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TOPIC: How to get the meat - without the sodium?

 
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November 16, 2010 10:00 AM
I understand where the sodium comes from in prepackaged items such as pasta, easy to make meals, etc. But where on earth is all the sodium in meat coming from? It kind of makes some sense to me when you're buying it from the store (such as johnsonville stuff, etc) but does it contain less sodium if it comes straight from the butcher?
  1741400
November 16, 2010 10:06 AM
bump - i wonder the same thing about deli meat!
  1973630
November 16, 2010 10:08 AM
Well, our own bodies have sodium in them, so it is logical that other animals would have it as well. That being said, I eat meat at least once, usually twice, a day and never go anywhere near my sodium limit, so it also depends on what you ADD to the meat when you cook it.
November 16, 2010 10:09 AM
Deli meats tend to be high in sodium because it's used partially as a preservative, and partially to enhance flavor. Even the low sodium stuff is pretty high in it. Best thing you can do is grill lean meats at home, and try to use a minimal amount of salt based seasoning on them. There will still be some sodium in the meat, but it will be significantly lower than deli/prepared meats.
November 16, 2010 10:12 AM
I guess what I'm asking is if I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at walmart and then I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at the butcher from a fresh hog where the meat is only 1-2 days old. Are they going to contain the same amount of sodium?
  1741400
November 16, 2010 10:13 AM
I'm the same. I eat a lot of meat during the day;

lunch is usually 6oz of fish and then dinner is chicken, beef or fish. It depends if your buyign "pre-frozen" meat products. and I never go near my sodium, I find I'm adding salt to everything to get closer so I don't feel as dehydrated..
  2514645
November 16, 2010 10:15 AM
QUOTE:

Well, our own bodies have sodium in them, so it is logical that other animals would have it as well. That being said, I eat meat at least once, usually twice, a day and never go anywhere near my sodium limit, so it also depends on what you ADD to the meat when you cook it.


I do the same, I'm always 600-1000mg under my sodium limit.

If you're having trouble staying within your sodium limit try eating less processed foods. I don't eat much, if any processed food on a daily basis and as I said, I don't come close to reaching my sodium limit.
  2469411
November 16, 2010 10:16 AM
QUOTE:

I guess what I'm asking is if I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at walmart and then I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at the butcher from a fresh hog where the meat is only 1-2 days old. Are they going to contain the same amount of sodium?


It depends on whether the walmart meat is packaged in broth, salt, or other preservatives. There might be a slight difference, but honestly if the only ingredient is meat then the sodium content should be similar or the same.
November 16, 2010 10:19 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I guess what I'm asking is if I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at walmart and then I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at the butcher from a fresh hog where the meat is only 1-2 days old. Are they going to contain the same amount of sodium?


It depends on whether the walmart meat is packaged in broth, salt, or other preservatives. There might be a slight difference, but honestly if the only ingredient is meat then the sodium content should be similar or the same.


Thank you, that's what I'm asking. I was just wondering if when you buy the meat at places like walmart or grocery stores if they add anything to the meat in order to enhance it's shelf life and therefore causing a higher sodium level than you would naturally find in the meat itself.
  1741400
November 16, 2010 10:21 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I guess what I'm asking is if I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at walmart and then I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at the butcher from a fresh hog where the meat is only 1-2 days old. Are they going to contain the same amount of sodium?


It depends on whether the walmart meat is packaged in broth, salt, or other preservatives. There might be a slight difference, but honestly if the only ingredient is meat then the sodium content should be similar or the same.


Thank you, that's what I'm asking. I was just wondering if when you buy the meat at places like walmart or grocery stores if they add anything to the meat in order to enhance it's shelf life and therefore causing a higher sodium level than you would naturally find in the meat itself.


If they did, which I don't think they do, it would be so minimal it wouldn't be worth your time worrying about. :) Deli meat is a different story.
November 16, 2010 10:26 AM
I'm certainly not an expert, but I'll put my two cents into this discussion.

All meat has some natural sodium in it. Fresh meats from the butcher should not have anything in them except what the Good Lord allowed to be there. Poultry (especially turkey) seems to have more sodium than other meats. Shellfish generally have a lot more sodium than fish. You would think that all saltwater fish would be high in sodium, but it varies (a lot!).

Processed meats - lunch meats, deli meats, sausage, etc...all have higher sodium content than fresh meat, because salt is used as a preservative. We just found some Boar's Head reduced sodium deli meats that are really tasty. Although they are much lower sodium than other meats, they still are a lot higher than fresh meat.

Frozen meats (including frozen turkey) have added salt as well.
  1970558
November 16, 2010 10:28 AM
I know with chicken a lot of brands will inject it with salt water to add weight. While this can improve the flavor and texture of the chicken, it obviously adds sodium that isn't necessary. I'm not sure what they do to other meats, but I do know things like color are added to make beef appear more red. In addition, unless the meat says it's organic it almost always if from animals that were treated with hormones and antibiotics. I saw a story on the news about employees at a pork processing plant who were contracting MRSA from handling the meat. There were even cases of consumers contracting MRSA from handling bacon.

There are conflicting studies regarding what the health effects of consuming meat from animals given hormones and antibiotics may be, but if nothing else, I've found that organic meats just taste better. Trader Joe's is a great place to get organic/non-hormone, non-antibiotic meat and it's not that expensive. You can also check the prices at local natural food stores. The one I go to is super cheap, much cheaper than the regular grocery stores.
  2469411
November 16, 2010 10:32 AM
Hey, beef/pig raising woman here:

Any meat that is flavored or from the deli has added preservatives and flavor, especially those purchased from the grocery store. The same can go for a butcher unless you special order. Butchers know how to create awesome brats and sausages but it's not becuase the meat is awesome, it's because the additives make it awesome:

For example. you buy a lean roast and put it in the crock pot. You add water only. It's going to have natural sodium from the animal itself, just like you and I need sodium in our system to survive. Now if you throw the exact same lean roast into the crock pot add water, then add say onion soup or a meat tenderizer, the sodium level just spiked in the meat. If you inject any liquid flavoring into the meat (unless you use Mrs Dash soidum free). More sodium. Same goes for any rub or anything store bought used as a glaze etc.

Pork receives the highest amount of sodum injected for flavor purposes. Turkeys and chickens are so overfed they have a higher then natural bird sodium content.

Your best best to reduce your sodium is to buy meat in the raw unflavored unaltered state and add your own, this way you control it a lot better.

Personally in our house. We eat a lot of bird meat and game animal these days, and it's very rare we buy anything from the store that is considered red meat. But not everyone is able to live our lifestyle.
November 16, 2010 10:40 AM
Oops I forgot to add.

Yes water (with salt) is add to ALL bird meats at the store. Yes additives that include salt are added to all red meats.

Organic is the only way to reduce the sodium. The turkey and chicken won't be as big and the flavor will be different. Same for any organic red meat. Colors will be different too, but in my honest opinion all natural organic is so much better!
November 16, 2010 5:13 PM
Pssst... Ham is usually brined or processed with flavor addatives before smoking or curing. Bratwurst has added spices and flavor enhancers also. The less processed the meat the lower the sodium. Watch for "moisture added" "water added" "broth added" and any "flavor enhancers". It may not be salt, it could be any of the other types of sodium (msg and pot. chloride etc.).
November 16, 2010 8:14 PM
QUOTE:

I guess what I'm asking is if I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at walmart and then I go buy a ham steak, pork chop, and bratwurst at the butcher from a fresh hog where the meat is only 1-2 days old. Are they going to contain the same amount of sodium?


If they have no added salt in them theoretically yes.

Anyway they are all really unhealthy and high FAT choices! (only the steak if it had fat trimmed would be ok)
  2793836
November 16, 2010 8:20 PM
QUOTE:

Thank you, that's what I'm asking. I was just wondering if when you buy the meat at places like walmart or grocery stores if they add anything to the meat in order to enhance it's shelf life and therefore causing a higher sodium level than you would naturally find in the meat itself.


All the meats you listed are pork. These days, you can get "enhanced pork" which is treated with a brine. You can also get "natural" pork that is untreated. If you compare the two, the enhanced pork will have considerably more sodium in it. The label on the enhanced will always say that it is enhanced, or contains x% water, or something similar to indicate that it has been treated. The print that says this is often VERY small.
  1997823
February 2, 2011 7:30 AM
salt dehydrates you

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