Wednesday, February 01, 2012
So my status today referred to something I'd just learned the other day - cottage cheese, that wondrous way to boost protein, is also a "wondrous" way to boost sodium intake.
See, I knew I was getting a lot of excess sodium out of my lunches. I eat packaged meals. It's pretty much a given that most of them have somewhere in the 600-1000 mg range of sodium. BUT, that's less than half the daily allowed amount. It wasn't making sense that I was just blazing past - given that the only thing I've actually added salt to is scrambled eggs and that a tiny sprinkle (dash).
Until just these last couple of days, I did not know how or where to see how much sodium each food I tracked during a day had other than going to the nutritional info one by one. Rather time-consuming, so I didn't bother - and just sighed when day after day I was bouncing around way over the maximum recommended amount.
Then I discovered one of the reports is a completely nutritional review and shows the sodium column (since I have it set to track). And that's where I'm suddenly learning about higher sodium quantities in things I wouldn't even have considered a problem.
Number one (and the big thing on my status) is cottage cheese. I love cottage cheese. I can eat it plain, though I prefer it mixed with a cup of fruit in juice (pineapple most often, but mixed fruit with pears and peaches is okay too). It's a great way to make sure I meat my desired 80g of protein. And I've always eaten 2%, so fat isn't an issue either. Turns out my 1 cup (8 oz) of cottage cheese is a whopping 880 mg of sodium.
As I say in my status, I knew that milk had a sodium content. I learned that a long time ago trying to figure out why dipping french fries in chocolate shakes tasted soooo good. I discovered there was a healthy amount of sodium in the shakes and in milk.
But milk (1% being what I prefer) has around 160 mg of sodium to about 130 calories. A Wendy's Frosty has 100 mg of sodium to about 170 calories. Cottage cheese? A whopping 880 mg to about 200 calories.
So tonight I bypassed the cottage cheese and went for some canned white albacore in water. Nice lean protein. With around 270 mg of sodium to 100 calories. Which pretty closely matches the cheeses I usually eat.
I'm grateful I don't normally have issues with sodium. My desire to control it a little better isn't because of a current health problem. It's to avoid a future one.
I don't, and never have, been a salter. I never reach for the salt shaker at a restaurant. In fact, while most people love french fries, I would only get them on very rare occasions ... when I had a salt craving. That usually only happened if I was drinking a LOT of water (10-12 or more glasses). I blamed milk for keeping me from craving salt much.
Now I'm having to really rethink things. Sure, packaged foods have quite a bit of salt. But even foods I don't automatically think of as salty have both natural sodium and, in cases such as cottage cheese, ADDED sodium. (I looked. It's on the ingredient list that they added salt.)
Ah, the sodium traps are well-laid. But now I know to watch for them.