Sodium

I believe it to be a well known fact that canned products tend to contain a great deal of sodium. I just want to start out with that. If you don’t know this, google it, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a ton of information about the uprising over the last year of people opposed to these sodium levels. Oh, I should also include things like microwavable meals in this category (think tv dinner types – i.e. Lean Cuisine).

Progresso

So yesterday I was waiting in the kitchen at the microwave to heat up my oh-so-yummy homemade chili. The girl I was waiting on pulled her microwavable bowl of Progresso soup out of the microwave, grabbed some salt from a bowl on the counter we keep condiments in and went on her way. I then proceeded to drink 5 gallons of water for her. I was amazed that someone would add salt to a canned soup and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, so I looked up Progresso’s sodium levels for this product. Between regular Progresso and Progresso Light, the lowest sodium level I can find in one of these cans is 680 mg (in the Chicken Wild Rice flavor). It ranges all the way up to 930mg (in Minestrone).

The daily recommended sodium intake (by the American Heart Association) is 1,000 mg per 1,000 calories you eat, not to exceed 3,000 mg per day. (To give some gauge, 2500 mg is about a teaspoon.) I can’t imagine getting half of my intake in one meal. Then there’s also the question, is there anything wrong with getting less than 1,000 mg per 1,000 calories per day? I’m going to go with no, but if you can prove me wrong, by all means.

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2 responses to “Sodium

  1. This has been an on-going issue since the 1970’s but shows no real sign of changing, at least from my perspective in the industry.

    I think Salt gets a bad wrap in the whole “health” consciousness of America because it’s an easy target. The sad fact is that because we choose to eat such processed foods, we have problems with too much sodium intake or too many calories.

    The easiest solution is fresh foods that actually have flavor. The products used to make the processed foods that the majority of Americans eat are so bland that flavors, sodium and other enhancers are the ONLY way people can eat this stuff (especially now that they have a “taste” for it).

    Your kidneys regulate the amount of salt your body needs (and keeps), which I’ve read is somewhere in the 500-700mg per day range. If you just eat fruits, vegetables and fresh meats, you’ll get to this range.

    But all of this is moot if you don’t have high blood pressure. No studies have linked high blood pressure to sodium to my knowledge and there’s also been some very controversial research lately that’s pointed to sodium NOT having an effect on blood pressure in hypertensive people.

    Ultimately, the choices belong to the consumer. If they continue to want convenience and speed, then processed, high-sodium, high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods are what they’ll get.

  2. I agree. Mostly I was just shocked that this girl was adding MORE salt to her soup.

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