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Do you add salt and/or sugar to your cooking?


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#1 flowerrose

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:24 AM

DH and I are in battle. I have a massive prejudice against manufactured cereal and don't like the kids having it for breakfast. I think its just a vehicle for massive doses of salt and sugar and doesn't even fill them up. DH thinks it is no different to the honey I put on their porridge or maple syrup on their pancakes.

I must admit, I'm not particularly cautious in my home baking or cooking regarding sugar and seasoning. I think it is in entirely different proportions to commercially produced food and the reduction in food additives and other nasties more than compensates.

Do you make a conscious effort to reduce the salt and sugar intake in your household?

#2 Daybreak

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

It depends on what I'm cooking. We don't put salt on meat or veg when we're cooking. I don't add it to biscuits or cakes that I'm baking (I do put it in bread dough) If I'm making bolognaise or something though, I do put in a little salt.
To a fair degree I'm with you. I bake basically all our biscuits/sweet treats, because although they still contain sugar and fat, I'm controlling that, and I'm controlling what preservatives/colours etc are going in.
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#3 -Megs-

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:51 AM

Hmmm yes and no. I season as required when cooking from scratch but if I'm buying a sauce or something pre-made I'll look for low sodium content. Sugar I play with depending on what I'm making, cakes and cupcakes I leave it as is, muffins I try to reduce, and homemade pancakes don't have any sugar in them at all here, I figure the sweetness of the toppings is plenty.

The only breakfast cereal we buy is weetbix, for me it's more a value for money thing plus I don't want them eating anything loaded with sugar at the start of the day, they'd be driving me nuts all day! tongue.gif They do get to choose a box of whatever they want for their birthday breakfast, a small box between 6 people doesn't last very long!


#4 Monica

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:42 AM

Being a chef, hubby does most of the cooking and seasons accordingly, I never ever need to add additional salt or pepper to my food.
He uses sugar when cooking with tomatoes.

I do try and look for low sodium when shopping – if it’s a toss up between two products, the one with the least gets bought.

Nina has weetbix, cornflakes and cheerios (as is, no added sugar).
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#5 ~AnA~

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:37 PM

We cook extensively at home, and yes, we do season with some salt (or soy sauce etc), pepper, and some sugar while cooking. We also season with herbs and fruit, however salt is a very basic essential in cooking for us. We don't put loads on as you see in some cooking shows (their 'pinch' of salt looks like a teaspoon of salt to me).

We try to buy no pre made jars of sauces etc and I'm more concerned of other stuff in it, and I have just started to make our own yogurt as well.

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#6 Maxi

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:15 PM

I don't add salt when cooking except for when I'm making stock concentrate or bread.

If using sugar when baking I use rapadura where possible.

Our little one has oats with banana or a fruit smoothie with oat milk for breakfast. No sugar needed.
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#7 Tigridia

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:39 PM

We cook mostly from scratch and tend to season accordingly, so you generally don't need to add any salt and pepper to finished meals. I do use less salt in things I'm making specifically for DD though, I don't add seasoning to her roast vegies or meats but if she is eating something we eat too then it's got seasoning.

Sugar is used in baking but I often cut it down. Most recipes I use I know that I can cut the sugar right down in without affecting the taste. I don't have a problem with sugar but I don't see the point in eating extra when not required. Like previous posters most muffins can have little sugar added and pancakes and pikelets don't need it at all when they have sweet toppings added. I also cut down sugar if the item has chocolate in it as that generally adds some sweetness, even when using dark chocolate.

We don't really eat much processed cereal. DD has weetbix for breakfast some days and adds honey to it. She has tried some other cereals and doesn't love them that much so we tend to stick to weetbix and porridge when I make it. In Europe she got quite a bit of chocolatey breakfast cereals which she enjoyed but hasn't missed since being home.

I prefer less processed food, preservatives and colours and don't worry so much about adding some salt and sugar where it's indicated. It's an interesting point though.
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#8 Lemon

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 03:37 PM

QUOTE(Tigridia @ Feb 22 2013, 03:39 PM) View Post


I prefer less processed food, preservatives and colours and don't worry so much about adding some salt and sugar where it's indicated. It's an interesting point though.


We are much the same.

I do check salt and sugar content when I shop, and try to keep it to a minimum in shop bought products, but do add it in cooking. I rarely use it in baking, unless I'm making bread etc. Most recipes that call for a teaspoon or so of salt so I don't see the point of adding it when it's a recipe for something sweet. We sometimes have salt on the table for dinner, but not often. Usually when we have something like fish or roast chicken, and even then it's a tiny pinch of salt.

I do like to limit our intake of saturated fats, and eat as many cholesterol lowering foods as we can. DH has always been sensitive to artificial colourings and flavourings so we try to limit those too. I think I would say our main concerns are those rather than salt and sugar. I go with the everything in moderation motto and as we aren't eating lots of salt and sugar on a regular basis, I don't feel the need to lower our intake.

These days I bake (with most recipes containing sugar) once a week at most, more like once a fortnight, so I'm not really concerned.

When we were kids we were allowed to choose a different cereal once every 6 months or something, and the rest of the time we had healthier options. We will probably go with something similar with our kids. I don't want them eating that stuff all the time, but think if we ban it they will just binge on it once they have pocket money/freedom to buy snacks etc when they are a bit older, so don't want to make it out to be a"bad" food, but more of a "treat" food.

Fwiw I don't think I agree with your DH that honey or maple syrup on porridge or pancakes is the same as high sugar packaged cereals. I'm on your side with that one!


#9 em2007

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:05 PM

QUOTE(BlueBug @ Feb 22 2013, 04:37 PM) View Post



Fwiw I don't think I agree with your DH that honey or maple syrup on porridge or pancakes is the same as high sugar packaged cereals. I'm on your side with that one!



I think if it's the same amount of sugar then it doesn't matter where it comes from.

However, I'm not overly concerned about sugar. We are trying to avoid colours and preservatives so I worry about those things more than the amount of sugar (or fat).

I add salt to tomato on toast or scrambled eggs but generally not much else. I don't add salt when cooking pasta etc.

We don't buy much processed food - weetbix, spreads, milk, butter, bakery bread etc. I check for preservatives but I'm not concerned about the amount of salt and sugar in them because the majority of our food is fruit and veg. I would guess most sugar the boys eat comes from fruit.



#10 flowerrose

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:28 PM

QUOTE(~Melissa~ @ Feb 22 2013, 02:05 PM) View Post

I think if it's the same amount of sugar then it doesn't matter where it comes from.


I weighed out how much sugar is in a small serve of the cereal (nutrigrain) to show DH and it is about four generous teaspoons each, without adding any more. They barely have half a teaspoon of honey and perhaps one of maple syrup, or the berry coulis has two tablespoons of sugar to 100g of fruit and lemon juice. Honey and maple syrup aren't just empty sweetness, they have other beneficial stuff in them too. To which he argues that nutrigrain has extra iron in it - which they don't need because they have a plenty balanced diet anyway.

That said, I'm fine tomato ketchup, baked beans and tinned spaghetti but they aren't having those daily under the misguided notion that they are being healthy, which DH seems to think nutrigrain is. Maybe its just one of those irrational things that annoys me. dry.gif


#11 Lemon

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

I was going on the assumption that its only a small amount of honey, so less than the sugar in those cereals. I also (and I'm sure I'm in the minority) don't have a problem with fructose from fruit. I think that naturally occurring sugar is a better option, so out of 50g naturally occurring sugar (from fruit or honey) or 50g of processed sugar, I'd prefer the former.



#12 em2007

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

I'm not saying processed sugar is good. Just that I'm not convinced of the health benefits of 'natural sugar' - more in relation to the people who think fruit juice is 'good for you' because it's all fruit sugar etc!

I don't think there's an issue with putting honey on porridge etc. We just choose not to do it because the boys are happy with unsweetened porridge and weetbix so I don't want to mess with that!

#13 toska

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:05 PM

I don't add salt or sugar to already prepared food. If it calls for it in a recipe I use it but won't add extra.

#14 Guest_Windsor_Guest

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:06 AM

QUOTE(Puggie @ Feb 22 2013, 11:52 AM) View Post

We basically do not add salt to much. At dinner parties I always have to remember to put out the salt alongside the pepper grinder as we just don't ever add salt to our plated meals.

Cooking the only times I add salt are to eggs, on grilled tomato, in homemade pasta sauce and a teeny bit in the water when doing pasta.

I don't add sugar to much either, really. Certainly not cereal or anything like that. And often in recipes I reduce the sugar content as I find some things too sweet.


That's pretty much what we do. I will add a sprinkling of brown sugar to bolognaise type sauces too.

We don't have cereal too often, I'm a toast person! DH has natural museli and DD and I will have some occasionally with honey and yoghurt.

#15 Amelia Jane

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:44 AM

I use sugar when needed in baking. I am experimenting with sugar substitutes more and more though, dates (this is my favourite), honey...I tried to think of what else I use but there isn't much else at the moment! I want to try baking with stevia or agave one day. Generally though I don't like things to be too sweet so I halve the amount of sugar in cakes and muffins. I don't ever sprinkle sugar on food though, like cereal, custard, berries, etc.

Salt I never used to use much of, but I read something recently about salting food at the right stage during cooking and how it can really bring out the flavours. So I'm using it when needed now. We do use a lot of soy/fish/oyster sauce though which are packed with salt.


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