Sodium everywhere!

Hello! This is Eduardo reporting, one more time, on something related to food!

We all know that university students have really unhealthy eating habits, right? While there are many exception to this rule, many students in Japan rely on convenience stores whenever they have to pull an all-nighter to finish writing an essay, making a presentation or study for finals. Convenience stores have plenty of food to choose from, including sandwiches, lunchboxes, salads, onigiris (rice balls), oden (different boiled ingredients such as fish, daikon radish, eggs…) and of course, instant noodles, soups and even fried rice.

Compared to the food available in other countries, the choices in Japan are very healthy and have a nice variety, right? This is pretty much the case, but this week I decided to take a look at the nutrition fact listed last, sodium (ナトリウム). Sodium is used to preserve the quality of food and to give it a tastier, salty flavor. However, in large quantities it can cause kidney malfunctions and cardiovascular problems, among other health effects being studied at the moment. So, the daily maximum recommended intake of sodium is 2000-2300 mg according to some sources. If you check the image above, that small rice ball has more than 700 mg of sodium! So if you eat 3 of them you’re already over your recommended daily intake!

Spicy sausage rice ball

Spicy sausage rice ball

As for sandwiches, I got one last night and it had 600 mg of sodium too. A salad dressing in 7/11 has 500 mg! It really made me worry a bit, but what shocked the most was the Cup of Noodles sodium contents: 2000 mg! That’s right, one cup of these delicious, convenient instant noodles has enough sodium for a day.

Cup of Noodles

Cup of Noodles

I rarely eat cup of noodles, but since I also eat sandwiches and onigiris from time to time, I gotta be careful not to eat all of them in one day or else I might be compromising my health in the future.

Eduardo H.

Originally posted on 2013-05-14 on the Ameblo Ryugakusei Town’s blog

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