Do you watch your sodium intake?
It's tough to keep tabs on so many things - calories, fiber, protein, carbs, sodium, etc. I prioritized two things during my weight-loss journey. My main priority was calories as I tried to stay around 1800 a day (and 2800 every fourth day). My second priority, though, was fiber. I figured that if I kept my calories at 1800 a day and got in 25-30 grams of fiber a day, everything else would take care of itself.
But that doesn't mean I could ignore sodium altogether. I wasn't quite sure how many grams of sodium were recommended each day so when I'd look at the nutrition facts and would see something like 700mg sodium per serving, I wondered if that was normal, bad or terrible.
Well, there are two schools of thought with regards to sodium intake. The Institute of Medicine recommends 2300 mg a day, which is roughly a teaspoon of salt. The average American consumes 3400 mg a day.
Not surprisingly, most excessive sodium comes from processed foods. Salt equals flavor and if processed foods didn't have so much salt, they would be bland.
Home cooking doesn't make for excessive sodium levels. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 77 percent of the sodium in an average diet comes from processed and restaurant foods. As far as lowering your sodium levels, the simple answer is to eat lots of fruits and veggies, and cook at home.
If you do have to go out, do what you can to avoid these foods, which Men's Health labeled the Saltiest Foods in America
5. Saltiest Nachos: On The Border, Grande Fajita Chicken Nachos (appetizer) - 5,180 mg sodium, 1,540 calories, 85g fat
4. Saltiest Steak Meal: Claim Jumper, Country Fried Steak - 6,157 mg sodium, 2,288 calories, 68g fat
3. Saltiest Breakfast: Perkins, Southern Fried Chicken Biscuit Platter - 6,680 mg sodium, 1,860 calories, 86g fat
2. Saltiest Burger: Chili's Jalapeño Smokehouse Bacon Burger - 6,710 mg sodium, 2,140 calories, 139g fat
1. Saltiest Food in America: PF Chang's, Double Pan-Fried Noodles with Pork - 7,900 mg sodium, 1,652 calories, 84g fat
* for a full list of the Men's Health 30 saltiest foods in America, click here