Update on the sodium content of my ready-to-eat meals! #SODIUM
READY-TO-EAT: THE TRUTH ABOUT SODIUM!
I often get asked about the sodium content of my line of ready-to-eat meals. I can understand your concern since my meals have, on average, a sodium content of 20% of the daily value, or about 500 mg. Know, however, that I have thought of everything. Explanations!
Generally, consumers are advised to remember a simple trick when selecting a food or product:
- If the value is less than 5% DV👉🏼 the product contains little
- If the value is greater than 15% DV👉🏼 the product contains a lot
Following this logic, it may indeed seem surprising that a Doctor of Nutrition sells meals that have an average of 20% sodium. Should we conclude that this trick is not effective or that my meals are really too salty Not quite!
This is indeed a quick tip that applies in many cases and helps us make informed choices in supermarkets. However, it is important to put it in context, here is why.
The percentage listed on the label represents the percentage of DAILY VALUE (% DV). Concretely, this indicates that if you consume a product containing 20% sodium, the latter will have met 20% of your sodium needs for the day. An 80% is therefore remaining for your food intake for the day, without exceeding the recommendations.
For instance: If you consume a meal from my range for lunch AND a second for dinner, you will have met 40% of your sodium needs. There is therefore still 60% available for lunch and snacks.
Chickpea curry = 20% DV in sodium
General Tao Chicken = 20% DV in sodium
On the other hand, if you consume a small portion of chips, crackers or a piece of cheese with a content greater than 15% DV, it would indeed be salty.A complete meal cannot be compared to food alone!
It sometimes feels like home-cooked meals aren't salty at all. However, there is no need to add salt to the salt shaker to quickly increase the sodium content of your meals. The sum of the ingredients used often represents a good share of sodium. The following ingredients will, in particular, increase the count in this mineral:
- Breads, tortillas, pizza dough, naan breads or others
- Tomato sauces and broths (beef, chicken, etc.)
- Asian sauces (soy sauce, teriyaki, miso, VH sauce, etc.)
- Condiments (ketchup, mustard, olives, pickles, etc.)
Did you know A single tablespoon (15 ml) of soy sauce contains more than 1000 mg of sodium, twice as much as the meals in my range!!
According to the analysis of the popular magazine Protégez-Vous, ready-to-eat meals with less than 600 mg of sodium rank among the Excellent choices available on the market. I told you that I had thought of everything!t!
Finally, if you are curious, I suggest you do the exercise of browsing the web comparing the nutritional value of different ready-to-eat / ready-to-cook products. Pay attention to these values, you will probably be quite surprised! Several meals contain more than 1500 mg of sodium, or 65% of the DV and more!
I hope you now feel equipped to analyze the sodium content of the foods you add to your grocery cart. I take this opportunity to remind you that as a doctor of nutrition, my mission is definitely to offer products of interesting nutritional quality to consumers.