11 Reasons to Choose Fresh Foods, and a Few Reasons Not To

Happy New Year! This is an update of a post originally published December 23, 2011. A friend was wondering whether it was bad to eat soy patties for lunch every day. This led to a discussion of ingredient lists on packages and concerns about processed food. We’ve all been told to choose home-cooked foods over […]

What Your Kitchen Counter Can Tell You about Your Weight

Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, has been covertly watching people’s eating habits for the last 25 years. In an interview with Anna Maria Tremonte of CBC’s the current, available as a podcast, he argued that there are more effective ways to change people’s eating habits than dieting. In his book, […]

How to Cook Without Using Fat

Fats and oils are an essential part of the human diet, and help make foods tasty.  But with some medical conditions, or before certain procedures, it’s necessary to eat foods with very little or no fat content. You may have to completely avoid butter, oil, and margarine. You may also not be able to have sesame paste, peanut butter, […]

More Tips on Cooking with a Disability or Injury

The Kitchn contacted me for tips on cooking with disabilities in light of my post, Ten Tips for Cooking with a Disability or Injury.  Since only a few were featured, I am sharing the rest with you. The Kitchn: Can you tell me about your mother’s disability, and how you had to step in to help? […]

Tips for Switching Your Family to a Diabetic Diet (Or Another Special Diet)

When Scott signed up for an email subscription to Cooking Manager, he mentioned that he was looking for tips on cooking for his diabetic wife. I wrote to ask him what he usually cooked, and he replied: “Pasta dishes, sandwiches, sandwiches, meat and potatoes, ice cream, cookies, everything that I should not because I loved […]

Vegan Response to Dangers of a Vegan Diet

Vegan blogger Rena Reich was surprised when I asked her for an interview, because I had just written about the bad experiences of well-known vegan blogger Tasha. Her interview will appear on Monday, but in the meantime she responded to my post, Dangers of a Vegan Diet. I feel very badly for Tasha. I can […]

Dangers of a Vegan Diet?

Veganism, a diet containing no animal-based foods including meat, fish, dairy or eggs, is a growing trend.You can find vegan recipes for just about anything including Thanksgiving turkey. Environmentalists like veganism too. But this week, a popular vegan blogger stopped being a vegan. Tasha of Voracious Eats was always careful to take iron and Vitamin […]

Jamie Oliver: Teach Ten Recipes to Every Child

Chef Jamie Oliver gives a powerful talk on reversing the decline in healthy eating and the alarming rise in obesity. In one clip, he demonstrates how American schoolchildren can’t identify a tomato or a potato, much less beets or broccoli. His vision for America involves teaching every child about food, and teaching children and families ten simple, healthy recipes that they can cook at home. Well worth twenty minutes of your time.

6 Easy Tips to Help You Eat Less Salt

The USDA recommends that all adults consume no more than 2300 mg. of sodium a day. That’s one measly teaspoon of salt. Middle-aged and older adults, blacks, and those with hypertension (high blood pressure) or pre-hypertension should limit salt even more, to 1500 milligrams daily. The reason? Eating too much salt puts you at higher risk for heart disease.

Salt is essential for our diets, but most of us eat much more than we need. The average daily intake in the US is 3436 milligrams. And more than half of Americans have hypertension or prehypertension.

People who often eat in restaurants, or rely on canned or processed foods, probably eat too much salt. Learning to cook with less salt may be easier than you think. My husband learned this after we had been married for a while. Foods that he used to enjoy suddenly tasted too salty. According to this article from the Center for Disease Control: “A randomized trial showed that the perceived pleasantness of highly salted food was based on dietary habit and that this perception could be changed by gradual reduction of dietary intake of sodium.”

But eating less salt doesn’t mean giving up on tasty food. Here are some ideas for home cooks who want to lower the amount of sodium in food.

Mark Bittman on Eating Meat

In this video, Mark Bittman explains that the most important thing we can do to help the environment—more than eating locally, organically, or whatever—is to eat less meat. According to Bittman the USDA requirements are influenced by the dairy and beef industry, are way too high. Adults only need 1/2 pound of meat a week, […]