They may be lean and green, but they pack quite a salty punch.
When you think of high sodium foods, what do you see? I envision salt bombs like the Big Mac (1040 mg per serving) and Campbell’s Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup (890 mg per serving). But the shocking fact is that many “healthy,” organic and vegetarian foods are high in sodium, too.
The USDA estimates that 77% of the sodium in an average American’s diet comes from packaged and processed foods (while only 5-6% of sodium is added while cooking or eating), so if you’re into convenience – even the organic, natural kind – you might want to look a little closer at the label.
How do your favorite green convenience foods add up?
Amy’s Curried Lentil Soup sounds like a quick and tasty treat, but packs 680 mg sodium per serving.
Annie’s Organic Alfredo Shells and Cheddar is one of my all-time comfort foods, but with 670 mg sodium per serving I should reconsider my definition of comfort!
GardenBurger’s Flame Grilled Soy Burger, though vegan, contains 500 mg sodium per serving.
Yves Classic Veggie Brats pack a whopping 840 mg per weiner! And ask yourself, will you honestly eat just one?
Boca Meatless Italian Sausage has significantly less fat than its meaty cousin, but it is definitely not low on sodium: 650 mg per serving.
Annie’s Naturals Goddess Dressing is such a delicious, creamy delight on garden fresh greens, but with 390 mg of sodium per serving, it makes for a pretty salty salad.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for sodium is 2400 mg, but for optimum health you should not exceed 1500-2000 mg per day, and the USDA standard for “healthy” food is that it must not contain more than 480 mg of sodium per serving.
What’s the real lesson here? Processed foods, even organic and vegetarian ones, don’t provide the optimal health for our bodies. Sure, you may grab “Ëœem once in awhile when you don’t have time to cook a meal from scratch. While these organic and vegetarian meals are better than stopping at the drive-thru, nothing beats creating your own meals from whole foods, which will always be the cornerstone of a truly healthy diet.
Image: Dan Zen