The average American woman consumes roughly 3,000mg sodium per day; the average American male consumes more than 4,000mg per day. The recommended daily intake of sodium for a healthy American is 2400mg per day or less. What could we save if everyone cut back on their sodium intake by just 1,200 mg?
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), it could prevent 92,000 deaths and 66,000 strokes per year. It could keep up to 99,000 Americans from having a heart attack and up to 120,000 others from getting heart disease every year. It could save $10-$24 billion in health care costs every year.
So why are we eating so much sodium each day? Unfortunately, unless you are cooking from scratch, 75-80% of the sodium we consume is added to food before we eat it in the form of packaged meals and restaurant meals. Some examples of this added salt are:
- McDonalds Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich 1,190 mg sodium
- Denny’s All American Slam 2,280 mg sodium
- Chipotle Chicken Burrito 2,120 mg sodium
- Panera Smoked Ham & Swiss on sandwich on Rye 2,350 mg sodium
- Outback Steakhouse Baby Back Ribs 2,600 mg sodium
- Olive Garden’s Lasagna 2,830 mg sodium
- PF Chang’s Seasame Chicken & Rice 3,060 mg sodium
- California Pizza Kitchen Meat Lovers Pizza 4,130 mg sodium
- Outback Bloomin Onion 5,510 mg sodium
If eating packaged foods at home, add fresh or frozen veggies to the meal to increase the fiber & potassium, and decrease portion of the packaged salt you will be consuming. If eating out, leave half on your plate for later, request a side salad instead of salt-laden sides, and drink water with your meal.
Many thanks to our resident Registered Dietician Mindy Black for her submission. You can find out more healthy tips by contacting her.