Be forewarned: if you frequent PF Chang's, Chili's or Hardee's, you may not want to read any further. Or you might be enticed to read on.
I ran across a Men's Health magazine from this spring which featured a list of the 20 most saltiest foods in America. They feature things like "saltiest side dish" and "saltiest" Chinese entree."
Now, before I get to numbers 20-11 on the list, a bit about sodium: you are supposed to consume 2,300 mg of sodium per day. How much is that? Exactly one teaspoon, which isn't a lot. But, according to the magazine, the average American eats 3,300 mg of sodium per day.
20. Saltiest Side Dish - Denny's Honey Sliced Ham, grilled slice: 1,700 mg sodium, 85 calories
19. Saltiest Dessert - Atlanta Bread Company Raspberry Scone: 1,750 mg sodium, 360 calories
18. Saltiest Soup - Baja Fresh Chicken Tortilla Soup: 2,760 mg sodium, 320 calories
17. Saltiest Burger - Hardee's 2/3 lb Monster Thickburger: 2,770 mg sodium, 1,420 calories
16. Saltiest "Healthy" Food - Chili's Guiltless Grill Chicken Platter: 2,780 mg sodium, 590 calories
15. Saltiest Pasta - Fazoli's Rigatoni Romano: 3,180 mg sodium, 1,090 calories
14. Saltiest Chinese Food - PF Chang's Beef with Broccoli: 3,752 mg sodium, 1,120 calories
13. Saltiest Breakfast - Arby's Sausage Gravy: 3,754 mg sodium, 961 calories
12. Saltiest Beef Entree - Bob Evans Steak Tips and Noodles: 4,131 mg sodium, 822 calories
11. Saltiest Frozen Dinner - Swanson Hungryman XXL Roasted Carved Turkey: 4,480 mg sodium, 1,360 calories
There you go. The first half of the list. And if the first half ends with two dishes of over 4,000 mg sodium and five with more than 3,000, you can only imagine the horrors that await from spots 10 through 1.
The one that surprises me the most is Chili's. Now, I don't get out to restaurants much any more but I've been to Chili's a few times over the last three years and I've ordered off their guiltless grill menu as all dishes have or are supposed to have less than 600 calories. And while their Guiltless Grill Chicken Platter does have less than those many calories, the trade-off is consuming more than your recommended daily sodium intake. I don't think that's necessarily a fair trade.
Check back later this week for spots 10 through 1... unless you like Romano's Macaroni Grill.