The most important meal of the day? Well that sounds like an entirely different post, but I did find some interesting numbers that I wanted to share with you regarding breakfast. It could definitely effect the way in which you start and end your day. I recently wrote a post about sodium in our diets, not because I am so fanatical about nutritional labels, but because I had never really understood nutritional labels and I finally had a basic understanding of at least the topic of sodium requirements.
I had been eating low-sodium/ low-fat raw vegan for 2/3 of each day. While I was doing this, I noticed all of the "puffiness" that I had not had as a child, but had as an adult disappear. When I say puffiness, this was most importantly, swollen eyelids. I believed that I was having an allergic reaction, to tomatoes and garlic. I had tested allergic to those two items, so many years ago, so they seemed to be the logical culprits. I knew that I would have this problem, when I visited Chinese, Mexican and Italian restaurants, or when I would use jarred tomato sauce, so this made sense. Tomato and garlic, were common ingredients in all of these.
I decided to do a little experiment. The other 1/3 of the day I was eating cooked veggies and grains. I started making broccoli rabe with a little garlic. Sometimes I would add sodium free tomato sauce to it. The result...no reaction what-so-ever. Slowly, I tried adding more and more garlic. and still no reaction. What I realized was that perhaps it was the sodium in those dishes.
daily amounts of sodium
I did not know the significance of the numbers in the nutritional chart, so I could tell, something seemed high, compared to another item, but I did not know how much was too much. My article, So Much Sodium was a summary of what I learned, reading up about sodium. You should check it out, but the gist of it was try to stick to around 1500-2300 mg. of sodium per day. That works out to about 500-less than 600 mg per meal (on a three meal-no snack per day diet). If you are elderly, middle-aged or African American, 1500 mg of sodium is a better number to keep at. One does not loose a lot of sodium from exercise, so it is not necessary to stockpile if you are an athlete. There are some people who do require more sodium (some of which are listed in my article), so it is a good idea to ask your trusted doctor!
With that in mind I decided to do separate articles dedicated to each meal of the day. Since I live in the NYC area, the meals that I have chosen are ones that I can imagine my friends, family, neighbors, co-workers eating. It may not be the same as your diet, but it will give you an idea and you can perhaps start to look at the sodium in your own diet.
Breakfast sodium charts
Common Breakfast items
These are among the most common items that people in my area associate with breakfast.
common fast food breakfast items
These are among the most common items that people in my area associate with a fast food breakfast.
NY breakfast "on the run"
Hit that deli...These are among the most common items that people in my area associate with grabbing breakfast on the corner, before getting to work.
Typical Old School "dieting" meal
When someone says..."I'm on a diet"; these are among the most common items that people in my area associate with an old-schoolish diet breakfast.
nyc "health-concious" breakfast
When someone says "I eat healthy", these are among the most common items that people in my area associate with that kind of breakfast.
NYC Vegan "on the run" Breakfast
I don't consume animal products, but I like to eat more "mainstream" vegan items. These are among the most common items that people in my area associate with a more mainstream vegan breakfast.
NYC Health Conscious Vegan Breakfast
I think these are among the most common items, that people in my area associate with a less mainstream vegan breakfast.