Food, Nutrition and Cooking


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Salt and Lactose Talk

Perhaps you’ve noticed that my recipes include very little, if any, salt and lactose.
The reasons are personal, so herein I explain.
I am lactose intolerant. Simply put, my body does not produce the lactAse enzyme that digests lactose (milk sugar). Therefore, consuming foods that contain lactose have a systemic effect on my body which include gastrointestinal distress and often overall malaise. And so, I avoid most dairy foods. Some very aged cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano and very aged (more than 2 years) cheddars as well as most cottage cheeses, have very little to no lactose left so I can safely consume those as long as I don’t overdo it.
Salt (sodium) consumption for me = elevated blood pressure. For most people a certain amount of salt is okay (AHA recommends under 2300 mg/day for all of us). But for those with HTN (hypertension aka high blood pressure), adding salt to foods, either in recipes or at the table, can raise blood pressure to a higher than normal level which can cause permanent damage over time and lead to heart disease and/or stroke. Certain cases of HTN are caused by obesity, lack of exercise or excessive salt intake. For others the term “essential hypertension” is used, meaning that there is no known cause other than genetics. In either case, decreasing salt intake can have a positive effect. My recipes are created for maximum flavor with minimal sodium content. There are recipes that will contain some salt or soy sauce (very high in sodium) but note that in those cases, the sodium content is as low as possible while still maintaining the desired flavor of the dish.
For those of you without any food restrictions, please feel free to add more and different cheeses (also usually high in sodium) as well as salt to dishes but be mindful that all of us should consume no more than 2300 mg/salt a day.

Author: ssleedsrd1843

Sari Schlussel-Leeds, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian who loves to cook and to eat! Her love of both naturally led to a career in nutrition. After years practicing clinical nutrition, Sari now focuses on Nutrition Education. Sari’s limits her private practice to the counseling of adults specializing in medical nutrition therapy. With “moderation” as her mantra, Sari knows that no matter what the condition, eating needs to be pleasurable. Her blog,, is a forum reflecting that mantra with healthful and delicious foods as well as tips for a healthy lifestyle. All content of is the intellectual property of Sari Schlussel-Leeds, MS, RDN, CDN

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