Hey Mabel, Read the Label!
Nick and I just said goodbye to his sister, Mary, and his niece, Taylor, who were visiting for a couple of days from Dallas. While they were here it was more convenient for all of us to catch our meals “on the road” as they say, since we were running all over Sussex County. Boy, did we get our fill of added salt and fat in our diets. Many restaurants don’t tell you—or don’t know—what ingredients go into their breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. The soups were really salty. Mary and Taylor tried Chesapeake Bay Crab Soup since it is nowhere to be found in Texas.
Recently, the government has been looking into the possibility of having restaurants and fast food places list calories, fat, and salt content on their menus. I think that’s a great idea. The fast food industry says that it won’t work—that most people who frequent their establishment really won’t pay attention to it. Well, this is one consumer who will. I think it would allow us to make a more healthy and intelligent choice on many questionable foods.
After our company left for home, Nick and I headed to the grocery store to replenish the fridge and pantry. Boneless/skinless chicken breasts were on sale at a pretty “safe” store. It was a Perdue item—pretty good. The label told us that the breasts were injected with a 15% solution. The label splashed across the box exclaimed that the contents were steroid and hormone free! But the chicken had been adulterated with 15% salt/broth. That ups the weight and increases the salt content exponentially. This is healthy? If you are on blood pressure medicine, it can be potentially harmful. You see, the previous Administration allowed the chicken and pork industries to inject their product with salt water or a type of broth. Yep-pork, too! Read that pork label, there Mabel. We have found that chicken and pork items that are skinless and boneless have the most injected solution. Used to be that items that had bones in them didn’t have any solution, but we found out this weekend that some chicken parts with bones had anywhere from 3% to 10% injected liquid. How disappointing.
There was a great deal at one Super market on tomato spaghetti sauce. Half price! But after reading the label, we found out that one serving has 410 milligrams of salt. There were seven servings in each jar. Do the math and you have a full day of sodium in one grocery item. We decided to buy the no salt added crushed tomatoes which had 10 milligrams of salt with 13 servings per can. That is a huge difference. Both items weighed 26 ounces each.
Nick pointed out that those familiar frozen red box items were half price. Such a deal! That is until you check out the nutrition fact label. In three servings of lasagna you got 700 milligrams of sodium. That’s 2100 milligrams of salt in one 21oz. box. The front label boasts “No Preser-vatives” in bold letters. We decided to buy the Eat Right items that were also on sale. For one serving we only got 190 milligrams of sodium.
For those who are on blood pressure medication, and even those who are not, it is extremely important that you check out the nutrition info on any food you purchase. Read all the information and decide for yourself if this is a healthy choice for you. Your health depends on it.
Rick Moore is a personal trainer certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates.