Buyer Beware

Somehow the fall always seems to be such a busy time of year both at work and at home. All of those projects that were put on hold over the summer come back with a vengeance when the cooler weather hits, and this year it’s all about salt! It seems that everything I read lately is warning me about the health risks of too much sodium in the diet. From high blood pressure to kidney stones, sodium is being pointed to as a risk factor in a number of chronic diseases. More than ever before I am seeing low sodium, sodium reduced and salt free products in the stores. As I look at each product, I am reminded of the slogan: “buyer beware”. Some of these products are not all they’re cracked up to be!

When reading labels, always check the ingredients list. Often a low salt product will use potassium chloride to replace the flavour of sodium chloride. This potassium chloride (KCl) can be dangerous for people who have kidney disease. Another ingredient to watch out for is “phosphate” additives. These have many names but you’ll recognize the “PHOS” in the name (examples are: sodium phosphate, phosphoric acid). Phosphate additives are often found at the end of the ingredients list and should be avoided.

The kidney diet can be frustrating and complicated. Sometimes the best message is simply to choose fresh and unprocessed foods as much as possible.

Every autumn my family ventures out to one of our local apple orchards to pick a bushel of apples. My children love to eat apples that they picked themselves! And for several weeks we have everything from apple muffins to apple pancakes to try to use them all up. So here’s another apple recipe to enjoy!

Apple-Cranberry Cake (serves 12)
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup yogurt (plain)
1 cup cranberries
2 apples (peeled and sliced)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 10″ cake pan with parchment. Beat butter and sugar together.  Add eggs one at a time. Alternate adding sifted dry ingredients and yogurt. Spread half of batter in cake pan. Arrange cranberries on top and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Spread remaining batter over top. Arrange apple slices and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Recipe developed by Chef Leslie Cairns

One thought on “Buyer Beware

  1. Mmmmm sounds so good going to make it with my daughter. My husband has had 2 kidney transplants and both have failed so being on dialysis is hard to cook for a sick husband and still keep my daughter and i happy with food. Glad i found this website. Thankyo

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