corbin5 (192537)
• United States
28 Jun
I think you are doing the right things to add many years to our life. So glad that salt substitute has worked out well for you.
2 people like this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
It has weaned me off real salt, which is what I should have done years ago. Better late than never!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (192537)
• United States
28 Jun
@Raelove Yes, we can do ourselves a lot of good when we once realize a change is necessary.
1 person likes this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
@Corbin5 Even small changes make a big difference.
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (45293)
• Germany
28 Jun
I am glad that there is a substitute for salt. I need salt to make my low blood pressure to normal.
2 people like this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
I understand. We all need a minimum amount of salt in our diets, but I was using way too much. The American Heart Association states that 2300 mg per day is the limit, but even that is too much, and we should aim for about 1500. I am getting less than that now, so I'm glad.
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (45293)
• Germany
28 Jun
@Raelove I didn´t know about that 2300 mg per day but I don´t like salty food much. Just enough salt when I am cooking.
1 person likes this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
@thelme55 I add little to none now when I cook. I am also careful to read all food labels at the store. Everything contains salt, even milk and bread. Now I check for sodium content, too.
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (81880)
• Nashville, Tennessee
28 Jun
We all should watch our salt intake. Good for you for taking it seriously. Glad this substitute is helping you.
2 people like this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
Thanks. I think I'm at about the right level of salt intake. People forget that it's not what we add from the salt shaker that is often the problem, but what is naturally in foods. Even foods that are labelled sodium-free contain some sodium.
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (81880)
• Nashville, Tennessee
28 Jun
@Raelove I never add extra except on grits and potatoes.
1 person likes this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
@CarolDM I'm noticing how few foods I actually need salt on, so it's a real learning process.
1 person likes this
@Namelesss (2531)
• Thomasville, Georgia
28 Jun
Smart choices you're making, you can't help what you don't know. Just like I didn't know salt cravings could be a sign of diabetes, I had only ever heard the sugar side of it. I've found lemon to be a great salt substitute and have a container of Nu Salt but I can't stand that stuff, it taste like a chemical cooked up in a lab to me. So I got a bucket of Redman's Salt, it's the pure stuff without any of it's other ingredients removed so you get a balance of minerals.
2 people like this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
Any kind of sodium makes me retain fluid, so I'll stick with the NuSalt. I don't find it that bad as long as I don't overdo it, at which point it is way too salty. As for "real salt," which is what Redman's and other pure salts are, I just researched it, and it contains 531 mg of sodium in just 1/4 teaspoon, which is way too much for me, as that is half my daily intake limit. I don't get salt cravings. I just need that little extra boost of flavor in a few, not all, dishes. I'm developing a sensitivity to salt taste, too, which is good, as it will keep me from eating too much of it.
@Namelesss (2531)
• Thomasville, Georgia
28 Jun
@Raelove That's good. I watch my salt too and don't overdo it. I really do like lemon as a seasoning and Mrs. Dash too. And definitely staying away from the processed junk.
1 person likes this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
@Namelesss I grew up eating a lot of junk food, as it was all the rage during the 50's and 60's. Nutritional awareness didn't come till later, and by that time, many had heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. I remember when TV dinners were the big thing. Loaded with sugar, salt, and fat, but everyone loved them, because they were new. I use Mrs. Dash on my salads, as it adds that little extra kick without salt.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (59687)
• Germany
28 Jun
I've never used much salt, so I wouldn't need a substitute. But it's interesting to learn that this stuff exists. I only know about substitute for sugar.
2 people like this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
You would be surprised at the salt content of many foods you buy before you even prepare them. Packaged foods, frozen foods, canned foods, pastries, breads, etc., all contain sodium, and I pay close attention to it now. Of course, the big push is for sugar substitutes. But too much salt can be as dangerous as too much sugar, in a different way. Salt intake directly impacts blood pressure, whereas sugar takes longer to go through its various transformations before it ends up as fat.
@MALUSE (59687)
• Germany
28 Jun
@Raelove I don't buy a lot of packaged foods, frozen foods, canned foods. I prepare myself what I want to eat. I'm retired. I have time enough.
1 person likes this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
@MALUSE Same here. And I still greatly enjoy cooking from the basics. I know exactly what went into it.
@arunima25 (41477)
• Bangalore, India
28 Jun
It's good that now you are serious about it. And it's never too late to start with something good and healthy.Wishing you many more years and healthy years in life
2 people like this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
28 Jun
Thank you very much!
2 people like this
@arunima25 (41477)
• Bangalore, India
29 Jun
@Raelove Welcome. Keep up with your healthy lifestyle.
1 person likes this
@marlina (102325)
• Canada
1 Jul
Good luck with the arterial catheterization and the angiogram. I know all about them way to much,
1 person likes this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
1 Jul
It wasn't much fun. They said I wouldn't feel any pain, but I did. They did it in the arm, and I felt pain all the way the cath was going in. I have a small splint on today so I don't bend the wrist where the incision is. Of course, I hurt my back badly moving around from bed to table to bed, etc. So the cath isn't causing any problems, but my back is killing me now. They didn't put stents in either. They will do that in the bigger hospital in Portland. Thanks for the good wishes.
@JudyEv (213296)
• Bunbury, Australia
29 Jun
That's good that you've found something helps, even if it is a bit later than you would have liked.
1 person likes this
@Raelove (22408)
• Saco, Maine
29 Jun
It has shown some short-term benefits, so I'd be foolish to return to old habits.
@Adie04 (5111)
28 Jun
I guess I have live to the word 'live to eat'
1 person likes this