Fast Fix – Change Your Baking Powder

I call this a “Fast Fix” because it’s a super quick way to painlessly switch to a “health food”.

Ingredient: Baking Powder
Uses: A leavening agent, making quick breads and cookies rise.

Switching brands of baking powder is one really fast way to improve your diet.  What difference does it make which baking powder you use?  Two words: aluminum and sodium. 

The Technical Stuff: All baking powder is made of baking soda, an acid, and a starch.  The baking soda releases carbon dioxide gas which causes the dough or batter to rise.

The acid is usually cream of tartar, calcium acid phosphate, or sodium aluminum sulphate.  When the powder is combined with a liquid, the acid used reacts with the baking soda causing it to release the gas.

Starch, such as cornstarch or flour, is added to prevent the powder from absorbing moisture, so that it stays dry until you need to use it.

It’s best to avoid baking powder that contains sodium aluminum sulphate because some doctors believe there is a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease and other problems.  Since it’s so easy to avoid, why take the chance?

What to Buy: All you need to do is switch to a baking powder using a different acid, such as Rumford Baking Powder which uses monocalcium phosphate. 

Where to Buy It: Rumford Baking Powder is available in many grocery stores, but if you have trouble finding it, there are also many online sources.  For instance, you can buy Rumford Company – Baking Powder – 10 oz at Amazon by clicking on the link.

Note: Baking powder is high in sodium, with 440mg per teaspoon for Rumford’s, and 590mg per teaspoon for Bob’s Red Mill’s product. Of course, this is spread throughout whatever you’re baking, so you only get a fraction of that amount.

However, if you need to watch your salt intake even more than usual, there are brands of baking powder made without any sodium at all. Featherweight Baking Powder and Ener-G Baking Powder have ZERO sodium. A lot of health food stores carry such brands, plus online vendors such as Healthy Heart Market.

FAST FIX: Switching your brand of baking powder is such an easy change to make it’s a no-brainer way to healthier eating.

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