EEF33646-832E-47C7-9329-A006153AD436 Avocado | Baghdad By The Bay

Posts Tagged 'avocado'

Salt, Salt Everywhere

Well like most people my age, I’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure. This actually came about twelve years ago and they gave me a pill and everything was fine. I was back down to 120/70 like I was as a kid. Then a few weeks ago something happened. It popped back up again. I couldn’t figure it out until I visited my doctor recently.

While there are many things that can cause your blood pressure to go up one of the main things they tell you about when you do have high blood pressure is to limit your salt intake. Since we don’t have a lot of money at the moment, we’ve been having to purchase more packaged foods which suddenly after looking more closely I’ve notice have high amounts of sodium in them. While we all know that salt is bad we’ve been keeping a look at it and I’m getting a little over two grams a day of salt. What I haven’t been getting is enough potassium. We in California seem to think that we are the top of the top for healthy eating, but we sometimes run into problems with that. If you look at some of the people who live in the rural parts of California where fast food is what they call breakfast, lunch and dinner because they’re too lazy to cook, you’re gonna see quite a few obese people out there.

Studies have shown that while our caveman ancestors didn’t have access to salt and being hunter/gatherers lived on diets high in fruits and vegetables with a little meat that this was a good way to get potassium which flushes sodium from your system. I realized I hadn’t been eating as many potassium rich foods as I used to and that is probably where the problem is.

I started with the number one great source of potassium, a banana. I have one every day with breakfast and get 448mg of potassium with that. Potatoes are an even better source so we have potatoes a couple of times a week. A good sized potato will give you 1.6gm’s of potassium. Still not enough since the average human needs around 3.7gms a day of potassium. This lead me to a bag of potato chips to have a look.

First off a serving [depending on brand] has about 115mg’s of sodium, but around 480mg’s of potassium. My doctor always told me to stay away from them because of all the saturated fat and cholesterol, but oddly enough a serving only has .5gm saturated fat and 0 cholesterol, so if you’re going for a junk food, potato chips are that bad. We’ll be going for the  low salt chips now for snacking. I seriously think that many doctor’s should take a look at the labels of foods before they speak out against them. Yes, potato chips are probably not very healthy, but when you compare a handful of potato chips to a granola bar you might be surprised. Granola bars or more accurately, power bars are really just a souped up candy bar with oats. Some have over 7 gm’s of saturated fat and loads of high fructose corn syrup not to mention electrolytes which oddly enough favor sodium over potassium or magnesium. Because of this, a small power bar can be upwards of 200 calories, while a serving of chips will hit you with about 150 while giving you 3.75 times as much potassium to help flush the salt from your system which aggravates high blood pressure. While I haven’t had time to try them there is a brand of unsalted chips that has only 5mg per serving giving you 88 times the potassium to salt ratio.

So how am I faring with the higher in potassium diet? Middle of last week my blood pressure was at 158/99, after adding in potatoes and bananas and english peas [great source of protein and good amount of potassium] I’m down to 130/83. Not perfect, but much better and I don’t have to take any supplements, this is all from natural foods.

Now, don’t expect me to start giving up meat and becoming a total vegan, but I am going to start eating better and maybe once a month I’ll splurge on a burger, hopefully I can get some sliced avocado on it [which has three times the potassium of a banana and tons of more nutrients as well as high in the healthy mono-unsaturated fats that build your good cholesterol and fight your bad cholesterol]. I don’t want to be like the Who and hope I die before I get old. I’m already kind of pushing towards the old they were talking about way back when, but I want to look fabulous when I’m in my 90’s and not like a shaking, withered up prune.

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Andronico’s: The Foodie’s Grocery Store

I’ve always said that some day I want to have a job where I can make enough money that I could shop only at Andronico’s. That doesn’t mean I would only shop there, but this is the store that has the biggest selection of foods that you won’t find at your local Safeway or Lucky’s and to top it off the quality of their foods are much higher than at regular chain grocers.

The outside is fairly plain and unassuming, but when you walk in from the street you get this kind of heaven’s opening, angel’s singing kind of feeling and you’re just looking at the produce, but the way it looks even a die hard carnivore would want to dive into it.

Make a right turn and you get to see their serve it yourself take out area where they have the usually comfort foods of fried chicken and mashed potatoes mixed in with ribs, thai curries, indian curries, soup and more. Whoever planned this layout deserves a medal because the smell of food that surrounds you just makes you salivate and want to eat.

They have a special cheese section across from the wonderful deli where a cheese specialist can match you up with the right cheese for any occasion. The deli is no slouch either. They’ve to top shelf deli meats, handmade sandwiches on ciabatta rolls and caviar out on display. Yep, this will cost you. Not in a Whole Foods kind of way, but it’s still a couple of bucks more than the major chains.

I have to say though that it’s worth it. I’ve been to Molly Stone’s and Whole Foods and while they’re nice, they’re small and usually crowded with hipsters. Andronico’s is big so they get to carry a lot of stuff and when you’re walking around the aisles it’s kind of like a treasure hunt to see what new you’ll find there. They have what seems like hundreds of different types of olive oil as well as other oils I never knew existed [cold pressed organic avocado oil anyone?] Expect to see labels with words like organic, artisinal, free range all over the place.

The spices and sauces aisles are mind boggling. I didn’t know there were that many different types of salt. I knew about french grey salt, hawaiian salt, but I stopped counting after finding salts from over 15 different countries. If you like hot sauces you’ve got a huge selection with Ass in Space being an interesting name for a hot sauce.

So what do you get for this higher price? Space. No one’s pushing you around or the people at my local store who I want to scream WALK DON’T BLOCK at who need ten minutes to decide which can of condensed milk they want to buy. You get top quality meats and produce [which the produce lately at the major chains has been severely lacking.] You get clerks and checkers that remember you and that English is a first language. Every time I go in there Bobby in the meat department still remembers me when I had hair down to my waist and he always asks how Becca is doing. The people are friendly who work there without the smugness that they work in a gourmet food center like two other places I’ve mentioned.

Andronico’s is one of the few markets where I can casually walk around at ease without feeling like I’m in a Soviet era store where people are fighting over the food. Check them out please and be sure to tell them I sent you.

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