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5 Saltiest Meals, With a Side Order of Hypertension

Eating out is always a treat, but the problem with eating food someone else makes is that you have no idea how much sodium it's loaded with. 2,300 mg of salt (one teaspoon) is the recommended daily limit for healthy people, but if you have issues with high blood pressure, 1,500 mg is your limit. According to a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), "Unsafe levels of sodium chloride, or salt, in chain restaurant meals increase one's chance of developing hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease." This nonprofit food safety and nutrition watchdog group wants to reveal five meals from popular restaurants that should get a ticket for their obscene sodium contents.

  1. Red Lobster Admiral's Feast with Caesar salad, Lobster-topped mashed potato, cheddar bay biscuit, and a lemonade — 7,106 mg
  2. Chili's Buffalo Chicken Fajitas complete with tortillas and condiments, and a Dr. Pepper — 6,916 mg
  3. Chili's Honey-Chipotle Ribs with mashed potatoes and gravy, seasonal vegetables, and a Dr Pepper: 6,440 mg

To see the rest


  1. Olive Garden Tour of Italy (lasagna) with a breadstick, Garden Fresh salad with house dressing, and a Coca-Cola: 6,176 mg
  2. Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana with a breadstick, Garden Fresh salad with house dressing, and raspberry lemonade: 5,735 mg

They also list five kid's meals that have high sodium content. To see those foods, check out their website.

Join The Conversation
cmill38 cmill38 8 years
ick. when my mom had a heart attack out family cut out cooking with salt completely. we're also the obnoxious customers that request out fish and meat be seasoned certain ways at resturants.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
sham28 sham28 8 years
I kind of want to know the sodium level of just the meal, not the beverages.
hmweis1 hmweis1 8 years
It's all about moderation. I can't imagine that eating one of those meals once a month or so is going to have a huge effect on a person's health.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't usually watch my sodium intake because I have really good blood pressure numbers and I sweat a lot when I work out. But I still think it's pretty insane that some of these things have 6,000+ mg of sodium in them. That's definitely a lot. Maybe it's so that they'll sell more beverages, perhaps? Eating that much salt would make anyone thirsty.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
Luckily, I don't frequent those restaurants. As for salt. I hate it. I never put it in my cooking and only use it in baking if it calls for it. If someone eats a meal i made and wants more salt then they can just pour it on themselves.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Wow. I don't eat food like that, but I still find it shocking.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
Eh, I can't eat half of that stuff because I'm allergic, and the other half doesn't sound that appetizing, really. Almost everything has sodium in it, probably more than you need, even vegetarian dishes , so minimizing it under that strict of a limit is pretty difficult. I have a friend who was on high-blood pressure meds [at 22! and she's actually really healthy weight-wise and eats right, she was just under a TON of stress] and she still has to limit her sodium intake, so it makes it really hard for her to eat. But I have to minimize my fat intake b/c of my gallbladder, so we have fun finding low-sodium AND low-fat dishes when we go out to eat! :D
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well - it's interesting to hear about this - but if you think about the dishes that are so high - it's kind of a no brainer. at least i'm a veggie so i don't have those same worries.
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