Saturday, February 24, 2007

A country of salt addicts

Because of my recent medical problems, my days of eating out have come to a screeching halt. I have been told to keep my sodium intake under 2,000 mgs per day. At first 2,000 mgs seemed quite generous to me since the average daily allowance for a healthy adult is 2400 mgs of sodium per day. I thought I wouldn't have to change my diet all that much, until I started reading labels! A one cup serving of Campell's Vegetable Beef soup, for example contains 810 mgs of sodium! One 12-oz bottle of V-8 is 900 mgs! Canned green beans and most other canned veggies, 390+ mgs in a 1/2 cup! Macaroni and cheese, 1756 for ONE serving!

"Lean Cuisine" and "Healthy Choice" entrees are somewhat better with only about half the sodium as regular frozen entrees, however, they are between 500-900 depending on what type of entree you are getting and that is half of my allowance for the whole day in one measly, unsatisfying boxed serving.

Restaurants are the worst. People in this country are poisoning themselves with salt and don't even realize it! I know I didn't till I started having problems.
Burger King Original Whopper with cheese, no mayo...1410 mgs of sodium
Burger King Medium Fries. . .590 mgs of sodium
There's your daily allowance dumped into your system in one sitting.

I checked the nutrition contents of foods from numerous fast food places and restaurants via this website: It gives you the nurtritional information on many, many kinds of foods, fast food menus, and restaurant and bistro menus.

The only option I have is to start doing more of something I from scratch.
I found many varieties of Mrs. Dash that are very good, and am learning to use spices instead of salt when I cook. I am actually starting to taste the flavor of the food that the salt was covering up, and you realize that it's all quite delicious once your tastebuds start waking up!

I don't know what I am going to do on trips and vacations where I must eat out. The only place that has a halfway decent menu that I can choose from is Eat-and-Park and the items I can have are mostly from the Senior Menu. At 52, I am not yet ready to start using old people's options, but when it comes to my health, I guess I will have to. I can also choose from breakfast menus and ask for poached eggs and toast with Promise spread instead of butter or margarine. I have found that Brummel & Brown yogurt spread is the best fake butter and the lowest in sodium, but no restaurant is going to have that.

Here is what I can have at Wendy's...
Baked Potato with nothing on it
Packet of ketchup
iced tea
salad with no meat, dressing, or cheese

At Denny's I can have
2 Poached eggs
a piece of toast
one strip of bacon
fruit cup

Burger King I can have
plain salad no meat or dressing
packet of ketchup
little cup of strawberry applesauce
ice tea


Olive Garden

(Chili's Awesome Blossom, which I used to LOVE, has 4,600+ mgs of sodium!!!)

Anyway, go to the link I provided and see for yourself. You will be shocked at what you are eating. Most people consume 4,000 to 6,000 mgs of sodium easily each day, and are feeding it to their children, and don't even know it.

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