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No-Salt Cooking Guru

By Marsha McCulloch, M.S., R.D.

A congestive heart failure survivor becomes a no-salt cooking guru and proves you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to cut salt. He shares his journey to better health and his favorite low-sodium recipes.

When told he might not live the year out, Don Gazzaniga went to the kitchen.

Diagnosed with congestive heart failure, Gazzaniga was told he probably would need a heart transplant and should drastically cut salt from his diet. So the amateur chef set out to do what some experts thought was impossible—eat well while limiting sodium consumption to half a gram a day, about a quarter of a teaspoon of table salt. 

That was 12 years ago.

Today, the 75-year-old from Auburn, California, is thriving without a heart transplant. He has written four no-salt, low-sodium cookbooks and has built a large virtual community on his Web site. The former film director, cinematographer, and TV ad writer gets 10–20 e-mails a day from people who say his cookbooks and low-sodium recipes helped save their lives. Quite likely, they helped save Gazzaniga’s life, too.

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