Monday, June 10, 2013

Sodium and Store-Bought Poultry

You may be surprised to learn that one of the biggest sources of sodium in the American diet is poultry. Some food manufacturers inject a salt-water solution into chicken before it hits the supermarket shelf. From boneless, skinless chicken breasts to whole roasting birds, about one-third of the fresh chicken found at grocery stores has been plumped up with water, salt, broth or other additives. These so-called “enhanced” chicken breasts contain up to 440 mg of sodium per four-ounce serving. By comparison, a serving of un-enhanced chicken breast contains just 45 to 75 mg of sodium.
The CDC recommends that you eat no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. People who are watching their salt intake, such as those with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or chronic kidney disease, are advised to consume no more than 1,500 mg per day. To stay within those guidelines,  limit the sodium content of your entrees to 600 mg. So you can see how one serving of sodium-enhanced chicken could quickly put you over that recommendation if you add anything else to your main course.
To make sure you’re buying chicken without added sodium, check the ingredients label. Enhanced chicken will say on its packaging that it contains broth, salt or carrageenan. Don’t worry about “retained water.” This is water that may have been naturally absorbed during the chilling process.

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