"Don't Add Salt."
This statement come across a lot I feel, especially for certain patients with cardiovascular diseases. In my case, as a pharmacist in a heart failure clinic, it's a standard education point for almost everyone. But yet, it just isn't enough.
Me: "Have you been avoiding salt?"
Patient: "Yep! No salt on anything!"
Me: "Great! What did you eat last night?"
Patient: "I had fish and chips, with cheese fries"
Me: "... and this morning?"
Patient: "Scrambled eggs with a side of bacon and hash."
The Problem with Not Adding Salt
Just telling a patient 'No Salt' isn't enough. It takes education. Going over with my patients, giving hand-outs, referrals to nutritionists is not enough at times. I get it. I would rebel myself against this. I can only imagine eating a certain way for the past 50 years, then someone telling you to quit eating they way you are accustomed to overnight. It's just is not going to go over well.
Telling a patient to read a food label, showing them their favorite condiments have salt (e.g. ketchup, soy sauce) is a slap in the face. The food is now bland, how do I cook they ask me.
Can I Get a Cooking Show?
You know what? My patients like to eat. They or their spouse cook. They just do not know what to cook. Which brings me to the next point, they love television. They watch the Food Network. I had a good conversation with several patients about cooking show, and we are convinced that "Chopped" is an amazing show.
But there is nothing for my patients. Can that change? Can we get a cooking show where someone famous can show them that salt isn't everything, there are great ways to cook and make something taste good?
Why not "Chopped: Medical Edition." Get chefs to make my patients meals with the limitations imposed. The patients are the judge. Favorites get turned into recipes available to patients to cook at home. Educational points on diseases and things to avoid are covered. Expand it to diabetics, those with limitations in their diet, other chronic diseases. We can have nutritionists, health professionals, and chefs as a novel interprofessional cooking team addressing a problem that affects everyone.
But, if that doesn't work, we can always make a YouTube channel around the premise. Anyone know any sponsors?