Surprised by how difficult the low sodium issue is!

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by shortchef, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. pumba

    pumba DIS PUMBARIZER Moderator

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    lets be respectful of other peoples posts...whether they are for or against this idea..
    I have three dietary issues...diabetic, cholesterol, high pressure, but when I go to Disney I try to eat good but not that good...I love to have my yearly chicken fingers and french fries.(and other meals)..if I am naughty one week thru out the year I think I am being pretty good.....
    I just make sure I am not having any blood tests right after the visit to the mouse...:rolleyes1
     
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  3. HelenParr

    HelenParr DIS Veteran

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    OP, I was on medically restricted low sodium diet for a WDW trip, and happy to share my experiences. I hope it helps.

    Flying Fish did a fantastic job. They went out of their way to be helpful. Showed me everything they were making (was seated in the bar near show kitchen). Did not use any pan or utensil that contacted other food. Basically made up special dish for me after asking my likes and dislikes. It was fun and felt salt safe. Probably needs to be at less busy time. But gold star to FF.

    China sit down can make steamed veggies with sauce on the side. Kimonos sashimi (no soy sauce of course) and steamed rice worked well.

    For CS, much harder. I chose to stick to fresh options where possible...fruit from stands, packaged snacks or food with labeling including looking in cases at DVC resort areas, and undressed salads. Sunshine Seasons at Epcot has enough choices, fruit cart in Harambe at AK, stands at MK in Liberty Square, fruit stand at studios on road to ToT and RnR.

    Good luck!
     
  4. shortchef

    shortchef Mouseketeer

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    I called Disney because I knew it was up to me to find out about it. I was, and am, disappointed that they have no information of any kind regarding low sodium options. I still think that it would be great if they would offer any one of a number of info items to make it a little easier.

    If anyone has had any feedback on restaurants where they were did well with low sodium options, please share. It will be much appreciated!
     
  5. shortchef

    shortchef Mouseketeer

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    Wow, Helen, thank you so very much. That's a huge help!
     
  6. fla4fun

    fla4fun DIS Veteran

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    I can kind of see the OP's point, and the other side as well.

    If other restaurants can put nutritional information on their websites, I don't see why it would be such a big issue for Disney to do it for some of the more common elements of counter service dining. I'm sure they do a lot of bulk buying and if you get the same item at two different CS locations it's likely to be the same thing. I'm not saying provide information specifically about low salt or low fat diets, but have the info available so you can see how much salt, sugar, fat, etc., is in that sandwich before you order it.

    Special items would be a different story, but if they just did, say, 20 of their most popular and widespread items, I'm sure it would be helpful to a lot of people. If they have some sort of "book" that addresses nutritional and ingredient content, then there's no reason that information can't be available online, "subject to change" of course.

    Since TS restaurants can accommodate dietary requests, I don't think it's necessary or even practical (considering how often the menus change) to provide that info online.
     
  7. karice2

    karice2 DIS Veteran

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    I clicked on this because I was very interested in trying to get some helpful responses. My dad has CHF and has to watch his sodium very closely.

    I can't believe how mean spirited some of the responses were. Yes, if a person has a food issue then they are responsible for dealing with them. However, having nutritional information available on a website could potentially alleviate all the special requests because people would be armed with information.

    It would certainly make dining planning easier and help people to make the best decision before they even get to the parks without overburdening the wait staff or chefs with special requests for every thing. My dad also has aphasia from a stroke so asking the wait staff for low sodium is almost impossible. However if the information were readily available we could go over the menu before we get there so that he can have a couple of options and point to what he wants on the menu. We do this for a lot of different restaurants and it works wonderfully. I don't like ordering for him like a child and he can speak enough to make his wishes known on some things. It also gives him some semblance of freedom if he wants to go off on his own to eat if he knows what his options are.

    People who have dietary issues are not asking for the world to cater to them. They are just asking for the information to be made available so they can make the best choices without being a burden to people in the service industry. We know it is our problem (speaking for my dad) and want to live as normal a life as possible. Asking for help on a message board dedicated to restaurant dining should not garner a response that could qualify as rude.

    Just think of all the time I would be saving if I knew what was low sodium so that I don't send the wait staff back to the chef 20 different times to ask questions about how everything is prepared. Wouldn't want to ruin anyone's Disney magic.

    Sorry for the long post but my goodness if people can't be helpful then don't post.
     
  8. shortchef

    shortchef Mouseketeer

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    Sounds like your dad has been through a lot but it also sounds like you have been a great support system for him. We are off to a good start on opening the door on the low sodium topic and others may yet chime in. I will follow up when I return in a couple months with more helpful info too.

    I agree that it requires so much more time and effort for Disney and creates unnecessary complication for each individual to have to personally engage the host/ess, server, and chef to be able to have a low sodium meal. And it would not surprise me to learn that many of the ones who are (for whatever reason) quite opposed to adding any type of ease to ordering low sodium would be livid if they were seated near someone who was taking up that much time and attention!

    I guess people are just change resistant or something. People were smoking everywhere long after the health consequences were well known and argued vehemently for the longest time that nothing should change. It must just take some people a long time to be ok with anything different, even if it requires but a small change or is a good change. Someone earlier in the thread was afraid they wouldn't be able to read the menu if there were too many labels on it!!! Someone else felt it is not a good idea to eat less sodium!! You don't even know what to say to such nonsense.

    But good news, we now know that there is some great info out there and it's just a matter of pulling it together. Flying Fish and Nine Dragons can do a delicious low sodium meal and I will bet that there are others who do an especially good job too! I will call Disney again. For one thing, the rep I spoke with literally did not know where the options were better than another for a low sodium meal and I think they should know that. I never would have considered a Chinese restaurant as a good option and I would love that! A blurb to the special dietary section of their website requires very little time and effort and would be of such help to so many. A simple sentence such as: low sodium meals are available at Flying Fish and Nine Dragons. I honestly do not know how anyone could object to that or why they would.
     
  9. karice2

    karice2 DIS Veteran

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    ShortChef
    Thanks for your kind reply. I never understand how a simple question for information can garner such mean answers. Before my dad got sick, I went through life completely oblivious to some of the challenges that people have for so many different food issues. I don't even have a food allergy.

    Disney is wonderful at making accomodations for people with different complications but the assumption is that someone can ask a question. My dad dealing with aphasia and CHF has proven to me the benefit of having some information readily available.

    What I believe is actually happening is that if they posted the nutrional information for some things, people would really balk. Salt makes food taste good, it also disguises inferior products and acts as a preservative. I am sure you know this as a chef but a lot of the public may not and would have a coronary if they knew that their favorite meal had upwards of 4000 mg of sodium. That could be why some people get swollen feet and legs on the trip but no one wants to say that.

    I don't want to be the food police for the world. Like you I am just trying to ensure that our vacation is not marred by unexpected consequences of too much sodium.

    I have found that V&A is amazing at dealing with food requests.
     
  10. Jacquie668

    Jacquie668 Mouseketeer

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    I agree, there have been some mean spirited responses which are TOTALLY uncalled for and you know this question about low sodium IS a valid question despite what some people may think.

    I do think that Disney is attempting, with the new site, to give more information about food with somewhat detailed menus and general dietary information and seeing how low sodium is a big issues for a lot of people I can understand wanting more information. It does seem to me from using the new site that there is an attempt there to improve things and I did feel that information about vegans and dairy free (which applies to me) and other dietary information were a bit easier to find. However, that might just be my experience.

    I do think they need to continue to improve the information that they offer up front and no I do not feel that is out of bounds for dietary issues, including low sodium. Information is information and people have issues, common sense.

    However according to the website "Most restaurants offer no sugar added, low fat, low sodium or vegetarian options." but again...you have to ask so obviously not the same thing.
     
  11. shortchef

    shortchef Mouseketeer

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    Low sodium options are starting to show up here and there and will only continue to gain ground. If I can help to speed it up at Disney, I will try my best. Its inevitable, just like low fat awareness or smoking awareness. Meanwhile, I'll keep a record of info such as what an earlier poster shared about Flying Fish and Nine Dragons. The preference is to be able to order without the hoopla of involving what feels like half the staff and getting a visit from the chef! I know there are those that crave that much attention but most people just want some dinner :)

    Will continue to seek feedback from others who can share a good low sodium meal or restaurant.

    And as far as those who don't contribute much but to attack others, sad for them really, doesn't speak well for their self esteem. The problem is that they probably prevent some people from posting so we all lose out.
     
  12. mom2of2

    mom2of2 <font color=blue>Let the good times strolllllll!<b

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    If you have a dietary need and are in TS restaurant you just let your server know and the Chef will come to your table. Servers just write down what the Chef tells them so no running back and forth for info.

    Generally you will be asked what your in the mood for. The Chef will let you know what can be adapted to your needs.

    Best option is to look over menus, choose a few dishes that you may possibly want and then speak to the Chef to see which ones can be made for you. Truly it's not as difficult as it seems to be and it's never any trouble for the Chef or the server. The only time it's even remotely problematic is when you order and then say no salt.
     
  13. Tonka's Skipper

    Tonka's Skipper DIS Veteran

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    This is what we have done for my wifes diabeties......never a problem!:thumbsup2

    Frankly trying to print out a giude is NOT a good idea. With 100 restuarents and all the diaiy changes in food available and menus, a printed list is just not a good idea! You can bet if there was a printed menu, then someone would be wining if something on the menu was not available !:scared1:


    The system is in place to handle diet and medical issues andit has proven to be very good. I suggest anyone with the ossue uses it.:thumbsup2


    AKK
     
  14. shortchef

    shortchef Mouseketeer

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    Thank you both for trying to help, I appreciate it! The catch with a menu is that there is no way to determine the sodium content of a dish, no matter how many times you read it or how hard you try. You have a decent shot at guessing the carb count or protein count or etc etc in some dishes, but salt -- no way. Still, I think its GREAT that Disney offers low fat options, vegetarian options, Kosher options, gluten free options, etc. There are commercial kitchens that add salt to raw produce like a tossed salad, before the dressing! With the number of people who are supposed to be on a low sodium diet, whether they choose to follow it or not, this is not an usual category LOL and if anything, could well be the most usual. In all these years and visits, I have never had all my meals at TS and do not want to, certainly don't want to have to. Always split it up! One thought that I had was for Disney to adjust their newer "healthy option line" to reflect low sodium as well as low fat, might be a great solution. One category to cover both major dietary contributors to heart disease. But for now .... Hi Ho Hi Ho :)
     
  15. princessallegra

    princessallegra They call me Mrs. Disney

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    I would say that the signature restaurants would be able to handle low sodium requests very well. Flying Fish has already been mentioned, Citricos, Artist Point are two of our favorites.
     
  16. mom2of2

    mom2of2 <font color=blue>Let the good times strolllllll!<b

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    ANY TS restaurant can do low sodium, it just requires a Chef table visit.
     
  17. ccgirl

    ccgirl DIS Veteran

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    Yup, this. :thumbsup2 There's constant opsts about people with with allergies (dairy, egg, nuts). People that need to eat gluten free etc. If I am eating a certain way I tend to bring most foods myself and research the menus.
     
  18. glasslipper

    glasslipper DIS Veteran

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    It's hard to research menus when there is no nutritional information easily available. Even McDonald's offers nutritional lists. Considering all the people who visit WDW, with varying health concerns, it just seems logical that they would as well.
     
  19. shortchef

    shortchef Mouseketeer

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    No matter how hard I try, I can't imagine having an objection to helping someone else out, especially if it created no problems for me. What, I would be upset that my stir fry is cooked in canola oil instead of peanut oil since Susie is allergic to peanuts and I'm not? If I'm not gluten sensitive, I can't order a gluten free platter and still enjoy it? Or order a roll on the side? And if the description of a low sodium platter appealed to me but I wanted my food salty, I, like most people, could figure out how to use the salt shaker.

    Again, again, again, researching the menus does not help with low sodium. Again.

    I don't usually bring my own food on vacation and I'm betting most people prefer not to. And I'll bet you the farm that Disney prefers that people don't either.

    While low sodium items are just starting to become available in restaurants and packaged goods, the likelihood is that it will only expand just like the availability of low fat items. Both represent a leading cause to the number one killer in America. These things take time and I intend to stay with it. It took a long time with smoking too but it was still the right thing to do.
     
  20. karice2

    karice2 DIS Veteran

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    This is exactly the point that is being missed by those who post and say ask for a chef's visit. If the nutritional information were made available then people could plan better.

    No one is asking for special treatment for their particular ailment, the general consensus is that if Disney made the nutritional information available then people can make smarter choices.

    The argument that Disney changes the menu so much is full of hot air. McDonalds doesn't always serve the McRib but they sure make the info available all the time. There are also some standards that never changes. Casey's will always have hot dogs and flame tree will always have ribs. There would be a mutiny if Le Cellier didn't have cheddar cheese soup and lord help us if Mickey Waffles went away. Those standards could easily be made available.
     
  21. mom2of2

    mom2of2 <font color=blue>Let the good times strolllllll!<b

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    One of the reasons for asking to speak to the Chef is because although ingredients don't change the name brand might. Although the main ingredient may be the same their could be something additional in it that could possibly be an allergent. Chefs have this info...they ordered it.

    Why risk reading something that could possibly be wrong when you could speak to someone who has the current daily info
     

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