In our efforts to live a healthy, well-balanced life, we often overlook the small stuff. ‘Evaluate salt intake’ probably isn’t high on your list of things to do this week. However, it should be. Sodium intake is a silent killer, and almost always goes undetected…until it’s too late.
Here’s why. High salt diets contribute to:
- coronary artery disease
- heart attacks
- kidney failure
- congestive heart failure
- inflammatory diseases
- kidney stones
- increased headaches
- some cancers
Not a very cheery list, is it? The average American eats a whopping 3,400 mg of sodium a day. The bottom line is that you should reduce your sodium intake to less than 1500mg a day if you are over 50, African American, or have diabetes, kidney disease, or hypertension. There’s a huge issue with school lunches as well, which you can read here, but that’s a discussion for another day.
What does 1500mg of sodium look like compared to sodium found in popular fast foods?
- TGI Friday’s Signature Whiskey-Glazed Burger with Gluten-Free Bun – 3570mg
- 6″ Subway Buffalo Chicken Melt – 2030mg
- Red Lobster Dragon Shrimp – 4370mg
- McDonald’s Angus Bacon & Cheese – 2070mg
- McDonald’s medium fries – 221mg
- TGI Fridays Chicken Parmesan Pasta – 4130mg
- Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese Bread Bowl – 2290mg
- Cheesecake Factory nachos – 2680mg
- KFC fried chicken breast – 1190mg
- Chili’s Quesadilla Bacon Ranch Steak – 3890mg
- Chipotle barbacoa burrito with fresh tomato salsa and cheese – 1870mg
It’s plain as day that, in most cases, if we eat out for lunch, it’s likely that we’re eating 70-100% of our daily recommended sodium in that meal alone.
All is not lost, though. Here are examples of better low-sodium choices at popular restaurant chains:
- 6″ Subway Veggie Delight – 240mg
- Chick-fil-A’s 8pc grilled chicken nuggets – 440mg
- Taco Bell’s Beef Crunchy Taco – 310mg
- Panera Bread 1/2 Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich + 1/2 Seasonal Green Salad – 470mg
- In-N-Out’s Protein Style Burger – 370mg
- Chipotle’s Steak Bowl – 320mg
So you can see, there are lots of excellent low-sodium options, even when it comes to fast food. As with many seemingly small decisions we make every day, getting into a healthy habit just takes a few more seconds of effort to uncover the better choice. Just look Your body will thank you for it.
For more info: