Goodbye Salsa

Tuesday, July 07, 2009
For the past two days, I have ingested twice the maximum daily recommended dosage of sodium for a 36 year old. That works out to approximately 4500 mg. Each day. It’s no wonder I’m pleasantly plump…I’m retaining a titanic-sized amount of water due to all the salt in my system!!! Yeah that’s it, water retention. To be honest, I’m surprised I haven’t pickled myself by this point in my life.

When I was younger, I fondly (ugh) remember my brother and I pouring the salt on our corn on the cobs, tomato sandwiches, mashed potatoes (three of my all time favourite foods). Heck, Big Brother even salted his pickles (not that is NOT a metaphor and even if it is, that’s none of my business)! No one cared about salt. We ate luncheon meat, packaged foods, heavily salted our popcorn…after all, we did grow up in the 70s and 80s. It’s really no wonder that I have high blood pressure. What is a shock is that I haven’t had a heart attack yet – although one of my last ECG’s begs to differ (long story, the machine claims I’ve had three “incidents”).

Wanna scare yourself? Go look up the nutritional information on your favourite take out meal. Yep, including your “healthier” options. I like to treat myself to a veggie burrito from Taco Time every once in a while. I figure it’s better than A&W’s heavily salted burgers, fries, or their weird onion rings. That heart attack I haven’t had yet? I came pretty darned near when I discovered that the burrito has 2300 mg of sodium!!! Sure it’s relatively ok in terms of calories, carbs, and fat, but the real killer (at least for me)…a full day’s worth (and at the maximum end of the scale!) of salt in one burrito. Oh god, I’m dying. As I struggle to not only monitor but reduce the amount of salt I take in, I’m discovering that I’m going to have to give up a few of my favourite things. The hardest? Salsa. Oh how I love salsa. I put it on homemade fajitas. I dip taco chips into it’s tomato-ey goodness. My scrambled eggs cry out to be smothered by it’s cornucopia of vegetables. To be honest, I’ve even topped a pork chop with it (trust me…it’s good…try it!). My current fave salsa, Western Family’s Mild (or Medium) Salsa weighs in with a whopping 400 mg of salt for a measly ¼ cup. And we all know, no one eats that little. Double that easily. Ok, that’s the last of the numbers, I promise.

Now, I’m not naïve. I knew that packaged foods had salt. It’s a preservative. How else do they last on the shelves in the supermarkets for so long? But do they really need to add SO much? I’m sure it’s a way of making you want more and more and more… It looks like now I’m going to have to go out and try to find a low-salt or salt-free (ugh) salsa if I want to continue to enjoy it. Perhaps down the healthfood aisle or at one of the local organic markets. Before anyone suggests it, I am NOT going to make my own. For starters, I don’t have the patience. Secondly, I just don’t want to. Don’t get me wrong, I make a mean bruschetta but salsa? I’m sorry, no.

So I bid adieu to you, dear salsa. Until the day you don’t try to kill me with your salty goodness, I must leave you….


Wandering Coyote said...

You can very VERY easily make yummy salsa at home whenever you want to - sans salt! You don't have to give up salsa altogether!

Red said...

Seriously, though... you should make your own. :)

Milla said...

I agree with 'em two above!

It's easy and quick and you can make some and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days -I'm sure you can even freeze it.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are not going to want to hear this but, yes, salsa is so easy to make.

I hear you on the salt shock though. After the spousal unit was discovered to have hypertension, I started checking sodium more carefully and it was quite an eye opener.

asterisk said...

Make your own salsa. It takes, like, six minutes.

asterisk said...

Also, it's regular mentioned in the news here that ready-made salads from food chains or supermarkets are often just as sodium-heavy as a burger-and-fries option.

The only way to control your intake of anything is to make your own, from scratch, always, using no-salt canned goods where necessary.

Captain Karen said...

You guys are killing me... ! Ok, ok, I promise that I will attempt to make homemade salsa once this summer. I'll plan a nacho/football night with the Admiral and see how it turns out.

SME said...

The amount of salt in processed & restaurant foods is INSANE. I can always tell when I'm consuming way too much of it - I get so thirsty I could drain a lake with a straw.

I've never made salsa, but I'm guessing it would be a thousand times yummier than the canned business. You can add whatever you want, control the spiciness, etc.

tweetey30 said...

That is one food I dont eat is Salsa.. Hope you find something healthy for yourself soon..

Anonymous said...

Easy peasy to make your own salsa. If you can't chop your own tomatos, used low-sodium diced tomatos and two tbsp of Epicure's salt-free salsa mix. It is super yummy and I make it all the time - can't get any easier or quicker than that!

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