Showing posts with label Sodium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sodium. Show all posts

Nov 21, 2014

Bitter, Sweet, and Salty

Salty and sweet are distinct tastes which our taste buds are usually able to detect. However, if you add salt to some foods, they do not taste salty, but become sweeter tasting. This is because salt is not just a taste, it is also a taste enhancer.

Bitter and sweet cancel each other out to some degree. Think of adding sugar to naturally bitter coffee and you get the idea. It cancels/masks the bitterness. Some people add a bit of salt to the grounds before making coffee, for the same reason.

Pineapples are sweet, but also have some bitterness to them. If you neutralize the bitterness, it should taste sweeter. Adding salt can do this. When salt mixes with the pineapple, the salt splits up into sodium and chloride ions. The chloride is tasteless and our tongues ignore it. The sodium bonds with the acids in the pineapple and forms a similarly tasteless salt, but the bitterness effectively disappears. What remains is the sweetness of the pineapple. Add a little bit of salt to your fresh pineapple and enjoy the enhanced sweetness. It also works with watermelon, oranges, grapefruit, dark chocolate and other foods that are both bitter and sweet. Perhaps this is one reason why it is said that bacon is the food that makes other foods taste better. My father always salted apples before eating and usually paired with extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Adding salt works less well with canned or other processed fruits as many are already artificially sweetened.

Oct 17, 2014

Nine Big Banana Facts

Eating two bananas can give you enough energy for a 90-minute workout.

Bananas can fight against depression. This is because bananas contain a protein called tryptophan, which converts to serotonin. Serotonin helps you relax and can make you feel better.

Bananas contain Vitamin B6, which regulate blood glucose levels and can put you in a better mood.

The Vitamin B6 will also help fight nerves and stress.

Bananas are high in potassium and low in sodium, which helps fight against high blood pressure and prevent strokes.

Bananas can soothe heartburn because of the natural antacid effect it has on the body.

Bananas are high in fiber. This can help regulate bowel movements without resorting to laxatives.

The potassium in bananas helps you stay focused and alert.

The inside of banana peels can soothe mosquito bites. Bananas also taste good.

Aug 22, 2014

Another Salt Study

Adding to the library of salt studies is yet a new one which again finds that salt is not that bad and that too little salt may be as bad for us as too much salt. The same can be said for calories or carbohydrates.

More than 100,000 people from the general public in 17 countries were observed for nearly four years and sodium levels were determined from urine tests. The researchers found people who consume 3 to 6 grams of sodium a day (salt contains about 39% sodium by weight) had the lowest risk of heart problems or death from any cause. About three-fourths of the world's population is in the ideal range, including the US, which averages 4 grams a day salt consumption.

The new study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests the US's daily consumption of about 3,400 milligrams is not only perfectly fine, but may be healthier than abstaining. It suggests eaters should shoot for between 3,000 and 6,000 mg of salt each day. Dr. Suzanne Oparil, a cardiologist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, who wrote an editorial accompanying the publication, added, "Japan, one of the highest salt consumers, has one of the longest lifespans."

Table salt also contains iodine, and desiccants to keep it from clumping. Sodium is essential for human nutrition, but too much sodium or too little sodium raises health risks. Sodium levels generally correlate with the risk of high blood pressure, but correlation (are related) is not causality (one causes the other). Chlorine is also important to overall health. Our bodies, like salt water swimming pools separate sodium from chlorine for use.

Potassium, found in vegetables and fruits appears to lower blood pressure and heart risks, and offsets sodium's effect. Potatoes, bananas, avocados, leafy greens, nuts, apricots, salmon, and mushrooms are high in potassium.

Determining that worldwide deaths are caused by one ingredient, without relation to complete diet, or other factors, is like saying global warming is caused only by CO2, or that drinking only diet soda makes us fat.

As with all studies, results 'should be taken with a grain of salt'. Reducing or increasing one item from the panoply of food we ingest is interesting fodder for highly funded studies, but taking results too seriously can be hazardous to our health.