Apr 212010

Many recent articles have discussed the health risks associated with too much sodium added to our foods; high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Because of these risks, the FDA is working to regulate manufacturers so that they reduce the amount of sodium added to foods. The recommended intake is 1500 mg or less, the maximum healthy amount is 2300 and the average American intake 3400 mg according to an April 21 Associated Press release.

Since I consider myself to eat a very healthful diet, I found it an interesting exercise today to add up the sodium in my diet today and discovered that sodium was hiding in foods I never imagined.

Breakfast (pre-swim workout)
Cup of English breakfast tea – 0 mg
English muffin with raspberry jam – 269 mg
1 cup of XOOD sports drink – 105 mg

Breakfast 2 (post-swim)
1 cup oatmeal – 0 mg
1/2 cup milk – 120 mg
1/2 cup strawberries – 0 mg

Lunch
2 string cheese – 400 mg
1 whole wheat bagel – 400 mg
1 cup raspberry yogurt drink – 100 mg

Dinner
Bowl of Split pea soup – 690 mg
1 cup Mushrooms/asparagus – I added the salt – probably 500 mg

Doesn’t this sound like I did well? Truth is, my daily sodium intake is slightly over the 2300 recommended healthy maximum at 2315 mg even though I believed I was eating very healthfully. I learned a lesson, never imagining that salt would be present in yogurt or milk!

The moral of the story? Read your labels carefully and make sure you aren’t getting more sodium than you bargained for. Eat close to the source and avoid processed foods laden with hidden sodium.

4 Responses to “Eating Too Much Sodium? Me Too…”

  1. Leslie Livingston says:

    Love your blog.

    You eat incredibly healthy. Who would have known?

  2. Susan Dawson-Cook says:

    Thanks, Leslie. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog.

    Today was an above-average day. I’d hate to see the totals on a day I eat chicken wings, one of my favorite lunch items (880 mg sodium)!! Other favorites of mine that have too much salt – microwave popcorn, salted pistachios or almonds, and All-bran crackers.

  3. cheryl Palen says:

    I love my salty foods…I figure if I am craving them, I need the salt.
    I don’t count calories or anything else…hope I never have to!

  4. Susan Dawson-Cook says:

    Cheryl, I have tended to do the same. The article prompted me to check myself. I am so surprised by all the added sodium in foods I didn’t even expect to be salted. The article diid mention that people have developed a “taste” for the extra salt and maybe that is why we (me too!) tend to crave it.

    I’m thinking there is enough salt added to my food, I should put down the salt shaker. As for diets and calorie counting, with my activity level and tendency toward healthful eating, it simply isn’t necessary. There were a few years back in the day (college) when I didn’t eat so well and drank a lot of alcohol that I looked like a tank. Changing my habits turned it all around for me.

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