Hold the Salt
Gazzaniga had other ideas, however. He set out to consume just 500 mg. of salt a day or even less. No easy feat when you consider that your daily breakfast cereal alone can have double that amount and that the average American ingests 8000 mg. per day. His doctor told him that no one had ever succeeded in getting below 1500 mg. a day.
But when Gazzaniga went to the local bookstore he couldnt find a single no-salt cookbook that met his stringent needs. He was undeterred, however. In my case, I had no choice, he says. Salt had to drastically be reduced in my diet or else.
Thus began his odyssey. He achieved the miniscule 500 mg. mark almost immediately, baking his own bread with lowest-sodium baking powder, buying no-salt canned goods and giving up cream and soy sauce. At the six-month date for his departure from terra firma, as he puts it, he was still going and getting better. After two years, he was walking up to seven miles a day, exercising on his stationary bike and fishing. In 1999, he trekked to the top of Glacier National Park, something that cardiologists say is impossible for a congestive heart failure patient unless his condition has been significantly reversed.
By then hed collected more than 350 recipes and built a complete 28-day meal planner with the help of his eldest daughter, Jeannie, a registered dietician with a doctorate in the field. The compendium of delicious recipes and meal planner designed to combat heart failure and dangerous hypertension resulted in the No Salt Lowest Sodium Cookbook, recently published by St. Martins Press. The meal planning guide never exceeds the 500 mg. target level and often provides as few as 285 mg. a day. Thats 75 percent less than any other low-salt cookbook provides including that published by the American Heart Association.
Gazzaniga has already received rave reviews of his 28-day plan from readers and visitors to his website (www.megaheart.com) whose improvement has seemed miraculous to them. I need all the help I can get keeping my 33-year-old husband with hereditary heart disease alive, wrote one reader. He loves to eat, I love to cook, but so many [low-salt] recipes are awful. Yours are awesome.
|Alumni by Year
Donald A. Gazzaniga '56