If you are watch-dogging the sodium in your diet, you are among friends. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 percent of adults living in 26 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are actively trying to reduce their sodium intake.
This is good news, as the latest conclusion in the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is that reducing the sodium in your diet can prevent and reduce high blood pressure.
American adults are consuming more than 3,500 milligrams of sodium daily, which is way over the 2,300 mg upper limit recommended daily, and more than double the 1,500 mg that some folks, who are at a higher risk of getting high blood pressure, should beconsuming. If you are age 51 and older, African-American or have diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease, you are in the higher risk group.
So, as a sodium sleuth, can you uncover which of the following is the No. 1 source of sodium in the diet of Americans?
a. Dairy foods (milk, yogurt and cheese)
b. Condiments, gravies and salad dressings
c. Mixed dishes (pizza, burgers, soups, meat, chicken and fish dishes, grain dishes)
d. Fruit juices
Here’s your answer:
It’s those mixed dishes, which include burgers, pizza, seasoned grain dishes, main dinner entrees and soups that are the biggest sodium culprits in your diet.
If these foods are routinely on your plate, snoop around the fast-food establishment’s website prior to placing your order to find the lowest sodium option available. When food shopping, check the Nutrition Facts panel on the label to compare the amount of sodium per serving among the different brands of mixed dishes available.
I did some sodium sleuthing myself, and this is what I found:
|Instead of This:||Sodium (mg)||Try This:||Sodium (mg)|
|McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with cheese||1,110||McDonald’s Hamburger, hold the pickles||440|
|Pizza Hut’s Meat Lover’s pizza, large, hand tossed, 1 slice||1,010||Pizza Hut’s Veggie Lover’s Pizza, large, hand tossed, 1 slice||590|
|Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, Long Grain & Wild Rice, flavored, 1 cup cooked||650||Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, Whole Grain Brown, 1 cup cooked||15|
|Spaghetti cooked in salted water, 1 cup, withPrego Traditional Tomato sauce, 1/2 cup||183480||Spaghetti cooked without salt, 1 cup, withPrego Heart Smart Traditional sauce, 1/2 cup||1360|
|Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup, 1 cup||890||Campbell’s Healthy Request, Chicken Noodle soup, 1 cup||410|