Archive for the ‘Heart’ Tag

Salt Of The Ego

Researchers in the US have said salt acts as an anti-depressant and the resultant feel good factor could be why we are addicted to a substance that, in excess, is linked to heart disease. The body needs about two grams of salt a day but the recommended daily intake is double that, and most people in Britain consume ten grams a day. The biggest contributor to this high level of intake being processed and snack foods. Even the TV chefs add copious amounts to their cooking claiming ‘it helps bring out the flavour’.

High salt intake is known to increase blood pressure, is considered as a risk factor for osteoporosis and is thought to be linked to stomach cancer. The taste buds can become accustom to high levels of salt, making food taste bland and starting a vicious circle of a continuing increasing salt intake. I firmly believe adding salt to food is unnecessary. In the vast majority of cases all it dose is make food taste salty. If you stop using salt completely you quickly regain the ability to taste food in its natural state.

I rarely add salt when cooking, and when I do its purpose is to balance the taste of an over sweet sauce. Until this winter there was a carton of sea salt in the larder that had probably been bought more than ten years ago, it was sprinkled on the front path to clear the ice. People who come for dinner never complain about the lack of seasoning and I never put the cruet on the dinning table. I want everyone to taste and comment on the food as I have created it, not adulterate it with salt and pepper.


Drink To Thine Heart And Something Else

Science has long proved that a drink a day will keep the doctor away. As you down that drink under the disapproving gaze of a bystander you can say, ‘I’m doing it for my health’. Having watched the imbibing habits of 40,000 men (why no women?) over 12 years researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that of those men who drink moderate amounts of alcohol 35% are less likely to have a heart attack. What all this drinking did to their livers was not reported.

But now the tables have turned. New research suggests moderate drinking can increase your risk of getting cancer. Cancer Research UK scientists suggest consuming just one drink a day causes an extra 7,000 cancer cases each year, and mostly breast cancer women. So men can drink to help their hearts, but women must abstain. It will do wonders for relationships as there will be no more arguments over who is to be the designated driver. I’m drinking for my own and your health dear; the gallant men of Britain will cry.

Personally, I don’t care if drinking has or does not have health giving properties. Life is too short to miss out on the enjoyment of good beer, wine and spirits, in moderation of course. I believe the secret to a good life can be found in the words of Ben Jonnson’s poem drink to me only with thine eyes. Humans are not solitary creatures and being part of a loving relationship is the best way to a happy life.