Well, another week on the low-salt train is well undrway, and with it another another couple of pounds have already been shed. Eating low-salt is slowly becoming more natural, i.e. I’m almost intuitively aware of where the salt is hiding and find it easier to make low-salt choices without having to check the label (mind you, when eating low-salt you don’t eat too much that comes in a package!).
Today I went to the large health-food store not far from home; looking for sheep’s milk for my next yogurt batch. I didn’t find the milk, but I did find a large container of sheep’s milk yogurt (for close to $9).
While in the store, I perused the various aisles groaning with “healthful” alternatives to all the normal stuff you find in a grocery store, such as ketchup, mustard, baking mixes, salad dressings, prepared foods, soups, tofu burgers, etc. What floored me was that these purportedly better choices are choked with salt and sugar substitutes. The only thing different about them is that they use “natural” thickeners such as guar gum, locust bean gum, etc. (but interestingly enough, many mainstream producers have switched to these also). One huge difference is the price; the healthful stuff being substantially more expensive.
While I have no cravings and always feel quite comfortable, I have noticed a degree of psychological agitation and even some mental lethargy. This, I surmise, is because I have seriously curtailed my ability to use food for soothing the daily stresses of life, and have yet to find a substitute that can make up for it (I don’t smoke, drink to excess, gamble, or use recreational drugs).
It brings to mind the sad reality of the major side-effect of all the new drugs intended to block the gratification from addictive substances and activities such as food, smoking, alcohol, etc: Suicide. You may recall the withdrawal from the market a couple of years ago of Accomplia, the long-awaited drug that targets the receptors for food satisfaction. While highly effective at enabling weight loss, the drug also had a tendency to induce suicidal acts in some users.
It turns out we need our crutches and removing them makes life a lot tougher for some. And above all, food is the only addictive substance for which we are genetically hard-wired.