I can’t tell you how nice it is to hear success stories of people who have made a change and seen results! I talked to people all the time who have the best intentions, but I rarely get to hear how it turns out! Here’s a comment from my last post:
“I had to comment because I’ve proved this is true! I stopped eating anything processed (not really a restaruant eater so it didn’t apply) but that was the “healthy” frozen dinners, morning frozen biscuits, hot pockets, entrees, canned soups, pastries, cookies, chips, etc. I made EVERYTHING from scratch and that includes making batches and freezing portions for during the. Just YESTERDAY my blood pressure was 112/68!!! I used to run 140/75! So, salt makes a BIG difference and now I realize that the salt sprinkles on my plate from home made food is NOTHING compared to the salt in a packaged food.”
That’s a huge difference in blood pressure! And one that will definitely result in better health!
I think the reader’s comment leads nicely into today’s topic, wich is the packaged foods from the grocery store. YES, even the foods from the grocery store that might be labeled as “healthy” may contain a lot of sodium.
What’s the Best Way to Know How Much Sodium is in the Foods You Buy?
Image via Wikipedia
Hands down, the best (and easiest) way to know how much sodium is in the foods you purchase is to read the food label.
I won’t do a complete lesson on everything on the food label, because that can be a bit overwhelming. However, when looking for the amount of sodium in the food, there are 2 things you need to check out.
- You MUST look at the serving size and determine how many “servings” you are going to eat. You would be surprised by what they consider a serving. 1/2 of a small pizza? 2 servings in a can of soup? Yeah, Right!
- You also have to see how much sodium is listed on the label. Remember that the amount listed is per serving! This is when your math skills come into play. If you are eating a whole can of soup, or 2 servings, you have to multiply the sodium by 2. It starts to add up quick!
You can also look at the percentage on the right side. That will tell you what percent of the daily value is in a serving. They will base it on the 2300mg recommendation – don’t forget that if you are over 50, African American or have high blook pressure or kidney disease, your recommendation is 1500mg.
The food packaging of the product may also make some claims regarding the amount of sodium in the product. Here is what it means:
- Sodium-free: Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
- Very low-sodium: 35 mg or less per serving
- Low-sodium: Less than 140 mg per serving
- Reduced sodium: Sodium level reduced by 25%. WATCH OUT! This means it could still be really high. It’s just 25% less than it was in the original version!
Here are some of the packaged foods that contain a lot of sodium:
High Sodium Packaged Foods
- Swanson’s Hungry Man Roasted Carved Turkey
1 package = 1,620mg
- Swanson’s Hungry Man Beef Meatloaf w/ Brown Gravy, Mashed Potatoes
1 package = 1,510mg
- Swanson’s Hungry Man Classic Fried Chicken
1 package = 1,610mg
- Oscar Mayer Lunchables Deluxe & Ham & Swiss & Cheddar
1 package = 930mg
- Great Value Premium Macaroni and Cheese
1 box = 2,160mg
- Progresso Classics Hearty Tomato Soup
1 cup = 1,110mg
- Maruchan Instant Lunch Ramen Noodles w/ Vegetables
1 package = 1,120mg
- Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Original Biscuits
1 biscuit = 600mg
- Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine Macaroni and Cheese Frozen Dinner
1 package = 630mg
- Campbell’s Chedder Cheese Soup
1/3 of a can = 890mg
- Stouffer’s Homestyle Classics Chicken Breast in BBQ Sauce and Cheese Cheese Potato Bake
1 package = 1,290mg
- Armour Jumbo Hot Dogs
1 frank = 680mg.
FOR ONE HOT DOG! Let’s be real… how many do you eat?
Here’s your homework: Check out one of your favorite packaged foods and post a comment on this article. Be sure to include in the comment:
- the brand
- the serving size
- how much sodium is in a serving
- how much you normally eat
That way we can all learn from each other! And my next article will cover smart grocery shopping.