Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Low Salt and Low Sodium vs. Actual Consumption

I know a few people with high blood pressure or a heart condition and their doctor has instructed them to follow a low salt/low sodium diet. Unfortunately, some of those people don't understand what that means. 
I'm talking specifically about people with a heart condition who eat processed food...YIKES! I don't know how many ways to say it “PROCESSED FOOD IS PROCESSED WITH SODIUM!! STAY AWAY FROM IT!!!” I don't expect you to believe me, ASK YOUR DOCTOR!!
Most of the sodium Americans eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought and restaurant foods.  Only a small amount comes from salt added during cooking or at the table.  Most Americans already get more sodium than recommended before they ever pick up a salt shaker.  The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans RECOMMEND that Americans consume LESS THAN 2300 mg of sodium each day as part of a healthy eating pattern.

Here's a visual for you. Below is Jimmy Dean Sausage and Eggs Breakfast Bowl. The front of the box states it contains, eggs, potatoes, sausage and cheddar cheese. The back of the box tells a different story. I couldn't count all the ingredients without getting a migraine, but I did count salt/sodium 5 times, sugar 1 time. This stuff is very bad for a heart patient and/or a diabetic. Do you see the nutrition label?...830 mg sodium.  


Back of the Box
INGREDIENTS: PRECOOKED SCRAMBLED EGGS (WHOLE EGGS, SKIM MILK, SOYBEAN OIL, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, XANTHAN GUM, LIQUID PEPPER EXTRACT, SALT, CITRIC ACID, BUTTER FLAVOR [BUTTER {CREAM, MILK}, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OIL, SOYBEAN OIL, LIPOLYZED BUTTER OIL, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS]), DICED POTATOES (POTATOES, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL [SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED OILS], AND/OR VEGETABLE OIL [CANOLA, SOYBEAN AND/OR SUNFLOWER OILS], MALTODEXTRIN, SALT, DEXTROSE, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE AND DISODIUM DIHYDROGEN PYROPHOSPHATE [TO MAINTAIN NATURAL COLOR]),COOKED PORK SAUSAGE CRUMBLES (PORK, WATER, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, SUGAR, SPICES, NATURAL FLAVOR (WITH MALTODEXTRIN, SUCCINIC ACID), SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CARAMEL COLOR).SHREDDED MILD CHEDDAR CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES, ANNATTO COLOR), WATER.
Some people want their food taste even saltier so they sprinkle a salt substitute on it.  Do they think the salt substitute works in reverse to counteract the 830 mg of sodium?  It does NOT.

I did some research, what you see below are two snippets directly from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration:

Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

If you're unsure about what the FDA means by 'packaged' food, it's all those enticing frozen meals and dinners in a box.  Like the Jimmy Dean breakfast bowl you see above.  The worst processed food that I have found so far is Ramen.  Take a look at the sodium count on Maruchan RamenIt's enough to give anyone high blood pressure.
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