This article points out that restaurants are LOADING there food with salt.
High salt content in restaurant meals is just the tip of the iceberg. The food engineers at chains like Chili's have determined that if they layer sugar on fat on salt the meals sell very well. For some gory details as to how the food industry, not just restaurants, appeal to our food addictions for salt, fat, and sugar, read The End of Overeating by David Kessler, who was the Director of the FDA. I will review this book in a future post.
Salt is a much underestimated contributor to chronic illnesses and should be limited not just by people suffering from high blood pressure, but by all of us. Unfortunately, eating at home will not entirely solve the problem. Most processed food, which is much of what we find in supermarkets, is high in salt (and sugar/fat). Read the labels of canned soups, crackers, frozen dinners, you name it. Food industry profits are tied directly to the amounts of ingredients we are addicted to - fat, salt and sugar. Unfortunately, to limit salt we must stay away from restaurants (or, be very, very picky about what we order) and avoid refined and processed foods.
And, to make matters worse, food labeling is very misleading. My rule of thumb (borrowed from my favorite nutritionist) is...if it has a label to read, I put it back. Well, maybe labels with one or two whole food ingredients is okay. The best bet is unprocessed, unrefined vegetables, fruits, beans/legumes and whole (intact) grains. Then if you want to sprinkle a little salt to taste...fine. After a year of salt free eating, a tiny bit of salt in anything tastes awful to me. The addition to much of food sold everywhere in this country has dulled our senses for the real taste of natural foods. I don't even use a salt shaker anymore and am really enjoying natural flavors again.