Welcome to your next “plating” of Ask Jack, featuring the prodigious culinary talents of professional chef, writer, and OMSer Jack McNulty answering food and cooking questions from our community that inform their healthy OMS lifestyle. Check out the show notes below that dig deeper into this episode’s topic. You can submit your questions for Jack anytime by emailing them to [email protected].  

Introduction 

Welcome back for another deep dive into OMS-friendly eating and cooking on Ask Jack. Our last episode was more of a “meaty” variety, discussing all things to do with meat replacements. What do meat replacements generally contain a lot of? Salt. So, it’s only quite natural that we follow up on that with… 

…this episode’s topic: salt and salt replacements.  

So why are we devoting a whole episode to simple seasoning? Firstly, let’s follow the science. HOLISM as well as broader research suggest that it’s healthier to reduce your sodium intake, especially if you have MS. Then, there’s the reality of our lives. Particularly when first adopting the OMS program, most people opt for the path of least resistance, which involves using more processed foods rather than cooking from scratch. When we use processed foods, we often don’t dive into the ingredients as carefully, and some of these foods contain excessive amounts of sodium. And finally, there’s the obvious – salt is probably the most common food seasoning out there, and it does play a key role in making food taste better. So it’s essential to understand the role salt plays in our food and our health, but also to explore alternatives which might be better for us.   

Jack has carefully curated several questions around this topic, and we have solicited some directly from the OMS community. Thanks to Jack McNulty, we are about to get some answers. Happy to chat with you again, Jack. This topic is getting me and our audience salivating, so let’s dig right into our first question.

Click here to view the episode transcript

Questions 

  1. So Jack, the question that’s probably at the forefront of most people's minds is how much salt can we use within the OMS diet? Does too much salt affect MS? 
     
  2. If someone is looking to replace salt, for example perhaps they also have high blood pressure, what are some suggestions for replacing it in cooking, or using substitutions to reduce salt intake?
     
  3. On that note, a member of our community, Sarah Barnett, wanted to know your thoughts on potassium chloride as a salt substitute? And what about liquid aminos? It’s a lower sodium product than soy salt yet Sarah feels it adds that dimension of umami to dishes. 
     
  4. Interstitial announcement: just a quick update before getting to our next question about salt. The Big Picnic is happening this July, and it’s an OMS tradition for encouraging our community to prepare delicious OMS-friendly foods to share with others as a way of raising awareness about the OMS diet. The Ask Jack podcast has already exposed you to loads of new cooking and recipe ideas, and in case you need a refresher, you can find many tasty, healthy, and OMS-friendly recipes on our website, as well as on Jack’s website, myfreshattitude.com. Hopefully these recipes have will inspire you for your OMS Big Picnic! You can get more info on the Big Picnic on our website, or please check the show notes for this episode. 
     
  5. Jack, there are so many salts out there. Can you explain the differences between the different types, such as sea salt, rock salt, kosher salt, fleur de sel, colored salts, and kala namak? 
     
  6. And what about certain health claims made about products like Himalayan salt? Are they better for you? 
     
  7. When selecting salt, what are the main things one should consider or look for? 
     
  8. What about iodine in salt? Should this always be included in the salt I purchase? 

And with that, thanks for yet another fascinating episode, Jack. I look forward to your return for the next Ask Jack this Fall, which will premiere on September 28th. Till then, have a great low-salt summer! 

About Jack McNulty: 

Jack McNulty has been involved in food and cooking most of his life. He’s walked many paths during his culinary journey, including transforming himself from an interested amateur ‘foodie’ to a professional chef with classical training. He has worked for talented and knowledgeable chefs in high-end restaurants in Switzerland, Italy, and France. Jack operated his own catering business and cooking school for 15 years, while also finding time to write about cooking. Jack’s current activities include operating myfreshattitude.com – a website dedicated to providing healthy vegan recipes and useful vegan cooking instruction and techniques, writing and distributing a weekly international newsletter - VeganWeekly – to inspire people to cook healthy vegan food. Jack has followed the OMS lifestyle since 2009. He has actively worked on providing recipes and information to the OMS website, was the contributing editor to the OMS Cookbook, and authored the Eat Well chapter in the latest Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Handbook.   

A Deeper Dive into Salty Waters: 

For those who may be interested in taking a deep dive into the topic of salt, Jack recommends reading Salt – A World History by Mark Kurlansky and Salted by Mark Bitterman. Both books are available through all major book distributors. 

Here are Jack’s favourite salt substitution herb and spice mixtures: 

From the Sea 
Combine 2 tablespoons dried dulse, 2 tablespoons dried wakame, ½ nori sheet and ½ teaspoon lovage. Blend well and keep in sealed jar for 3-6 months. 

Middle Eastern 
Combine 2 tablespoons ground sumac, ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Blend well and keep in sealed jar for 3-6 months. 

Italian 
Combine 2 tablespoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon lovage, ½ teaspoon dried mushroom powder. 

Jack’s Links:  

  • For more info on the OMS Big Picnic, click here
  • Be sure to check out Jack’s weekly international newsletter – VeganWeekly – written with the aim to inspire people to cook healthy vegan food.  
  • Visit Jack’s website myfreshattitude.com for mouth-watering healthy vegan recipes and to learn useful vegan cooking techniques.  
  • Jack’s social media links are all here: https://linktr.ee/jackmcn

Coming up on our next episode: 

Gluten is a sticky topic in the MS community, so on the next episode of Living Well with MS, premiering July 20, we demystify it by tapping the expertise of our guest, Dr. Colin Bannon. Tune and learn more about what that loaf of bread may (or may not) be doing to you. 

Don’t miss out: 

Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. You can catch any episode of Living Well with MS here or on your favorite podcast listening app. For your convenience, a full episode transcript is also available on all platforms within 72 hours of each episode’s premiere. If you like our program, don’t be shy and leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you tune into the show. And feel free to share your comments and suggestions for future guests and episode topics by emailing [email protected]