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.

10 comments:

  1. The amount of salt even in canned soups shocked the heck out of me. I like to use them as a base for dishes and it is horrifying the amount of salt in one small can of soup. I don't have heart issues but my husband has to be careful.

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    1. Lorelei, I haven't opened a can of soup in 35 years!

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  2. I believe the daily amount of salt recommended was lowered to 1500 mg a day - so many processed foods practically meet that for one serving!

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    1. You're so right Savvy Age! When will people learn?!?!

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  3. I noticed I start to swell with to much salt intake. Not sure how to flush it out once I realized I consumed to much. Pre boxed items all seem to be high in sodium and most canned foods too.

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    1. You said it all Sandy. Boxed and canned foods have too much sodium. My advice as always, eat real food.

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  4. I learned this a long time ago from my ex mother in law. I do eat processed and can foods. Since I have no vehicle, I must stock up to feed my family when I can catch a ride. I prefer fresh or frozen veggies but I can't always have that.

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    1. I know what you mean Sandy, it isn't always easy. I make soup from scratch then freeze it.

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  5. Great article Candy, We try to use as many fresh ingredients as possible when preparing our meals. When we use canned soup as a base we always by low sodium. Thanks :)

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    1. Of course fresh is always best Sam, both for taste and health.

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