How much salt do you consume on a daily basis in your diet? If it’s more than 1500 mg a day you may want to start learning more about sodium and how much you are shaking on your food, putting in you meals and purchasing in pre-made foods. It’s something we don’t normally think about when we buy food but after watching this past weeks Marketplace episode “What’s On Your Plate” things changed.
While at the supermarket we started investigating labels ourselves. Needless to say the wife and I were shocked when we turned labels over and started doing the maths. We literally walked up and down the cracker and pasta aisle reading labels and trying to make sense of it all. After watching the show we concluded that we likely have far more salt than we need in our diet and hope to make some changes.
Sometimes it’s television shows like this that really open our eyes to what most of us tend to just “forget” or pretend to hear. If you are not sure about your sodium level head over to Marketplace and test your plate for sodium with their interactive sodium calculator, I bet you will be surprised. It’s interesting as you get to drag food to your plate starting with breakfast right up until dinner including snacks.
How Much Sodium Does The Body Need?
I used the interactive sodium calculator and this is what mine read:
- Breakfast- Oatmeal, Coffee and Toast Total 167 mg sodium
- Lunch- Club Sandwich, 2 shakes of salt, Bowl of Tomato Soup, Mustard – Total 2121 mg sodium
- Snack-Banana, Latte Cafe -Total 67 mg sodium
- Dinner- Pork Chop, Green Salad, Italian Dressing, 2 shakes of salt, Baked Potato, Spinach -Total 799 mg
- Late Night Snack- Nothing, I don’t snack much
Total- 3154 mg sodium (ouch) consumed for the day which is 137% of the 2300 mg maximum daily limited recommended by Health Canada. You actually only need 1500 mg of sodium every day. In other words, I need to lower my sodium intake. Mind you I don’t really eat club sandwiches maybe a tomato sandwich with cheese, nor do I have a latte rather a cup of reg coffee. It was a good eye opener though so I hope you test your plate.
Although the recommended number above seems like alot once you start to read labels on products you consume you will quickly realize it adds up very quickly. The National average according to Marketplace is 3400 mg per person each day which is far too much. Our bodies need sodium as it is an “essential mineral and electrolyte which controls the body’s acid base balance and fluid volume”.
Most times we turn a blind eye to all the health concerns that can surface slowly over the years because it’s not present now. What I mean is that it seems every time we turn around something is not good enough for us. I often joke that we should just live off of twigs and berries but in reality it’s not so bad of an idea to go back to basics. Sticking to a healthy meal of fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy especially organic home-grown fruits and vegetables if you can afford it in the budget.
Alternatively growing your own food from seed in the garden may encourage healthier eating. Probably one of the scariest tips they gave was “too much sodium has been linked to increased risks down the road such as osteoporosis stomach cancer and severity of asthma”. They also state that if we take steps to “lowering your sodium intake will reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke as well as heart and kidney disease”.
Marketplace went around Canada taking urine samples of every day people including young students and athletes to see just how much sodium was in their system. Just like the participants themselves we were in awe seeing how much sodium was in their urine.Even the people who thought they led a healthy lifestyle and ate top-notch meals and exercised had higher levels of sodium.
Read Product Labels
I went in our pantry to check the labels on some of the products we have and one in particular was a can of bush’s baked beans. Seems healthy enough as they are beans and we have lots of them because we do enjoy them and used a coupon to get them for around a $0.25 a can. We don’t stockpile food so much these days as we weren’t going through it fast enough but this is some of the last cans of what we have left. The sodium was a whopping 550 mg, 23%, per 1/2 cup serving or 125 ml.
The wife and I can eat one can split between the two of us with a protein and vegetable. The beans alone rings in at 389 ml of beans per can which means there is just over 3 (3 x 125 ml = 375 ml) servings in one can. If we finish one can between the 2 of us we will have ingested around 825 mg of sodium, JUST WITH BEANS and that’s not including the rest of the meal. Needless to say we won’t be eating beans in the can any longer once the few cans we have are gone.
Now when we shop we are going to try and be aware of labels and look for foods that are “less than 360 mg of sodium per serving” according to the guidelines. One percentage that really hit home and I’m sure you can all relate is that 88% of the sodium in our diet is added when we are cooking our meal or was manufactured with salt added. That means that we are likely ingesting far more salt than we need that is not naturally occurring in the products we buy.
What we plan to do is learn how to make our own homemade vs store-bought baked beans so we can control the amount of salt that goes into out food. I know we only live once and trying to control every morsel that goes into our mouth might be tough but I thinks it’s at least important to be aware of what we are putting into our bodies. Just like budgeting, knowledge is power and the more you do something the better at it you should get. We will work on lowering our sodium little by little and see if it we can eliminate adding too much salt to our meals.
Tell us how you did if you used the sodium calculator and what you plan to do to lower the sodium in your diet?
The Grocery Game Challenge
This is the third Grocery Game Challenge week for March 2013~~ Post your Shop and you might be our next Grocery Game Winner!
For Inspiration read about Canadian Budget Binder fan Donna R who shares her secrets for lowering her family’s grocery budget from a whopping $1100 a month to $600 give it a read now.
Our Grocery Game Challenge Results
- 10 cans of tomato paste Sale $0.40 each
- 3 Club Packs Boneless Pork Chops $5.71, $6.55, $5.66
- 1 x Bean Sprouts $0.97
- 1 x 3lb Onions $1.67
- 2 x Rooster Garlic 3 pack Sale $0.59
Total Out of Pocket $25.74
- 2x 60 count Wrigley Peppermint Gum Sale $2.04 each reg $4.99 each
- Mexicana Cheddar Cheese $9.73-50% pink sticker
- Hirten Cheese $11.01-50% pink sticker
- Ace Olive Bread $2.49-50% pink sticker
- Ace Sun dried Tomato Bread $2.49- 50% pink sticker
- Romaine Hearts 3 pk Sale $1.99
Total Out of Pocket $19.44
Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $2819.38
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
- Total Coupons Used this Week : $0 (WOW) only on pet treats we used a coupon
- Total Discounts this Week: $0
- Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0 Don’t Use this service
- Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $0 Don’t Use this service
- Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Week: $0
- Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Month:$0
- Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
- Total Rewards Points Used: $0
- Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $20.00 (done for the month of March)
- Total Spent This Week:$45.18
- Total Spent So Far for (March): $169.62
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: Under $33.15
- Total Over/Under spend for the month of (March): Under $65.38
- Total Left to Spend for the Month: $65.38
- Total Coupons Used This Month :$17.23+$7.50+$0
- Total to Carry Over Next Month : $ n/a We don’t carry over
- Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) =$367.72
Weekly Overview: Next week is a no-shop week for us but we shouldn’t need to run out to buy anything. There is a bit of money left in the grocery budget but let’s just see if we can stay out of the shops. This week we did find some great deals with pink stickers on pet treats. That will go in under our pet category in the budget not the grocery budget. We also were able to get some posh cheese with pink stickers 50% and since we likely wouldn’t buy it at full price it was a treat to find it half off. We can’t wait to try them out. Mrs.CBB also spotted boneless pork chops for half price at No Frills which we couldn’t resist. Another couple stuck their head in the bunker and we said, yes it’s a great deal so they walked off with 3 club packs as well. Great shopping week for us and some new coupons found as well! Next week is the last week for March Grocery Game Challenge so make sure you get all your shops posted.
Canadian Coupons Found This Week
How was your grocery shop this week? Post your shop exactly like how I did and let us all know.
FAQ’s- Grocery Game Challenge RULES…..
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop? No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have a few players from around the world.
- When does the Grocery Game Close each month? The Grocery Game Challenge Closes at Midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does Your Grocery Budget Include Health and Beauty and Laundry? Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be effected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
- Where can I find Canadian Coupons? Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week including Checkout 51 from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.
- Where can I find updated Coupon Policies? You can find all the updated Canadian Coupon Policies on hand at Mrs. January
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- The white stuff, not the right stuff! (canadianmomeh.com)
- The Grocery Game Challenge #9 Feb 25-Mar 3,2013-No-Shop Week, No Means No! (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- The Grocery Game Challenge #10-Mar 4-10,2013-Road Trip To Target Canada (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- The Grocery Game Challenge #11 March 11-17, 2013-Shopping Twice A Week! (canadianbudgetbinder.com)