Nutrition & Diet Coach

Peggy Korody North San Diego Registered Dietitian

Fries with Sea Salt

Written By: Peggy Korody - Jan• 31•11

OK, so I’m on a roll with advertising giving the impression that their food item is healthy.  Recently, I was driving through a shopping center that has a popular fast food restaurant.  I saw a large sign saying something like “fries now with sea salt”.  What does this message say to you?  To me, I think they are trying to say, since they are using sea salt their fries are better for you.  If you saw the news today, you would know the new USDA guidelines were released.  One of the key points being that Americans need to lower their salt intake.  The only way this will be accomplished is for the food manufacturers and restaurants to get on board.  (If not, the USDA is considering regulating – which of course we don’t want).  So I had to go to the fast food website to see the nutritional info and compare it to the most popular (I hear) fries out there, McDonald’s.  Calorie and fat wise both are pretty close to even.  But when you look at the sodium content of the sea salt fries they contain almost twice the sodium, 650 mg vs 350 mg (without the extra salt packet) for McDonald’s.

Salt is an addiction, so I know it’s not something that a person can reduce quickly.  But if you care about you heart health (and February is American Heart Health Month) I suggest you start cutting back.  Salt is salt….sea salt does  not have any magic, it does not make the product any better or healthier for you.  The only positive I can think of for sea salt is that it has a stronger flavor, so if you are using it at home, you may be able to use less and still get the flavor you are craving…..but stay away from the fast food choice, it doesn’t look like they cut back on the amount, just the type!

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