January 22, 2010

Less Salt, Less Sugar Costs You More

I’m going to gripe a little bit today about the foods we buy.

I saw on the news last night that if we cut out 3% of the salt we ingest it would greatly reduce our risk for heart attack.

My husband has high blood pressure and high cholesterol so we have to watch the amount of salt and fat I allow in the foods I prepare. Recently I discovered that sugar can also increase a person’s blood pressure so now I also keep a close eye on this one.

I spend half my grocery shopping time reading labels. I knew some foods were very salty and we expect some like chips to taste that way but I was really shocked at the amounts in some box entrees and soups. Some have as much as 40%. That means almost half of what you are buying is salt. That’s ridiculous.

Some companies like Campbell’s have come out with reduced salt and low fat alternatives but you have to pay a lot more for them.

Why do they charge more when they put less of an ingredient in? It should cost them less to produce this item. I can kind of understand charging more for a low fat alternative because they have to take extra measures to drain it off or use another product all together that may cost more but charging more for less sugar and less salt products is a conundrum to me.

You have to watch these guys too. I’ve noticed if they put in less salt they add more fat. Don’t they realize if a person has high blood pressure their cholesterol reading are more than likely also an issue?

I think the FDA needs to make stronger guidelines for the food industry. My husband is an unusual case. He’s had high numbers since he was in his early 30’s and has always ate right and been thin or at the right weight. People typically assume if you have these health conditions you must be big and don’t exercise. That’s not always true.

My biggest concern is for senior citizens on fixed incomes. Many of them have to watch these levels as well and can’t afford to buy the healthier products they need. It’s all they can do to buy their prescriptions much less high dollar food.

It shouldn’t cost us more to eat healthy.