09 October 2010

A Healthier Salt Alternative For Our Favorite Dishes

by Toni Tiu

Having a warm bowl of soup on a rainy day is always comforting. One of my favorite comfort foods is miswa noodle soup. I like my miswa with patola (sponge gourd), but recently our family has been enjoying the noodles with kalabasa (squash). It’s a simple dish that’s big on comfort and vitamin A.

I recently wrote about PANSALT® , a healthier salt alternative. PANSALT® looks like common salt, has the texture of common salt and tastes like common salt. It is however lower in sodium and rich in magnesium, potassium and iodine. We tried it on this comfort dish to see if it would yield the same flavor. The verdict? Our miswa soup with kalabasa was just as delicious.

In my head it was even more delicious because we had seasoned it in a healthier way.

Miswa Soup with Kalabasa (Squash)
 2 bunches of miswa noodles
3 slices of squash, roughly chopped (around 2 cups)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cups water(or less, depends on how thick you want your soup to be)
¼ kilo ground pork (you can omit this for a vegetarian option)
1 tbsp oil
PANSALT® to taste
pepper to taste

Heat oil. Saute onions and garlic until translucent. Stir in ground pork and cook till almost brown. Add water and bring to a boil. Add squash and cook until tender. Add miswa noodles, stirring constantly so the strands separate. Season with pepper and PANSALT® to taste. Serve hot. 

We also tried
PANSALT® on fried fish, a good companion to this light yet filling soup.
Instead of rock salt, the tilapia was seasoned with PANSALT® prior to frying. Upon tasting the fried fish, I was happy to learn that it was just as appetizing.    

Why are we so conscious about our seasoning? I recently shared that my husband and I are trying to be more proactive in having healthy lifestyles. High common salt intake usually results to hypertension and other health problems. My friends and relatives who have hypertension take maintenance drugs that are expensive, and they have to drink the medicine for life. Their experiences are part of the motivation my husband and I want to live more healthily. We have become more aware of how we eat, and this definitely includes how we season our food. Investing in good ingredients that promote a healthy lifestyle is worth it.

Learning about a healthier salt alternative appealed to us, and we were excited to give it a whirl. After trying PANSALT® on some of our favorite everyday dishes, it looks like we have got a new mainstay in the kitchen pantry.

PANSALT® is a product of Finland, so I am glad that it’s available locally. It is available in selected outlets of Mercury Drug, Landmark supermarkets, Rustan’s supermarket and many other major supermarkets. 

Here’s to healthier meals with healthier seasonings! 

Learn more about PANSALT® from their website: http://www.pansalt.ph.  

07 October 2010

Finding A Healthier Salt Alternative

by Toni Tiu

My husband and I have been on a healthy eating kick lately. We are trying to be healthier parents for our toddler. Today it’s about catching up with the baby as he learns to walk, and tomorrow it’s about staying strong for him even in our old age.

Our last physical check-up yielded normal results, but we knew we could still live healthier. A big chunk of living healthy is eating healthy. Given that, my husband and I have cut soft drinks out of our diet. While I’m cutting down on my rice intake, my husband is now a salad convert. We’ve said our goodbyes to table liquid seasoning. I thought we would find the transition difficult, but I’m pleasantly surprised we’ve been quite successful at it. Neither one of us is cranky too.

I think it helps a lot that there are a lot of healthier options in the market now. Before, diets meant cardboard-tasting crackers and bland-tasting slimming drinks. Now, you can savor good food without the guilt. I believe a lot of it comes with good planning and carefully assessing your ingredients. Eating healthy does take more effort but it goes without saying that it sure pays off better.

PANSALT®, a healthier salt alternative, was something we were both interested in upon learning about it from a friend. We still love big flavors in our food, but we were pretty concerned about the dishes’ salt content. We read up on PANSALT® and learned that it’s a low-sodium mineral salt with iodine, magnesium and potassium. It’s a product of Finland, but distributed locally too. Excited about this healthier salt, we bought a box from Mercury Drug. Initially we thought it was pricey, but we decided to treat it as an investment in good health.

One favorite treat of ours is a bowl of diced pineapples sprinkled with salt. We did the same drill with PANSALT®,  dusting the fruit with the same amount of  PANSALT® as we would have with regular salt. To my relief, it tasted just like regular salt with no metallic or bitter aftertaste. Surprisingly, it had the same bold flavor of regular salt. Needless to say, my husband and I were excited that we could still enjoy our flavorful dishes with a healthier salt alternative which contains only 56-57% Sodium Chloride.

I love it when I find a product that’s a great fit with my family’s lifestyle. My husband and I are looking forward to trying PANSALT® on our favorite dishes. Right now I’m thankful that we have a healthier salt option and that we can enjoy our favorite savory dishes with less guilt!

Learn more about PANSALT® from their website: http://www.pansalt.ph.

06 October 2010

Salt Also Drives Obesity

Obesity and diabetes are two tightly interlinked conditions that almost always cannot exist without each other. Weight and fat gain, a high-salt and –sugar diet, and a sluggish lifestyle could all conspire to raise the levels of blood glucose and blood fat. Such conditions in turn raise health risks that, if untreated, could lead to more serious physical problems, among them type-2 diabetes.

Health-indicator statistics of the Department of Health rank diabetes as the ninth-leading cause of death in the Philippines, affecting 1 out of 25 Filipinos. Some 3.36 million Filipinos are estimated to be afflicted with diabetes, which is a chronic disease characterized by high blood-sugar levels resulting from defects in the body’s ability to use and produce insulin. 

While the link between obesity and diabetes has long been established, recent findings have traced the relationship between salt intake and obesity. In a recently published report in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, scientists from Finland claimed that the increased intake of salt has apparently played an important role in the increased consumption of soft drinks, and therefore in the increase of energy intake.

Dr. Heikki Karppanen of the University of Helsinki and Dr. Eero Mervaala of the University of Kuopio wrote, “Higher consumption of sweetened beverages was associated with both a greater magnitude of weight gain and an increased risk for development of type-2 diabetes.”

The groundbreaking research also noted the worldwide trend in the increase of age-adjusted blood pressure since the late 1980s. This increase, wrote the authors, “appears to coincide with the turn of the sales of food-grade salt from a decreasing trend to a rapid increase in the later 1980s and in the 1990s.” The study adds that increasing intakes of sodium found in common salt necessarily produce a progressive increase in thirst; and between 1997 and 2001, the energy intake from soft drinks also increased by 135 percent, adding about 278 kcal to the average person’s daily energy intake.  

Common salt contains only sodium chloride, which is known to be the most significant cause of high blood pressure. Even a small rise in blood pressure increases the risk for coronary and other serious cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks, strokes or heart failure. It is a medical fact that the human body needs only very small amounts of both sodium and chloride.

The Finnish research drives home the relationship between salt and calorie intake that could lead to obesity and other health problems. But while people cannot live without these flavors, their consumption could be moderated to healthier levels. There are also healthier options now widely available, so while it’s not yet too late to switch to more health-conscious ways, it would be wise to explore healthy forms of sugar and salt.

Where to start after one has identified that sodium is the hidden enemy in common salt? So-called salt-free seasoning blends are a mixture of flavorful dried herbs and spices that don’t contain sodium chloride. Salt substitutes, on the other hand, replace some or all of the sodium in salt with other minerals such as potassium or magnesium. Potassium chloride is a common salt substitute. But salt substitutes, or some low-sodium salts, often taste bitter and aren’t recommended for people on a potassium-restricted diet.

Fortunately in the Philippines, there’s no need to go out further in search of healthy salt. PANSALTâ, the good-tasting, low-sodium salt has been enjoying brisk sales in Metro Manila.  Imported from Finland and distributed exclusively by Accord International, Inc., PANSALTâ is the healthy mineral salt with Iodine that contains only 56-57% sodium, and is the product of extensive research by Finnish health experts. PANSALTâ is likewise rich in the essential minerals Magnesium and Potassium, both of which help get rid of harmful sodium in the body. PANSALTâ has further been found to remarkably improve the therapeutic effects of treatment drugs for hypertension. In addition, its component Magnesium plays a vital role in the secretion and function of insulin, making it very beneficial for those suffering from diabetes and its complications.   

PANSALTâ is virtually devoid of the harmful effects characteristic of common salt and has the best taste profile among all the healthy salt options and alternatives in the market today. So if you watch your diet to avoid or manage hypertension, diabetes or obesity, or if you simply wish to maintain a healthy lifestyle, PANSALTâ is the tastier, healthier choice.

Imported by Accord International, Inc., PANSALTâ is now available in major supermarkets nationwide & in select Mercury Drugstores.

For more information, visit www.pansalt.ph or call (632) 531-4881.