Did I get your attention? My whole life I’ve known that sodium is bad for you and causes hypertension and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. I never cooked with salt and I never added salt to my vegetables or meats after they were cooked. What I never realized was that it’s not a little table salt that is causing Americans to consume more than twice the daily allowance of sodium, it’s processed foods.
This is a Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup label. The original kind that I ate growing up as a kid, and it’s probably still as delicious as I remember it. BUT, look at the sodium. It’s 890mg PER SERVING. I don’t know about you, but when I eat a can of soup, I eat the whole thing. I certainly don’t divide it in 2.5 servings. That means that one can has 2,225mg of sodium. In order to stay under the upper limit of 2,300mg per day you pretty much couldn’t eat anything else the entire day. In contrast, my homemade chicken noodle soup (recipe coming soon) serves 12 and only contains 1tsp of salt (approx. 192mg per serving).
There’s sodium hidden in high quantities in nearly all processed food, which is one of many reasons why my family chooses to stay away from it. When we cut out processed food, I realized that I could start adding a small amount of salt to things and still keep my family healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to drown all of your food in the stuff, but a little sprinkle on your chicken isn’t harmful. This is 1tsp of salt, which is the upper limit you should stay under each day. There’s no way anyone would eat that much salt on their meat and vegetables if it wasn’t hidden IN something.
Your body actually needs sodium, although it’s a very small amount (180-500mg). I think our food tastes better now, and the kids enjoy my cooking more:) Cutting out the majority of processed food has been the best thing I’ve done for our family. We save money and feel so much better! I can immediately tell when we get off track (on vacations or when we eat out a lot), because I don’t feel well. I’m tired and bloated and just feel blah.
Until our next adventure,
References: CDC: Americans Consume Too Much Sodium (Salt)