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Posts Tagged ‘salt’

Yesterday, thanks to Twitter, I discovered an article in The Daily titled, Paula’s big fat secret.   The article claims the following:

  • Paula Deen, US Southern-style cook and cooking show host, has Type 2 diabetes.
  • Paula Deen hasn’t exactly shared that information with the public.  And she can’t eat her own meals anymore.
  • She is going to make millions as a spokesperson for a diabetes medication, probably for drugmaker Novartis. Novo Nordisk, according to the LATimes.

Here’s the thing that kills me:  Paula Deen’s cooking has always seemed, to me anyway, to be a lesson in how to give yourself diabetes! Or coronary disease.  Or other obesity-related illnesses, like colon cancer.

So she wins by teaching us to eat irresponsibly, and profits from it through her cookbooks and restaurant and Food Network show.  Now she’s going to profit by telling us to take a pill that treats the resulting illness.  Win-win for Paula.  And frankly, a smart move on Novartis’ part too.  Because most people aren’t going to care.  They think she’s nice.  They’re fans.  She makes food they enjoy eating.  And the poor woman was unfortunate enough to get diabetes, which really nobody can blame her for.  It’s an illness.

WRONG.

Paula Deen has long been criticized for irresponsibility when it comes to food.  Here are a few examples:

Normally, I wouldn’t criticize the woman so much myself.  Maybe she’s just ignorant about healthy diets and the implications of unhealthy ones.  But she responded to Mr. Bourdain’s criticism last year by saying,

“You know, not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine. My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills … It wasn’t that long ago that I was struggling to feed my family, too.”

I’m calling bullshit here.  I grew up in the South, and I know how fond they are of their diets.  Fried mac and cheese, fried green beans, fried donuts, fried Twinkies, chicken fried steak, etc.  At no time have I ever thought that I couldn’t eat healthy because I couldn’t afford a $58 prime rib or a $650 bottle of wine.  This is a false argument, and she’s catering to those Southerners who don’t like the prissy, elitist, crunchy granola vegan intellectuals who criticize the Southern diet.

Ever heard of quinoa?  Or cous cous and grilled asparagus?  Black beans and brown rice with a little sour cream & salsa?   Or fish?  There are some fantastic ways to make fish yummy. Here are some of my favorite healthy recipes:

I’ll stop here.  You get the point.  Most of these meals can feed four folks for $20 or less.

I’m not saying you should never ever ever eat a pepperoni pizzza or a bacon cheeseburger.  I love both of those things, and had pizza just last night.  But I can minimize their negative health impacts by choosing slightly healthier options (grass feed beef, or less cheese, or turkey burger etc).  Or, you can go ahead and eat that really terrible-for-you comfort food… but rarely, instead of regularly.

It’s not that hard to eat better.   Last year, I started making a few substitutions, stopped eating out as much, limited table salt, and added fresh fruits and veggies as sides or “dessert” to most meals.  That, and a little time at the gym, and I’m 35 pounds lighter.  My cholesterol is finally good.  I’m no longer “obese” and I’m about to fall out of the “overweight” category too.  My blood sugar and metabolism and blood pressure are “optimal”… and I feel great.

I hope Paula Deen can, too.

And I hope all of us can begin to support a new health care paradigm, one that focuses on creating wellness rather than treating disease.  But that’s another blog post for another time.

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An Illinois man is suing Denny’s restaurants for breach of contract because they sold him food that was “not fit for human consumption” when he ordered 3 of his favorite breakfasts:

  • Moons over My Hammy
  • SuperBird sandwich
  • Meat Lover’s Scramble

And why does he think Denny’s breakfasts aren’t suited for human consumption?  Salt.  According to the law suit, the meals contain 3200, 2600, and 5600 mg of salt respectively.   The Center for Disease Control

Photo by ketchupfreak88

Photo by ketchupfreak88

(CDC) recommends about 1500 mg per day for most adults.  The suit goes on to presume that adults should consume no more than about 500mg of sodium per meal, 3 times per day.

Okay, so the meals exceed the daily recommended salt intake.  By a lot.  But does that make them unfit for human consumption? 

First, what does “unfit for human consumption” mean?  I haven’t found a formal, scientific definition of the term.  Perhaps there’s a legal one out there somewhere.  However, in the practical world of real life, I’d have to say that being fit for human consumption means: tastes ok enough to eat, provides the body with fuel, and doesn’t kill the consumer.  And let’s be clear — even drinking too much water can kill you.

Second, if you’re already on high blood pressure medicine, what the hell are you doing ordering something called “Meat Lovers Scramble” at a Denny’s anyway?

And third, here’s my list of popular non-fit foods, according to the definitions of this ridiculous law suit:

Have I eaten any of these things in the last 6 months?  Only the soup, and only then when sick (in my house Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup is known as the “magic elixir”).  Have I eaten these things multiple times in the past few months?  Hello no.

Are they fit for human consumption? Yes.  Cuz they’re yummy, they fuel my body, and they won’t kill me unless I gorge myself on them excessively.  I’m not going to SUE someone for making a product that contains more sodium than my doctors told me to consume.   Maybe the insurance companies paying for the Plaintiff’s high blood pressure medicine should  sue HIM for eating the stuff.   Maybe there’s even a breach of contract argument to be made against him as well.

Regardless, all it takes is a little thought and possibly a Google search to know that the Meat Lover’s Scramble has a lot of sodium and that eating greasy diner food is probably bad for me — especially if I have health concerns.

Just sayin’.

And by the way, that loaf of bread we bought from the local artisan bakery — the bread that someone dropped Jimmy Buffet’s lost shaker of salt into before baking — THAT was unfit for human consumption.

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