Or rather, sodium-ee…
So today I’m looking up information regarding sodium, because 1/2 tsp of salt is required on the Ideal Protein Diet, and I think to myself…why?
Well, turns out, that 1/2 tsp of salt = 1000mg of sodium, and the MINIMUM recommended amount of sodium for a person is 1500mg/day. The downside is that the recommended MAXIMUM amount of sodium recommended is only 2,000mg/day … so basically you have a 500mg window, which when you think about a lot of our favorite foods, that’s not much.
A Big Mac, for example, is 1010mg of sodium, so that’s over half way to the sodium goal of the day. Oh wait, you had a medium coke with that? 8 Ounces contains 30mg sodium, but since you’re getting it carbonated, you’re only getting about 15mg…Oh, and you had this as a Value Meal? Let’s add some medium fries with that, 270mg of sodium. We’re not even looking at the carbs (Although that’s 48, 56, and 46g so totals about 150g). So far during lunch you’ve had 1010+15+270mg of sodium (that’s 1285mg for non-mathletes)
So basically you’ve kissed your sodium intake and carb intake for the day, all in the span of your 30 minute lunch break.
Now let’s take a look at Ideal Protein products. I’ll pick three packets, one from each category (Shake, Soup, Pudding)…
Cappuccino = 180mg sodium
Chicken A La King Soup (very popular) = 630mg sodium
Milk Chocolate Pudding (sounds safe) = 110mg sodium
So our total intake for the day so far is 920mg of sodium, leaving a deficit of 680mg sodium for the minimum amount to have…guess what…they say to have 1/2 tsp of salt, which is 1000mg of sodium, so we are now at 1920mg of sodium for the daily intake, when 2,000 is the maximum considered healthy. I would like to point out the items I chose were in the middle to low range of each category, although there were items significantly lower in sodium. Fun fact, eh?
Ahhh, and we forgot our vegetables! Canned vegetables are significantly higher in sodium than fresh (go figure, salt preserves things) so we’ll do a quick comparison:
Asparagus: 4spears<canned> 207mg , <raw> 6 mg (no I’m not kidding)
Broccoli: 1 cup<cooked> 64mg, <raw> 20mg
Celery: 1 stalk<raw> 32mg
Lettuce, Romaine: 1cup<raw> 4mg
So when in doubt, go with lettuce 😉 Although it’s free and this would help explain why.
In conclusion: Ideal Protein has sodium in its packets for preservation and flavor, but not in contents quite high enough to justify the need of so much salt in a given day.
With that said, pass the salt please.