Recently, the Supermarket near my home was having a huge sale on all canned foods and I noticed this amazing deal right in the middle of the isle,  .79 cents for a can Chef Boyardee. Although I know many people do not eat or feed their children these kinds of food, there are still many more who do.

Honestly I can actually understand why, because its ridiculously cheap and easy to make. In America everything is always on the run and whatever gives you the fastest solution to your problem that will be the more likely option that you choose.

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Eating “healthy” isn’t all about eating organic foods. It’s about taking better steps towards eating foods in their natural state, that are fresh, locally grown, have no added colorings or preservatives and the least processed. Most importantly the greatest step towards eating healthier is simply learning to read the nutrition facts label (which can be overwhelming).

There are so many things I can discuss about this can of food but I will just stick with the basic ingredient which many food industries use to help preserve their foods, which is SODIUM aka SALT.
Here are the facts!

According to the USDA the majority of salt consumed by Americans is not coming from the salt shaker. More than 75% of salt consumed is coming from processed food and restaurant meals. Sodium contributes to High-blood Pressure because it hold excess fluid which adds a burden to your heart. Eating food lower in sodium will help prevent the risk of a stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease according to the American Heart Association.

We consume an average of 3,300mg each day according to the USDA

2,300 mg recommended intake of Sodium per day based on the Dietary Guidelines 2010

So now that you know the facts here is a deeper look into that can of Chef Boyardee

1 can = 2 servings which means that about 2 people can eat of this can.

1 can = 750mg (per serving) which means 750mg x 2 (servings)= 1,500mg of Salt in that little can.

If you eat the whole can which most people do because its so small then you have just consumed more than half of your daily salt intake in one can, which leaves you with just 800mg of sodium to consume for the rest of the day based on what recommended by USDA.
This will be pretty hard to accomplish when just about everything contains sodium. Even that bottle of Soda you are about to have for lunch has some. If you don’t believe me check the label!

Bread can contain anywhere from 80-230mg of Sodium

Slice of frozen pizza between 370 and 730mg.

Some Breakfast Cereals contain 150 to 300mg of Sodium

As you can see it’s easy it to rack up those milligrams of Sodium which can lead to many health related diseases. Many people in my family suffer from High-blood pressure including my mom. This is an issue we all need to address even if your not eating these kinds of foods maybe someone you love an care about does.

What concerns me the most about this topic is that they advertise these types of foods that are so high in sodium to children. It would be cheaper if you simply purchase a box of pasta and mix it with tomato sauce and you get so much more. The amount of children eating this is unbelievable. Although they don’t have control of the foods that are purchased in the home eventually they will and the cycle of unhealthy eating just continues.

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This post is not to judge those who eat Chef Boyardee but to spread awareness of what your eating and feeding your children. As a child we did eat Chef Boyardee at one point or another when we were at the babysitter but it wasn’t a regular thing we ate at home.

With all the health issues that we are facing, we all have a responsibility to change our eating habits and make better choices so we can live longer healthier lives and set the example to our future generations.

Please note: I am not a medical physician and you should always follow your doctors recommended daily Sodium intake.

Below are two links for more information on Sodium and how to reduce your daily intake:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Sodium-and-Salt_UCM_303290_Article.jsp

http://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/sodium_dietary_guidelines.pdf

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