What Boston Market Isn’t Telling Customers About Salt

(Image courtesy of Chester Higgins Jr. / The New York Times)

Reader’s Note:  This post is best read while playing Alanis Morrisette’s – Ironic in the background.

Boston Market is making big news this week for doing something that seems crazy. Actually it is crazy. Completely crazy to the point of ludicrous (not the rapper – he’s Ludacris and did produce the album Chicken-n-Beer).

A New York Times article from Sunday, August 26, shows the above picture of Boston Market’s latest antics. They also detail the decision made to remove salt shakers from tables to encourage people to cut their sodium intake. Really? They’ve got to be kidding right?

Think about this for a moment. Far more salt is added to their brining and roasting processes than you will shake on at the table. A typical Three Piece Dark – Skin On Meal contains 1100 mg of sodium. That’s almost one half teaspoon of salt. Their signature Mac & Cheese contains 130 mg of sodium per serving (serving size – 7.4 oz).

Mind you, we completely agree with the removal of the horrific ‘white death’ known as table salt. It’s refined salt and is hard on your body. The reasons are explained in our previous posts – The truth, the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth! and the four that make up our Mythinformation series.

However, there is not any proof that links sodium induced hypertension with an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. That’s actually a good thing, because all salt is thirst provoking. When you eat salt, you drink water. When you drink that water, your body holds on to the fluid until it can void the salt. In the meantime your blood volume increases which produces a resultant increase in blood pressure.  Yes, sodium intake is directly linked to an increase in blood pressure, but it’s temporary.  How long your blood pressure remains elevated is a function of the type of salt you are consuming.

The reality is that refined salt causes extended water retention which results in elevated blood pressure for a much longer period of time. That does put undue stress on your kidneys in particular. But unrefined sea salt is typically voided in 2 to 6 hours depending on how much you have consumed and how much sodium your body may have needed.

Personally, we think Boston Market’s time might be much better spent working to get rid of the refined salt they use in all of their recipes. While they are at it, maybe they should take a long hard look at maltodextrin and carrageenan too! For those of you who are gluten intolerant, the maltodextrin can pose a problem due to the fact that it’s typically enzymatically derived from wheat. Yes, it’s supposedly gluten-free, just like MSG produced by feeding bacteria gluten. But, there’s a lot we don’t know about gluten intolerance yet.

This whole Boston Market ploy is marketing shenanigans. It’s like rope-a-dope, or bait and switch. Shady con artists who use the art of mis-direction. The sad fact remains that their food contains far more salt than you will likely add with that stupid little shaker.

Low sodium diets and using less salt in general doesn’t mean that what you eat will have less flavor. If Boston Market is serious about reducing sodium in their food by 15% by 2015, give us a call, we’d be happy to help them meet that goal and much more quickly!