Sodium: Easy Ways to Cut Back on Salt (cont.)

Feel free to load on all the lettuce, tomato, and onion your heart desires. Each adds 5 calories or less per serving, and is mostly sodium-free.

3. Beware of Dressings and Sauces

If you think a little bit of dressing or sauce won't add that much sodium to your meal, think again. Take a gander at some of the dressing offered at the Jack in the Box fast-food restaurant:

Creamy Southwest Dressing (71-gram serving): 1,060 milligrams sodium
Bacon Ranch Dressing (71-gram serving): 810 milligrams sodium
Asian Sesame Dressing (71-gram serving): 780 milligrams sodium

4. Opt for Alternatives

Purchase a battery-operated pepper grinder and your favorite flavor of salt-free herb and spice blend (like Mrs. Dash). Then keep them front and center on your kitchen table to help you break the habit of salting your food.

5. Forgo Fast Food

Eating at fast-food chains may be fast and cheap, but you pay the price in calories, fat, and sodium. Many fast-food items are big on sodium. The following items, at a few top chains, topped the sodium scale:

Jack in the Box

  • Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger: 2,040 milligrams sodium
  • Chipotle Chicken Ciabatta with Grilled Chicken: 1,850 milligrams
  • Bruschetta Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich: 1,810 milligrams
  • Ciabatta Breakfast Sandwich: 1,770 milligrams
  • Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich: 1,700 milligrams
  • Bacon 'n' Cheese Ciabatta Burger: 1,670 milligrams
  • Chipotle Chicken Ciabatta with Spicy Crispy Chicken: 1,650 milligrams
  • Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit: 1,430 milligrams

Wendy's

  • Homestyle Chicken Strips (3) with dipping sauce: 1,690-1,890 milligrams sodium, depending on sauce
  • Frescata Club Sandwich: 1,610 milligrams
  • Frescata Italiana Sandwich: 1,530 milligrams
  • Roasted Turkey & Swiss Frescata Sandwich: 1,520 milligrams
  • Big Bacon Classic Sandwich: 1,510 milligrams

McDonald's

  • Deluxe Breakfast: 1,920 milligrams sodium
  • Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich: 1,830 milligrams
  • Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich: 1,750 milligrams
  • Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich: 1,690 milligrams
  • Big Breakfast: 1,470 milligrams
  • Sausage, Egg, & Cheese McGriddle: 1,300 milligrams

Published October 2006.


SOURCES: "Healthy Lifestyle Could Significantly Reduce High Blood Pressure," American Stroke Association Journal Report, Jan. 24, 2006. American Heart Association scientific statement. Loria C.M. Journal of Nutrition 2001; vol 131: pp 536S-551S. Bihorac, A. American Journal of Hypertension, August 2000; vol 13: pp 864-872. Reusser, M.E. Journal of Nutrition, April 2006; vol 136: pp 1099-1102. Thierry-Palmer M. Journal of Nutrition, January 2003; vol 133: pp 187-190. Falkner, B. Hypertension, 1990; vol 15: pp 36-43. Weinberger, MH. Hypertension, 1986; vol 8 (Suppl II): II: pp 127-34. Hillel W. Cohen, DrPH. American Journal of Medicine, March 2006; vol 119 : pp 275.e7-275.e14. American Heart Association web site. Food Standards Agency web site. Jack in the Box web site. McDonald's web site. Wendy's web site. Food Processor nutritional analysis software, ESHA Research. WebMD Feature: "Beware of the Salt Shockers." Myrtle Thierry-Palmer, PhD, professor of biochemistry, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta.

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