An old friend in Boston, a chef, once remarked to me that, “The difference between a restaurant with three stars and mine, which has four, is a box of salt.” She had a point. Indeed, one reason Italian and French traditionally have been a healthier lot is that they eat at home more often, don’t celebrate the chef, and use salt sensibly in their family kitchens.
Research published recently by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) notes a link between strokes and heart attacks precipitated by high blood pressure worsened by eating high salt meals in restaurants; the study describes fast food meals, but if you have ever worked in a restaurant you know that the amount of salt used by cooks is staggeringly greater than at home. www.cspinet.org/new/200905111.html
Eating out is a luxury, a treat, and often worth the time and money, but as Paul Newman said, referring to fidelity in marriage, “Why eat chopped meat in a restaurant when there’s steak at home?”