Well, last night we got to watch the Oscars and the beautiful stars walking the Red Carpet, beforehand. I bet many of them have just come off of fad diets and crazy fasts as well as watching their calories and points and avoiding too many carbs, sugar and salt. Last week I promised to come back with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s list of the “Salty Six”– common foods that may be loaded with excess sodium that can increase our risk for heart disease and stroke. The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day–more than twice the 1,500 milligrams recommended by the Association. While so many people tell me they hardly use the salt shaker, the problem is that 75% of our sodium consumption comers from processed and restaurant food. Here’s a quick look at the Salty Six.
1. Breads and rolls. While it doesn’t taste salty, one piece can have as much as 230 milligrams.
2. Cold cuts and cured meats. Deli or pre-packaged turkey can contain as much as 1,050 milligrams, added so they don’t spoil.
3. Pizza. So this one I think we all realize is not really a health food, but one slice can have up to 760 milligrams, and who of us eats just one slice, except Lesley??
4. Poultry. The range of sodium in poultry ranges drastically so choose wisely. Reasonable portions of skinless, grilled chicken are OK by know that they may still contain sodium solutions.
5. Soup. This one gets me, personally, because I love soup and it’s often recommended to eat soup before a meal to cut caloric intake of the entire meal. But just look at the sodium in a can, or even in the broth you may use to make your own. When I make my own I often use water in place of broth, or at least mix it 50/50 to cut back on the sodium. If you go to your pantry for a can, consider that just one cup of canned chicken noodle can have up to 940 milligrams and again, most people have more than one serving. 2 cups will put you way over the daily recommended amount. Oiy.
6. Sandwiches. We already covered the bread and the cold cuts. Put that together with some ketchup or mustard and you can easily surpass 1,500 milligrams in just one sitting.
Keep in mind that every brand and every restaurant prep, will mean different levels of sodium, but use the above for general guidelines. If you struggling with hypertension especially, but all of us, should take a day or two to tally our daily sodium intake. It may help us find places we can easily cut from and lower our intake and our pressure!
Back to the Oscars for just a minute. While the Red Carpet winners, nominees, presenters and guests, may be out indulging in the foods they avoided the weeks prior and celebrating as they should, it’s important to remember that real life goes on in the rest of the world. Congratulations to all the winners. Please know that while Argo was a great story and took the award for best picture, the family of Bob Levinson would like to remind us all, that he is still be held hostage (day 2,178). Wishing someone could get in there and rescue him and finally bring him back home to his family.
Tonight—Biggest Loser week 9. Hope Danni and Jackson make it through another week and get to do their own walk on the makeover “red carpet”….