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Fast Food's Sodium vs Home Cooked Meals


Just really quickly, I wanted to share with you a healthy lunch idea for when you want something filling, but healthy. It can also be made ahead and taken to work so you don’t have to succumb to those high-sodium fast food places or restaurants.

When you first look at the sodium amounts in my homemade burrito, you might not be too impressed.

But when you look at the fast-food restaurant comparison, that's where you might start thinking the homemade version isn't so bad after all! 

LuAnne’s Yummy Burrito

Tortilla (La Banderita brand has less sodium than some others)
A heaping spoonful of refried beans (I like Rosarita black bean refried beans)
high sodium diets are known to increase blood pressure2 chopped lettuce leaves, either Romaine or Green leaf
1/4 chopped tomato
Chopped onion to taste (or leave out if you’re going to be near anyone!)
Shredded cheese – just enough to have some melting going on
Raisins – a handful - yes I know, it's strange, but it's yummy! They add sweetness & texture
Nice long squirt of Sriracha sauce all over for kick (use to taste-it can be spicy!)
To put together, it’s just basic. Spread the refried beans over the tortilla; add the chopped lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped onion (I like it for the crunch factor), raisins and cheese. Top with the long squirt of Sriracha sauce.
 Fold two sides in, then start rolling from the side nearest to you. Generally they are really big rolls and only go 1 1/2 times over. Keep the seam side down to  hold together. Heat in microwave for about 55 seconds.

Here’s the breakdown of sodium amounts:

·         Tortilla (La Banderita Burrito Grande brand) 470 mg sodium
High sodium is known to increase blood pressure·         Rosarita refried beans (spice jalapeno & Green chili & Lime each have 580 mg per 1/2 cup, black bean variety has 560 mg) I use just over 1/4 cup, so it’s apx 300 mg.
·         Lettuce leaves – 1 mg per leaf of Romaine – apx 2 mg
·         Onion – 0 mg – Wouldn’t you know – the culprit that gives bad breath has 0 mg!
·         Tomato – 6 mg for whole tomato – so apx 2 mg
·         Raisins – handful – apx 4 mg
·         Shredded cheese – 170 per oz;   1/4 cup = apx 1 oz; so it's  approximately 85 mg
·         Sriracha sauce – 100 mg per tsp – so apx 100 mg.
TOTAL SODIUM = 966 approximate mg of sodium.
By looking at those numbers, I can see a couple things:
 I might want to discontinue the cheese! It doesn’t add much flavor anyway! (I’ll keep telling myself that, right?)
A lot of the other foods in this burrito make up for some of the sodium by having mega potassium, which counteracts with the sodium, such as tomato, lettuce & raisins.
Sriracha sauce actually has ingredients relax and open up the arteries (allicin, a compound in the garlic, and capsaicin in chili peppers). Dr. Oz once said he uses Sriracha sauce by the vat. (I’m betting he was kidding!)

So that’s a little over half the allowed amount of sodium for someone with high blood pressure, but that is a WHOLE lot less than going to fast food.

Sodium Comparison To Some Fast Foods

For instance:
Burger King Whopper with cheese                   1450 mg
Burger King Veggie Burger                                1070 mg
French Fries, large, salted                                   830 mg
Del Taco veggie works burrito                           2,200 mg
Del Taco Combo burrito                                      1,980 mg
McDonald’s Premium Grilled Chicken                 820 mg
           Classic Sandwich
McDonald’s Premium McWrap Chicken          1,130 mg
            &  Ranch (grilled)
McDonald’s Big Mac                                                970 mg
           McDonald's Big Mac is close to my burrito in sodium, but without the potassium goodness & with a whole lot more calories, fat & cholesterol. Add in fries and a milkshake, and you're waaay over what your body wants in sodium.
Anyway, that gives you a little comparison of what’s possible. My burrito gives me the crunch I crave, & is filling. If you don't already know, it also gives you an idea of how easy it is to compare and track your food for health. It's a breeze! The e-book to the right has many more comparisons.

A Timesaver If You're in a Hurry During Mealtime Prep

To save time if you’ll be making these or anything else for lunch is to do the prep ahead of time for the week. 
I like to have the beans, chopped tomato, & shredded cheese in separate Lock N Lock containers, as well as, & the onions in a Ziplock bag to keep the plasticware from having onion breath.
It makes things a lot quicker.
Enjoy your lunches, whatever you have! But choose wisely - and feel a whole lot better later! : )  

Let's get healthy!