Welcome to Just Add Lauren

If you are new around these parts, you may want to subscribe so that you won't miss anything! We have new posts added almost every day, so you never want to miss out on the new information and links available. You can Subscribe to Just add Lauren by email (once you click on the link, there is a little blue envelope that offers email delivery) or Follow in Google reader!

Please also remember to take our reader survey while you are here! I want to hear your comments and suggestions!


Salt Cravings

For a few weeks now, I have been trying (<---key term) to watch my sodium intake. Believe me, this is harder than it seems. I love salt. I eat salt on everything - eggs, pasta, even bagels (I like my butter saltier) and fruit (it's a Southern thing?) I could eat salt by itself. If I have one true food love, this would be it. As the Time article states - salt is like cocaine for you mouth - it makes everything your mouth encounters seem vivid and fun. I completely agree with this statement.

The other day, though, I stumbled upon an article about the downfalls of salt, and how we as a nation are eating way too much of it (along with everything else).  Time Magazine states that most people are consuming on average a teaspoon and a half of sodium per day - more than double the 1500mg we actually need.  However, they also say that only 11% of the salt that we consume comes from adding salt to our foods at the dinner table - the rest is already added in processed and packaged foods. FitSugar says that most people really don't grasp  how high the added sodium is in our packaged or restaurant food - for example two slices of pepperoni pizza contains about 1365mg of salt - almost your entire day's worth!

The FitSugar article goes on to state that excess sodium in your diet has been linked to an increase in blood pressure, which can put you at risk for heart problems and stroke. In addition, salt adds work for your kidneys, which can increase your risk of kidney disease and stomach cancer. Clearly, too much salt in our diet has grave consequences, and is something that should be looked at and possibly worked on  (although I am not agreeing that we should ban salt or force places to reduce their sodium as the Time article discusses. I am more stating that as individuals perhaps we should be responsible for monitoring our own salt intake).

So this article begged the question for me - if I don't eat as much processed foods as the "typical" American, am I okay to add salt to my food? Thinking that the measurement that they were comparing this abundance of salt to was a teaspoon and a half,  I'm not sure that I'm actually better off adding it since I tend to overdo it so much. However, perhaps I should approach it different and try to just "cut back" instead of cutting salt out completely. Since I really don't eat processed or packaged food very often, I know that I am not getting that added sodium. So maybe I am still allowed to add my salt....(please?!)

Do you have a salt weakness? What are your tips on trying to cut back? Do you have a great substitute for adding salt that you want to share? Please do! I want to hear your feedback!


  1. One way is by baking bread. 1 1/2 tsp of salt in an entire loaf. I rarely use salt in cooking (except French fries) and try to choose fresh over frozen or canned veggies (although I do use canned). Prepared foods are the worst culprits for salt and chemicals.

  2. I was wondering the same thing about salt. I never added salt to my food (well, not never, but rarely!) until I started on the new diet we're doing to see if we can help my daughter's ulcerative colitis. The intro diet consists of carrots, eggs, meat, unflavored gelatin (mixed with Welch's grape juice) and Welch's Grape Juice. I have been craving salt since starting as has my daughter. Makes me wonder if we were getting too much from any processed foods we ate. My husband hasn't been too thrilled about my daughter's discovery of salt, but I've been a little lenient during the intro diet stage since she's having to make such a huge adjustment to her eating habits. I hope by eating all-natural foods, we can indulge a bit with salt and not impact our health any more than we were pre-diet.

  3. Wow, I don't blame you for wanting to add a little salt to your life! That diet seems pretty bland! I do think its interesting about how much salt is in processed foods though - I would think if someone made a drastic change from processed foods to natural, whole foods they would probably crave salt in their diet because it would be such a difference. Maybe, like you said, since you are eating healthier now than before you can add a little salt and won't negatively impact your body. I wish the best for your daughter!