Everybody and his brother has a best and worst list of something and everything for the year of 2012. People have even started on lists for 2013 already. I searched through many lists looking for the best and worst of foods and kitchen products that I could share with our readers. The thing I noticed the most was that not any 2 lists concurred on their products, in all or in part. It really all depends on where one lives, whether or not one eats out and if that is at a 4 star restaurant or fast food, if one is eating gluten-free and/or healthfully, if one has money to spend on gadgets that have one use when one could just as easily use something already at home, and whether or not you trust someone else’s judgment of what is great or not.
As I looked closer at the worst foods lists, I also noticed that most people were not so much concerned as to whether a food was a hit at the supermarket because of packaging or taste as they were with ingredient content – mainly sodium (salt). Many people decided that if a food was going to be on their “worst” list, it was going to be a food that was totally off the charts with sodium. I am all for eating healthy if the food has flavor and we know that you don’t need a boat load of salt on your food to make it flavorful. We just don’t realize sometimes, maybe purposely, that lots of foods have lots of sodium.
The best list I found was called “20 NEW Worst Foods in America”, published by Men’s Health magazine. (website link and restaurant culprits below) The first list was published in 2007 and this is the updated list. It lists foods that are commonly purchased at restaurants of all calibers. I was astounded at the nutritional facts for the meals and sometimes just one item from some of the places I have visited! Some meals have more than 3 days worth of sodium and so many carbs it is no wonder we need a nap after we eat! Then feed that same meal to a child and we have no one to blame but ourselves for their health problems. The good thing about the list is that they also offer a better choice from the same restaurant, although some of those choices would have to be made considering what one has already eaten that day.
After checking the American Heart Association’s website for a recommended daily intake of sodium (1500 mg for an adult), my husband and I went grocery shopping on a day when we were not rushed. We decided to look at every product we purchased that day to see how much sodium was in ONE serving of that food. (You really have to be careful – a can of soup is usually 2 servings, a bottle of vitamin water is actually 2 ½ servings and how many times do we eat the whole can of soup or drink the whole bottle of water??) We were astonished to say the least. Several things were crossed off our list, put back on the shelves and replacements found. It has changed the way we shop for sure.
Too much sodium, case in point – a colleague of mine was not feeling so well and during our daily lunch hour she complained of feeling fat and sluggish. This went on for several days. Finally someone bravely mentioned to her that she ate a microwave meal everyday for lunch and that she should check the package for sodium. She mentioned that they were “healthy” meals and that couldn’t be the problem. She did however check the package. She found that even her healthy meals were loaded with sodium. She didn’t eat those meals anymore for lunch and within a week she lost some weight because the sodium was not causing water retention in her body anymore. She looked and felt better and she started exercising too since she was already motivated by the weight loss. If you need a New Year’s resolution that you will truly benefit from, try being conscious of your sodium intake! Just that one thing will dramatically change the way you eat!
See what food at your favorite restaurant was listed as one of the “20 Worst” foods by referring to the link below. (Some restaurants had more than one entry!)
I am not being compensated by any of the companies mentioned for this review. It is my own opinion~Correen Coultas.
restaurant logos by www.google.com
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!