I love soup, especially tomato soup. So, when I stepped out at lunch to run errands on this 36-degree damp day, I stopped at a chain restaurant to buy some soup to bring back to my desk. When I returned, I decided to catch up on emails from Nancy Brown. Nancy, as most of you know, is the CEO of the American Heart Association. Her newsletters have a ton of great information.
One of Nancy’s recent newsletters discussed the latest sodium recommendations from the American Heart Association:
“The AHA has long recommended no more than 1,500 milligrams based on scientific evidence.
The new guidelines suggest that 2,400 milligrams per day is an acceptable "step-down" limit for people with high blood pressure, and that people can reduce their risk of hypertension even more by going down to 1,500 milligrams per day. The main point to remember, however, is that Americans need to reduce their sodium intake drastically from the 3,400-plus milligrams they currently consume -- which puts them at increased risk of hypertension, stroke and other major health problems.”
As I sat there and sipped my soup, I decided to try to look at the nutrition information. Because I went to a chain-restaurant, the information was available on line.
Well, it was not as bad as I feared, but still pretty high. The soup itself had 510 mg of sodium, about a third of my daily ration. However, my breakfast had very little sodium, so this was ok. Right? However, I did add the little bag of about 6 croutons that they gave me and had (unfortunately) already eaten them. Darn. That was a totally unnecessary 170 mg of sodium.
Luckily, I had not chosen the bread that comes with the soup. That little piece of bread has 440 mg of sodium. If I had eaten that bread, my lunch would have come pretty darn close to my daily sodium intake.
Lesson learned….don’t eat the croutons…choose the apple…and pay attention. Little changes can make a big difference.