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  1. Salt tastes good, but is bad for your health if you eat too much of it. Use it moderately and be creative when looking for alternatives.

    You probably think that dishes without salt do not have a lot of taste. Guess again. When you’re cooking or ready to start eating, first taste before you add some (more) salt. And if you still want to add some flavour, there are various alternatives.

    Choose the right food
    Nature offers us a lot of food that doesn’t need any salt to taste good. Whole grains (rice, pasta, bulgur, quinoa, corn) have a lot more taste than their refined versions. Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, white beans) flavoured with shallots or garlic are also delicious, even without salt.

     

    source: http://healthycheapandsimple.weebly.com/breads-rice-pasta–casseroles–other-grains.html

     

    Spices
    Spices such as coriander, parsley or chervil add flavour to warm and cold dishes. If you add them at the end of the preparation, they come out even better.

     

    Seasonal vegetables and fruits
    In general, seasonal vegetables and fruits have more flavour. Chicory, celery, leek, cabbage, fennel, pepper are all tasty vegetables that can go without salt. Moreover, Delhaize offers a wide range of low-salt products: canned vegetables and fish, rice waffles, meat, sodium-low salt…

    Source: http://olharfeliz.typepad.com/cuisine/2008/02/bruschetta-de-p.html

     

    Good to know
    To know how much salt a product contains, check the label and multiply the amount of sodium by 2.5.

     

    Bon appétit!

     

    This article was initially published in Belgium’s Delhaize Magazine of February-March 2014.
    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  2. Fairtrade. Fair trade. The name says it all. It’s all about keeping trade fair so that the people producing our food are rewarded for their though labor. It’s about a better life for millions of farmers in third world countries, including their families. Buying Fairtrade products allows you to directly contribute to better life and work circumstances of farmers around the world.

    Delhaize Belgium is a true Fairtrade supporter. Delhaize was the first supermarket in Belgium to include Fairtrade products in the product range over 20 years ago and nowadays it continues to be market leader as far as the sales of those products are concerned. More than 120 fair and delicious products are waiting for the clients. Did you know that the range of products goes a lot wider than coffee and bananas? Fruit shakes, sugar, chocolate paste, candy, beans… Name it and chances are you can find a Fairtrade alternative available.

    Sometimes though, it’s not so easy to convince shoppers to buy Fairtrade products. People are aware of the existence of Fairtrade products, but often they do not really know why they should buy them. Time to take action according to 4 AD Delhaize stores in Belgium (AD Delhaize stores are affiliated supermarkets operated by independent owners; these stores are similar but on average smaller than the company operated Delhaize supermarkets).

    The 4 stores set up a fun action to promote Fairtrade products during the Fairtrade week that takes place every year during the fall. They decided to give their clients the possibility to discover the products thanks to numerous tastings and promotions organized in the stores. Check the video (in French and Dutch only) to see how enthusiastically they handled it: DELHAIZE – Fair Trade.

    You might wonder what the Fairtrade label exactly promises. Well, the Fairtrade trademark is built upon 3 important pillars: 

    Economical: the farmers are paid an honest price. Their income becomes more stable, they have the possibility to pre-finance and they get a Fair Trade premium for joint investments that are beneficial for the community.

    Social: the farmers are united in democratic organizations that help them to stand stronger in the market. Social rights are respected, child labor is being tackled… all thanks to Fair Trade.

    Environment: dangerous pesticides and Genitically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are forbidden, farmers have to respect nature and find durable solutions.

     

    Are you charmed by the Fairtrade philosophy? That’s great news! Every Fairtrade product you buy contributes to a better world. If lots of people like us take lots of small steps towards a more fair trade, who knows what we can accomplish in the future!

  3. Remember the Guiding Stars®?  It’s not the first time that we talk about this powerful food rating system on our blog. The stars can help you navigate supermarket aisles and choose foods based on the nutritional value.

    • One Guiding Star indicates good nutritional value
    • Two Guiding Stars indicate better nutritional value
    • Three Guiding Stars indicate the best nutritional value

    If you’d like to know more about the detailed scientific way of calculating the number of stars, we invite you to check this document.

    Written in the stars

    So why are we talking stars again? In fact, a recent study in the journal Food Policy proves that the Guiding Stars® rating program does affect supermarket shopper’s selections, while significantly boosting the demand for products that are evaluated as more nutritious. The independent research was conducted in our Hannaford supermarkets. This means that food rating systems can indeed positively influence consumer purchasing behavior. And that’s great news! It means that the Guiding Stars® are reaching their goals.

    So there is every reason to continue the Guiding Stars® program and kick off new initiatives. One of those initiatives is called “Guiding Stars Good Ideas”.  The program places small displays throughout the stores that feature a simple, healthy, inexpensive recipe idea.

    Julie Greene, Hannaford’s Healthy Living Director, knows why these Good Ideas are appreciated: “Shoppers say they want to make changes to the way they eat, but they are time starved, or they don’t know how to cook healthy foods, or think they cost too much. The ‘Good Ideas’ initiative shows them that cooking a healthy dish doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.”

    A 3 star meal

    Talking about stars is one thing, tasting them is even better! That’s why we’d like to share this 3-star recipe with you. This cranberry orange sauce tastes delicious and it has great nutritional value. A nice little extra is that it’s ready in 10 minutes. So here we go!

    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
    1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    Zest of 1 medium orange, grated
    1 pinch ground ginger
    1 pinch cinnamon
    1 cloves
    2 teaspoons Splenda ( = sweetener) brown sugar blend

    How to do the magic:
    1. Heat all ingredients until the simmering point is reached on a medium heat.
    2. Use a large spoon or potato masher and press down on the cranberries to squash them all.
    3. Heat for around 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken up.
    4. Allow to cool and remove clove before serving.

     

    Bon appétit!

     

  4. They belong to the same family as the paprika. However, whereas paprikas are mostly eaten as vegetables, peppers are especially used as spices. A good idea to get warm when temperatures drop. Some peppers are quite soft, others are spicy or even hot. Below a list starting with the hottest.

    www.cayennepepper.info

    Mixed mini peppers
    These little red and green peppers can be used in sauces, marinades, chili con carne, Indian curries and wok dishes. The little seeds are the spiciest.

    Green peppers
    These green peppers are specially imported from Turkey. They are often used to flavor a salad, meat, pizza or appetizers.

    Pepper puree
    This is a puree that, apart from its name, has nothing to do with puree. It is used to flavor grills, couscous, tajines, fajitas and tacos, but daredevils also spread it on a slice of toasted bread or eat it with grissini. Hot!

    Cayenne pepper
    This pepper is named after a city in Guyana. Cayenne pepper has a strong nutmeg smell and a burning taste. Perfect with fish and seafood.

    Piri piri capsules
    These dried capsules are ideal to prepare spicy oil. How? By letting them soak in olive oil for about 1 month. Ideal to flavor pastas, pizzas, etc.

    Ground piri piri
    Piri piri or pili pili is a red pepper of African origin. Pili pili means ‘strong pepper’ in Bantu and in other languages south from the Sahara.

    Piment d’Espelette
    The peppers’ star, as it is the only pepper to have its own AOC (Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée). It is grown in the Basque Country and has an intense flavor palette, but is not too spicy. Use it to flavor your dishes. It can also replace pepper.

    Red peppers in a jar
    A real classic as a side dish or first course with some garlic, anchovy or olives.

    Fresh red pepper
    Fresh red pepper is grown in different places all over the world, but especially in warm regions. Its shape, size and even spiciness are determined by the variety and the cultivation region (Spain, Morocco, South America, etc.). It is used fresh to flavor dishes, or is preserved in oil or vinegar.

     

    What to do when your mouth is on fire?
    In any case, do not call the fire brigade, because water does not take away the burning sensation. Capsaicin, that gives peppers their spicy flavor, does not dissolve in water, but in fat. Drink some milk, eat some yoghurt or cheese, in other words nutrients that contain oil or fat. You can also eat rice: capsaicin attaches itself to rice, which makes the burning sensation disappear…

    www.badtzmarucy831.wordpress.com

     

    This article was initially published in Belgium’s Delhaize Magazine of October-November 2013.
    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  5.  

    Do you think that composing your plate with different colors is a crazy thing? Well, not that much. Fruits and vegetables owe a lot of virtues to their colors. Short review.

    The color of the fruits and vegetables comes from pigments. These pigments protect them against predators. They prove to have the same protective effect on our cells against free radicals, which can damage our health when too numerous. To counter the effect of those free radicals (sun, pollution…), we have to eat colors. Devouring with the eyes and cheering up our plates with colors is not only good for our mood, but also for our health: what is beautiful on the outside will make you feel good on the inside. From now on, think about varying colors in all your meals by adding fruits and vegetables.

    www.delhaize.be – Translation: VARY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. IT’S HEALTHY.
     

     

    Yellow/orange-colored
    The typical orange color of the carrots comes from beta-carotenes. They contribute to preserve a good sight.

    www.delhaize.be - Translation: COLOR YOUR MEALS, IT’S GOOD FOR HEALTH

     

    Red
    The pigments of the beets play a part in the fight against the aging-process; those of the cranberry are recognized to prevent urinary infections and studies show that those of the tomatoes (lycopenes) have a beneficial action on the prostate.

    www.delhaize.be - Translation: COLOR YOUR MEALS, IT’S GOOD FOR HEALTH

    Tip: The colored substances of carrots and tomatoes have a greater effect when these vegetables are eaten cooked or cut in pieces. Think about tomato sauces for pastas or grated or steamed carrots to get the best out of them.

     

    Blue/violet
    The anthocyanins of the blueberries or eggplants act like red pigments and play a preventive role against some diseases related to the aging-process.

    www.delhaize.be - Translation: COLOR YOUR MEALS, IT’S GOOD FOR HEALTH

     

    Green
    The green color of the crops typically comes from chlorophyll. This antioxidant also contains magnesium, an anti-fatigue that makes you feel good.

    www.delhaize.be - Translation: COLOR YOUR MEALS, IT’S GOOD FOR HEALTH

     

    White/grey
    What about white vegetables? They have no colored pigment but still may be of interest. Garlic, for instance, contains allicin, excellent for blootipfitclub.com

     

     

    Blue, red, yellow, orange… Make you feel good: compose your meals while taking full advantage of the nature’s gifts. Enjoy!

     

     

    This article was initially published in Belgium’s Delhaize Magazine of June-July 2013.
    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  6. High cholesterol is one of those health problems that can creep up on you. You can’t feel it and you can’t always see it. In fact, you could be going about your business, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, until one day you go to the doctor, and find out your cholesterol is too high.

    Thankfully you can easily decrease your cholesterol level by making a few diet adjustments. But first, let’s learn more about cholesterol.

     

    What is cholesterol?

    Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver and other cells and found in certain foods, such as food from animals, like dairy products, eggs, and meat.

    The body needs some cholesterol in order to function properly. Its cell walls, or membranes, need cholesterol in order to produce hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help to digest fat. But the body needs only a limited amount of cholesterol to meet its needs. When too much is present health problems such as heart disease may develop.

    http://www.bethel30.com/cholesterol-c-27.html

     

    How Much Cholesterol Is Too Much?

    Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol levels measured at least once every five years. Doctors recommend that total cholesterol stays below 200. Here is the breakdown:

    Total Cholesterol Category
    Less than 200 mg/dL Desirable
    200 – 239 mg/dL Borderline High
    240 mg/dL and above High

     

    How Can I Lower My Cholesterol?

    Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise can help lower the level of cholesterol in your blood.
    Adopting healthy habits, such as eating a healthy balanced diet and exercising, will also help to prevent your cholesterol levels from becoming high in the first place.

     

    Low-cholesterol Recipes

    Here are two recipes that help preventing or lowering your level of Cholesterol:

    Turkey, Corn & Sun-Dried Tomato Wraps

    http://www.bethel30.com/cholesterol-c-27.html

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Makes: 4 servings

    Ingredients
    1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
    1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
    1/4 cup chopped soft sun-dried tomatoes
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
    8 thin slices low-sodium deli turkey (about 8 ounces)
    4 whole-wheat tortillas
    2 cups chopped romaine lettuc

    Directions
    Combine corn, tomato, sun-dried tomatoes, oil and vinegar in a medium bowl.
    Divide turkey among tortillas. Top with equal portions of the corn salad and lettuce. Roll up. Serve the wraps cut in half, if desired.

    Taco Salad

    http://blog.delhaizegroup.com/?attachment_id=5921

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Makes: 4 servings
     
    Ingredients
    • 4 whole wheat or plain flour tortillas
    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • 12 ounces lean ground beef or uncooked ground turkey
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
    • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 4 cups shredded lettuce
    • 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (1 ounce)
    • 1/4 cup chopped green or red sweet pepper (optional)
    • 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered

    Directions
    For tortilla bowls, wrap tortillas in foil. Warm in a 350 degrees oven for 10 minutes. Coat four 10-ounce custard cups with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully press 1 tortilla into each cup. Bake in the 350 degrees oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool; remove from custard cups.
    Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook beef, onion, and garlic until beef is brown and onion is tender. Drain fat.
    Stir tomato sauce, vinegar, cumin, and crushed red pepper into skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

    Place tortillas on 4 serving plates. Line tortillas with lettuce. Spoon beef mixture into tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese, sweet pepper, if desired, and tomatoes.

  7. Everyone talks about it and with good reason! Although essential to our health, omega 3 are insufficiently present in our diet. It’s time to do something about it!

    health.howstuffworks.com

    Fatty acids

    While some fats are essential to our balance, it is important to make good choices by privileging those which are rich in omega 3 and by going for variety.

    Fat is composed of triglycerides. They account for the major energy reserve in our body. They include among others fatty acids which can be saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated such as omega 3.

    Saturated fatty acids can be found in butter, cheeses, dairy products, deli products and palm oil. They are called saturated because they form a rigid chain and provide thus rigidity to the cell membranes they compose. When ingested in large quantities, those fatty acids are a potential cause of health problems.

    Monounsaturated fatty acids contained for example in olive oil have a double bond, which provides them certain flexibility.

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega 3, are fats with several double bonds called fatty acids and essential to the human body. Omega 6 are found primarily in most of vegetable oils: peanut, sunflower, corn… It is recommended to consume them.

    blog.foodnetwork.com

    The benefits of omega 3

    Although essential, omega 3 acids are not eaten in sufficient quantity because of our food choices but also because of the composition of some foods. For example, feeding animals with corn and sunflower enriched food (thus rich in omega 6) will provide meat which will be low in omega 3. Using animal fats, sunflower or corn oil at home will provide only few omega 3. However, it is necessary to consume those omega 3 in sufficient quantities because they are essential to our health. They contribute to maintain a normal cholesterol level, support the functioning of the heart and the blood vessels, have an anti-inflammatory action and seem to be beneficial to the brain. Omega 3 deficiency in our diet may lead to cardiovascular, inflammatory and cerebral problems such as concentration and memory disturbances.

    Balance in your meal!

    The omega-6 to omega-3 consumption ratio is today highly unbalanced. It seems to be comprised between 10 and 15 whereas it should be near 5. It is therefore recommended to increase our consumption in omega 3. Bringing this back into balance is not complicated. The weekly consumption of 3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil, 2 fatty fishes, and 1 poultry fed with flaxseed enriched food enables to get a proper quantity of omega 3.

    Omega 3 can be found in seaweeds, in particular in nori seaweeds which are used to make maki, but principally in fat fishes: salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies and sardines. As far as oils are concerned, balancing the intake of omega 3 will bring you new perfumes. Hemp, rapeseed, linseed or walnut oil are rich in omega 3. The mix of 4 bio oils Delhaize is a balanced mix of rapseed, linseed, wheat germ and olive virgin oils. The intake of fatty acids omega 3 is guaranteed by rapeseed oil (70%) and linseed oil (8%). Its fruity taste reduces the bitterness of linseed. Wheat germ oil (2%) provides vitamin E which is a powerful natural antioxidant protecting fatty acids omega 3. Most of these oils are fragile: they rapidly oxidize.

    Delhaize Belgium

    This is the reason why they must be protected from light and air. Keep them in the refrigerator once opened. Use them raw in order to maintain their benefits and taste qualities. A drizzle of virgin olive oil in a smoothie, a fruit mousse or a vegetable purée provides taste, softness and interesting nutrients! Walnuts and linseeds are a source of omega 3. Linseeds must be ground or soaked for the body to absorb it correctly. It’s better to use them raw in breakfast cereals or in salads.

    Finally, let’s mention poultries or pigs fed with linseed, herb or acorn enriched food. Delhaize’s free-range chicken or Bellota’s Iberian ham and Bellota’s Lomo Iberico Taste of Inspirations are interesting sources of omega 3.

    As a general rule, prefer thus raw preparations or soft cooking such as low-temperature cooking. And, above all, vary your pleasures!

     This article was initially published in Delhaize magazine.
    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  8. The economic crisis that currently strikes the western world forces a majority of people to become more conscientious of how and where they spend their money, including money spent on food. People tend to choose cheaper kinds of food products and to buy more private brand products as price becomes an even stronger factor in their decision.

     To compensate for the increase in food prices some people eat less, they cook smaller portions or eat fewer meals and buy less quality food. Needless to say, they limit the meals they eat out. All in all not very funny!

    Food Lion, Delhaize Group’s largest banner in the US (with headquarters near Charlotte, North Carolina) decided to bring some ‘light’ into the current dark situation, by organizing a special recipe contest, meant to boost consumer awareness of food that is both nutritious and affordable.

    Charlotte-area bloggers were challenged by Food Lion to compete in its first ‘Frugal Cook-Off’ and create nutritious, low-cost meals for a family of four using Food Lion store brands , as well as fresh produce and meat options available at Food Lion stores.

    Eleven bloggers invited to participate in the event were divided into teams of three and given a cooking challenge to use no more than USD 15 worth of items shopped from an onsite Food Lion pantry of store brand products.

     

    The winning team included Katie from Charlotte Mom Favorites, Wendy of Charlotte Smarty Pants and Kelly of Foodie Fresh. The bloggers created the winning dish, an Asian-inspired chicken with curry, roasted carrots and rice pilaf with soy sauce, in 30 minutes using items shopped from an onsite Food Lion pantry of store brand products, and for a total cost of USD 15 or less. The bloggers were judged on creativity, taste and awarded points for being frugal.

    The three challenge winners received two USD 250 Food Lion gift cards and all other participants received two USD 100 Food Lion gift cards.

    ‘The ‘Frugal Cook-Off’ Challenge was a great way for Food Lion to reach out to local social media influencers and provide them the opportunity to share their experience with the challenge and our brands with their followers,” said Maia McNair, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager for Food Lion.

    Recipes will be posted to www.foodlion.com in the near future, so stay tuned!

  9. Courtesy of Hannaford Dietitians

    Get that spring back in your step with energy foods that can help fight the season’s asthenia! Recently, some foods have been identified as “super healthy” and have been dubbed as Superfoods or Powerfoods. These Powerfoods do more than just satisfy your stomach, they’re packed with nutrients that can boost your immune system, ward off disease and give you more momentum.

    By combining certain Powerfoods in your snacks or meals, you could double up on nutrients and get that extra boost of energy. Nothing keeps you looking and feeling your best more than eating the foods that nourish your body.

    We know some foods can be good for us, while other foods are not as good. But could some foods be SUPER for us? The answer is yes!

    And the best thing about these “super foods” is that they’re easy to find all-year-round. And if you’re really sticking to a budget, broccoli, spinach and blueberries can all be found frozen. Due to recent innovations in quick-freezing methods, frozen fruits and vegetables lose little or none of their nutritional value.

     

    Green Tea
    Revs up metabolism, keeps you hydrated, and contains natural catechins, especially EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which has anticancer properties that fight free radicals.

    Citrus
    Packed with vitamin C, a major antioxidant, that helps fight infection and may shorten duration of colds.

    The combination
    Hot or cold, green tea served with a wedge or squeeze of fresh citrus fruit such as lemon or grapefruit, and your body may absorb 13 times as many more antioxidants than tea consumed on its own.

    Spinach
    Contains magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2 & B6, and potassium. It also includes vitamin A & K which are essential for good eyesight, to prevent blood clotting and contribute to bone health.

    Avocado
    Considered a healthy fat it is essential for good heart health. In addition, avocado is also loaded with vitamin B, beta-cartone, magnesium, and vitamin E & K which could help support overall health, energy, metabolic functioning, and strong bones.

    The pair
    While spinach is good for your eyes, a combination with avocado may make it even more effective. Some researchers believe the healthy fats in avocado increase the absorption of the carotenoids which is associated with decreased risk of cataracts. Also, both contain vitamin B which helps your body convert nutrients into energy.

    Tomatoes
    An abundance of lycophene, a phytochemical that has the ability to counter oxidative stress and believed to help fight cancer.

    Carrots
    Are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds and one of the richest vegetable sources of the pro-vitamin A carotenes that may help against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and promote good eyesight.

    The pair
    By topping salads with diced tomatoes and carrots, not only will you pep up your salad with color, but you will also increase nutritional value without loading lots of calories.

    Dark Chocolate
    Contains essential minerals including magnesium, copper, potassium, and most significantly flavonoids. Make sure to get dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa to enjoy these healthy benefits.

    Berries
    Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and are high in vitamin C, which may help your body fight heart disease, enhance eyesight, and improve memory.

    The pair
    By dipping sweet berries in melted dark chocolate, you will get a yummy healthy treat. Try a variety of berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, as some studies suggest that fruits mixed together have a greater antioxidant response than one fruit eaten on its own.

    Walnut
    A concentrated source of disease fighting antioxidants, vitamin E, protein, fiber, as well as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which has been found to aid the body in strengthening the immune system.

    Cranberries
    Loaded with phytochemicals, vitamin C, and antioxidants, cranberries can stave off heart disease.

    The pair
    For an energy-packed side dish, try adding walnuts and cranberries to another “Powerfood”, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). Quinoa, a grain, contains twice more protein than rice and is a powerhouse source of vitamin B and E, 9 essential amino acids, and high in complex carbs, which is the body’s main source of energy.

    Oatmeal
    Has whole grains and soluble fiber that helps reduce cholesterol levels, maintain blood-sugar levels, boost energy, and fight against heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and even obesity. Preliminary studies indicate that oatmeal raises levels of free testosterone in your body, enhancing your body’s ability to build muscle and burn fat.

    Orange Juice
    An excellent source of vitamin C which helps in cell repair and prevents damage. In addition to folate which helps increase growth of skin and blood cells. Orange juice also contains high levels of magnesium and potassium, both related to blood pressure and many other nutrients and minerals to help improve immune system.

    The pair
    The marriage of oatmeal and orange juice is the perfect breakfast. It has been shown to prevent heart attacks and clean arteries twice as effectively as consuming either one on its own. Phenols which is found in both, stabilizes cholesterol levels when consumed together. Start your next morning with oatmeal and 4 oz glass of orange juice to keep you energized for the day.

    Interested in learning more?
    Hannaford’s registered dietitians can give you the information you need to make the healthy life style changes you want. You can also email a private message to our staff registered dietitian, for free nutrition advice at hannaford.com/asknutritionist. For more information go to hannaford.com/healthy.

  10. Don’t you love that good, delicious restaurant food, cooked with real butter, served with a generous portion of gravy and crunchy French fries? We certainly do. But we also know that by eating lots of restaurant food, we eat a lot of salt as well.

    The thing with salt is like the thing with the hole in the ozone layer: Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there ;-) . By eating more salt outside the house (knowingly or unknowingly), we’ve created a preference for salty food, which means we use more and more of it as home as well. It’s a vicious salty cycle!

    Too much salt in a day can have serious implications for our health. This was proven once again in a recent study based on data from more than 12 000 American adults.

    Source: www.bodynomics.com

    The main research conclusions are that a diet high in sodium (salt is the main source) increases the risk to die from heart disease. Even more important is the ratio of sodium sad emoticon in comparison to potassium smile emoticon in one’s diet.

    Potassi-what? Potassium activates nitric oxide and thus reduces pressure in the arteries, lowering the risk of hypertension. This in contrast with sodium, that, when present in high levels, raises blood pressure ant the risk of chronic hypertension by stiffening arteries and blocking nitric oxide. Ouch!

    The salt you use while cooking at home only accounts for a minor proportion of your sodium intake. The biggest evil-doers are processed and restaurant food! We even have some crazy numbers to demonstrate how big the problem is: the body’s requirement for sodium is very low: +/-220mg a day. But… the average American consumes more than 3 400mg a day! Population-wide reductions in sodium could prevent more than 100 000 deaths annually in the USA. Say what?!

    Source: www.news.com.au

    One of the problems is that salt is recognized by the American Food and Drug Administration as “generally safe”, so there is no limit to the amount that food manufacturers can add to a product. As the government is not pushing for a coordinated lowering of the nationwide intake of salt, some food retailers, like Delhaize America have made a commitment to the National Salt Reduction Initiative to cut sodium in their products by an average of 25% by 2014.

    As healthy eating is very important to Delhaize Group, the reduction of salt in the products is one of our concerns as well. At Delhaize Belgium, for example, we have removed 45 tons of salt from our private brands, and we keep on looking for ways to improve the nutritious value of our products, without losing the yummy flavors!

    So tell us, do you use a lot of salt in the kitchen? Is it something you pay attention to? Are you aware of the amount of salt that is present in daily groceries?

    Also, if you have any tips on how to reduce salt in your dishes without losing the flavor, feel welcome to share them with us. There are hundreds of herbs and spices available on the market to season your dishes. But some research on the net teaches us that the offer of salt replacers is pretty limited. How do you spice up your dishes while being on a low salt diet?

    Let’s discuss!