Yesterday’s New York Times reported data that didn’t really surprise me, but did sadden me. According to Certify, a maker of expense management software, fast food outlets appeared on reports more than other restaurants in 2012.
Starbucks topped the list with more than 20,000 transactions averaging $7.54 each. McDonald’s was second with 12,419 transactions averaging $6.73 each. Following these two were Subway, Panera Bread and Burger King.
My first thought was, “I hope these thousands of travelers ate a lot of salads.” But knowing what I know about ingredients, I realized this probably wasn’t a good idea. Then I took a look at the websites of all five restaurants and found some startling information.
At Burger King, a Chicken BLT Garden Fresh Salad has 1640mg of sodium!!!! According to The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommended amount of sodium is less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you’re age 51 or older, or if you are African-American, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
The Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwich at Starbucks has 1000mg of sodium. At Panera, the Chopped Chicken Cobb with Avocado Salad has 970mg of sodium. The Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken at McDonald’s has 650mg of sodium. Subway’s Double Chicken Chopped Salad came in with the least amount of sodium at 490mg. Still, that’s a lot of sodium…in a salad!
Excessive sodium levels have been related to high blood pressure, which is the greatest cause of strokes and heart failure. In addition, a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high levels of salt consumption were linked to hardening of the arteries.
I’m assuming busy, rushed travelers aren’t thinking about their arteries as they are running through an airport or dashing through a hotel lobby to get to a meeting. But then again, if they are not thinking about their health and well-being, who is?
Tomorrow I will share some of my favorite travel foods – the ones I won’t leave home without.