Pros and Cons of Reduced Salt Foods

Posted by Dana, Volunteer Mentor @danab, Apr 6 7:01pm

Just recently I was introduced to a Ham Product that appears to be a better choice to regular Cured Ham. I would love to hear comments on Uncured Ham. At first look it appears they use a vegetable-based spices to process them thus not requiring a heavy sodium curing process. I wonder what im missing is it a safer version of Ham that we in the transplant world can enjoy. Ham is one of the foods I gave up over 3 years ago and do miss it. So im asking thoughts on Un Cured Ham.

Hi Dana @danab, I don't eat much ham anymore but I too like it and look forward to special occasions when it's served. Bacon is another story 😋 I'm always game for bacon. I have always looked for the nitrate free, sodium free or organic/natural versions of the product and opt for them when available as I think they are just as good when cooked the way I like it. I found some easy to understand information about the difference between cured and uncured that might be helpful although it is done by a brand name product.

What is Uncured Ham, Really? : https://www.tenderbelly.com/blogs/foodie/what-is-uncured-ham-really

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@johnbishop

Hi Dana @danab, I don't eat much ham anymore but I too like it and look forward to special occasions when it's served. Bacon is another story 😋 I'm always game for bacon. I have always looked for the nitrate free, sodium free or organic/natural versions of the product and opt for them when available as I think they are just as good when cooked the way I like it. I found some easy to understand information about the difference between cured and uncured that might be helpful although it is done by a brand name product.

What is Uncured Ham, Really? : https://www.tenderbelly.com/blogs/foodie/what-is-uncured-ham-really

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Where do you find sodium free bacon. I am on a low sodium diet and would LOVE to be able to add bacon to my diet.

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@johnbishop

Hi Dana @danab, I don't eat much ham anymore but I too like it and look forward to special occasions when it's served. Bacon is another story 😋 I'm always game for bacon. I have always looked for the nitrate free, sodium free or organic/natural versions of the product and opt for them when available as I think they are just as good when cooked the way I like it. I found some easy to understand information about the difference between cured and uncured that might be helpful although it is done by a brand name product.

What is Uncured Ham, Really? : https://www.tenderbelly.com/blogs/foodie/what-is-uncured-ham-really

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@johnbishop
That’s interesting John. I don’t eat any ham but , like you, I love bacon and just always have to have it in the house. I have progressed from regular bacon to uncurled , sans nitrates, sodium etc. I just bought a package that said it was also sugar free. The ingredients are pork, water, sea salt and less than 2% cultured celery powder. Not labeled organic though.
Celery powder is used in curing but there seems to be a controversy about using it and still labeling the meat as uncurled. There seems to be little evidence that using celery is any healthier than using nitrites. More research is needed to determine if celery has different biological effects than nitrites. The FDA okayed bacon to be labeled uncured that includes celery powder but the purists and some consumer advocates want the uncured label removed if a product has the celery powder.

I usually don’t read the ingredients on bacon and go by the organic and nitrate free labels on the front. Sometimes you just can’t win lol.

But thanks for the article…another weapon in my quest for good healthy food.

FL Mary

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@wallyk @imallears – Sigh, I was equating salt free bacon with no nitrates…but I was mistaken. Now I have to do some more reading to see if I might need to learn a new way to make bacon.

"No, Nitrate-Free Bacon Is Not a Health Food. Though they're considered "diet-friendly," nitrate-free processed meats still should be eaten in moderation. Jan 13, 2021" — Is Nitrate-Free Bacon and Sausage Healthy? | Food Network: https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/news/is-nitrate-free-uncured-meat-healthy

Make your own salt free bacon 😋 – Salt-Free Bacon: https://www.doctoroz.com/recipe/salt-free-bacon
How To Make Low-Sodium Bacon at Home: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-low-sodium-bacon-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-218119

Or if you are like me and like quick and easy – 5 Best Bacon Brands at the Supermarket, and 3 to Avoid: https://www.eatthis.com/best-bacon/

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@johnbishop. Thanks for the link. Looks like Target's Market Pantry has the lowest sodium. I don't eat bacon regularly because of the fat and sodium, but I think I will give this a try for a BLT sandwich.

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@johnbishop

Hi Dana @danab, I don't eat much ham anymore but I too like it and look forward to special occasions when it's served. Bacon is another story 😋 I'm always game for bacon. I have always looked for the nitrate free, sodium free or organic/natural versions of the product and opt for them when available as I think they are just as good when cooked the way I like it. I found some easy to understand information about the difference between cured and uncured that might be helpful although it is done by a brand name product.

What is Uncured Ham, Really? : https://www.tenderbelly.com/blogs/foodie/what-is-uncured-ham-really

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@johnbishop actually it does sound better and that brand name is carried at my local safe way. It at least sounds healthier and when I was reading the label of a package my Daughter in law had it was like 450 my sodium for a serving which was not to bad on a rare occasion. I'll have to see what the different brands say next time im shopping.

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@johnbishop

@wallyk @imallears – Sigh, I was equating salt free bacon with no nitrates…but I was mistaken. Now I have to do some more reading to see if I might need to learn a new way to make bacon.

"No, Nitrate-Free Bacon Is Not a Health Food. Though they're considered "diet-friendly," nitrate-free processed meats still should be eaten in moderation. Jan 13, 2021" — Is Nitrate-Free Bacon and Sausage Healthy? | Food Network: https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/news/is-nitrate-free-uncured-meat-healthy

Make your own salt free bacon 😋 – Salt-Free Bacon: https://www.doctoroz.com/recipe/salt-free-bacon
How To Make Low-Sodium Bacon at Home: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-low-sodium-bacon-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-218119

Or if you are like me and like quick and easy – 5 Best Bacon Brands at the Supermarket, and 3 to Avoid: https://www.eatthis.com/best-bacon/

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@johnbishop
No way on earth I am making my own salt free bacon. I equate bacon to pizza and I will have it when I want it…not too often though.
I cook 6 or so slabs in the oven on parchment paper and just before they are crisp, take them out….drain and cool. Then I wrap in paper towel and put in plastic bag in fridge. Lasts a long time and when I am in the mood for bacon I microwave for about 30 seconds til crispy. Bacon is a beautiful thing and a BLT on whole grain bread is the bomb. And the smell of cooking bacon…..wow……Stick an avocado on the sandwich and it’s even better.
If I find a really good garden type tomato…there is nothing like a tomato sandwich with Mayo on toast.

Oh my…food I rarely eat but will if I wanna.

FL Mary

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@johnbishop

@wallyk @imallears – Sigh, I was equating salt free bacon with no nitrates…but I was mistaken. Now I have to do some more reading to see if I might need to learn a new way to make bacon.

"No, Nitrate-Free Bacon Is Not a Health Food. Though they're considered "diet-friendly," nitrate-free processed meats still should be eaten in moderation. Jan 13, 2021" — Is Nitrate-Free Bacon and Sausage Healthy? | Food Network: https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/news/is-nitrate-free-uncured-meat-healthy

Make your own salt free bacon 😋 – Salt-Free Bacon: https://www.doctoroz.com/recipe/salt-free-bacon
How To Make Low-Sodium Bacon at Home: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-low-sodium-bacon-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-218119

Or if you are like me and like quick and easy – 5 Best Bacon Brands at the Supermarket, and 3 to Avoid: https://www.eatthis.com/best-bacon/

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Thanks. I'm definitely NOT making my own bacon but Smithfield seems like a reasonable option if I feel the need to "splurge". Thank you for doing the research.

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@wallyk
Smithfield is a very good brand and my brand of choice if I am not at an organic market or someplace like Whole Foods or Aldi (our Aldi has a nice choice of organic and grass fed options). It is also a good tasting bacon.

FL Mary

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