Friday, May 25, 2012

Salt, Continued...

Ok, yesterday I bored you for quite a long while, about sodium. Today, as promised, I'll give you the depressing news about how much sodium your lunch contains.

Take a typical deli sandwich. Let's say two slices of whole-wheat (so good for you, right?), a bit of processed chicken meat (so much better for you than smoked meats like salami, right?), a slice of cheese (you need that calcium, right?), some low-fat mayo and mustard, perhaps a limp quarter-leaf of lettuce.

How much sodium do you guess? Remember, yesterday we established that a daily amount for health is perhaps 500 mgs, but for argument's sake, we'd aim for 1200 mgs per day, which is what "experts" are now telling us we should do. And yesterday, we discussed how your typical breakfast would easily contain 5-600 mgs of sodium.

Well, grab your seat. The bad news is, just a sandwich alone will contribute about another 600mgs. Two slices of bread will be at least 250 mgs, and probably higher. Depending on the type of bread, it could go MUCH higher. Deli meats are "seasoned." That means salt is added. So being conservative, I'd say you have at least another 100 mgs of sodium in your meat. If you eat something like Montreal Smoked Meat with a pickle on the side, the sodium literally goes through the roof. A cheese slice adds another 100. The condiments will add another 150 at least, and again, depending on the type of mustard you use, it go quite a bit higher. If you like butter or margarine on your sandwich as well, then add more sodium.

But we're not done. If you add a cup of veggie soup, and a glass of skim milk, or a V8 (all SO HEALTHY!), then you are adding at least another 200 mgs of sodium and quite probably higher if it's canned soup. So we're up to a minimum of 800 mgs for lunch. Combine that with the 600 at breakfast, and low and behold...we are already at 1400 mgs, which surpasses what should be your daily total. No room for supper, I guess.

And of course, we've blown past that optimally healthy amount of 500, long ago.

Drinks like V8 kill me. They are dripping with sodium. Even if you buy the "sodium-reduced" version, it still contains sodium! Why!!!???

As I ranted yesterday, there is simply no need for this obscene obsession with sodium. Why are virtually ALL deli meats "seasoned" these days? Why can't you go the deli and get some nice cooked chicken for sandwiches, with NOTHING added?

If you read labels at the grocery store, you will be alarmed to find that a lot of RAW meat is now "seasoned" as well. That's right. If you buy chicken breasts because you want to cook them and end up with sodium-free meat on your plate, you better read the label. A lot of raw chicken and pork is seasoned now.

And why does mustard, of all things, contain whopping amounts of sodium? Did you know you can make your own mustard, and that it couldn't be easier? Just buy a tin of dry powdered mustard and add water. That's it. Zero sodium. Why can't manufacturers make it like that for us?

I won't even go into how much sodium you'll ingest if you go out for lunch and buy a fast-food meal from a burger joint or a Chines restaurant. It might just stop your heart to know.

Next post: just HOW MUCH SODIUM can you pack into a dinner?

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