Sunday, November 6, 2016

ABC: Always Be Checking!

Always Be Checking!
As I was working through past blog entries to create the Index, I realized that several posts needed to be updated. There were many changes in products and even vendors. That’s why it is important to "Always Be Checking!"

Since we started living low sodium 11 years ago, SaltWatcher and HeartWise Foods have gone out of business (they were online sellers of low/no sodium food products). Thankfully, Healthy Heart Market is still standing. B & G have stopped making any NSA pickle products. Delicious Concepts has closed up shop, so no more of my husband’s favorite NSA cornichons. Sargento came out with a bunch of lower sodium cheese products but stopped production on all but one cheese snack stick. Safeway stopped offering its NSA Swiss cheese blocks. Sol de Oro changed its formula for burrito sized tortillas from 140 mg to 350 mg/tortilla. Thai and True did something similar with their Thai red curry paste. My local grocery store used to carry Featherweight sodium-free baking powder, but it doesn’t any longer. These are just a few examples of what’s happened over the years. I’ve run into more changes, and I bet you have too.

Dealing with low sodium products is an adventure. The formulas change, and not always for the better. Often times, the manufacturer decides to discontinue a really good low sodium product. If you’ve followed a sodium restricted diet for any length of time, you know that products can appear and then quickly disappear. That's why constant vigilance is required.

It’s like being a sleuth. Spending who knows how much time reading and re-reading labels. Checking out all the various sections of a grocery store just in the hopes of finding a good low sodium product. Checking online, doing Google searches, and plowing your way through all the offerings on Amazon. It’s a never ending process.  But you need to keep aware of what low sodium options are offered and grab them when you can.
Be a Low Sodium Sleuth

Remember the old saying, “Here today & gone tomorrow?” Supermarkets try out new products all the time, and manufacturers revamp their products all the time too. Food producers constantly introduce new products and discontinue others. Never assume that because there isn't any low sodium canned tuna available one month, that it won’t be available the next month. Keep checking those aisles. Conversely, don’t assume that a favorite low sodium product will always be available. Your market may decide to drop carrying it. There are no guarantees because it’s all dependent on sales. Sometimes the additions or changes are great, sodium wise. Sometimes they're a bust. But you need to keep on top of it.

And don’t just focus on grocery stores. Keep your eyes peeled whenever you go shopping, no matter what kind of store. You might just come upon a hidden trove of low sodium options. I’ve found great loso spice blends and flavored pasta at TJ Maxx and World Market. As I said before, “Always Be Checking!” You never know what you may find. And don’t lose heart. I know it’s frustrating when a much loved product disappears. But give it enough time, and another great product will appear. To quote Scarlett O’Hara, “After all… tomorrow is another day!”

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