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Old 04-13-2010, 08:22 PM
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Default Salt content of MREs



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In this thread about MREs VS Mainstay meals, I noticed that MREs seem to have a high sodium content. For people on a salt/sodium restricted diet, the sodium content in MREs might be an important consideration.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to go through some of my MRE stocks and take a look at the sodium content. This is a partial list of my MREs. I have a bunch more that are not opened, but I do not want to open them just to take a look at the sodium content. Even without the un-opened meals, I think this list gives a good example of the sodium content in MREs.

Beef ravioli in meat sauce – 1,080mg
Beef Stew – 850mg
Beverage Powder, Grape – 150mg
Beverage Base Powder, Lime Lime – 20mg – 150mg
Beverage Base Powder, Orange – 20mg – 150mg
Cappuccino, Mocha – 0mg
Cappuccino, French Vanilla – 0mg
Cinnamon Imperials – 12mg
Cinnamon Scone – 310mg
Cheese Spread (fortified) – 300mg
Cheese tortellini in tomato sauce – 840mg
Cherry Blueberry Cobbler – 170mg
Chicken and Dumplings – 240mg – 820mg
Chicken Fajita – 980mg
Chicken Fajita Filling – 700mg
Chili With Beans – 630mg
Clam Chowder – 340mg – 370mg
Cocoa Beverage Powder – 140mg
Crackers, Vegetable – 230mg
Crackers – 130mg
French Vanilla Cappuccino Powder – 50mg
Grilled Chicken Breast Fillet – 390mg
Jalapeno Ketchup – 180mg
Meatballs in Marinara Sauce – 1,620mg
Mexican Style Corn – 450mg – 580mg
Peanut Butter – 220mg
Penne with vegetable sauce crumbles in spicy tomato sauce – 710mg
Raspberry White Chip Cookie – 160mg
Spaghetti with meat sauce – 810mg
Strawberry Dairyshake Powder – 260mg
Strawberry Toaster Pastry – 190mg
Tortillas – 320mg
Tortillas – 400mg
Vegetable Crackers – 220mg
Veggie Burger in barbecue sauce – 1,130mg
Wheat Snack Bread – 120mg

One thing that I noticed while looking through the meals, the sodium content would vary from meal to meal. As an example, the Beverage Base Powder, Lime Lime varied from 20mg all the way to 150mg. Mexican Style Corn ranged from 450mg to 580mg.

So your MREs may not have the same “exact” sodium content as what has been posted here.

Lets do a random comparison:

Chef Boyardee mini Ravioli - 15oz can - 950mg of sodium
MRE Beef Ravioli in meat sauce - net wt. 8 oz., - 1,080mg of sodium
Maruchan Ramen hot & spicy noodles - net wt. 3oz - 2 servings per package - 770mg per serving - for a total of 1,540mg of sodium
Campbells Spaghettios meatballs - 14.75 oz can - 650mg of sodium

Last edited by kev; 04-14-2010 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:31 PM
lanahi lanahi is offline
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So it wouldn't be good to eat only from MREs, right? If you took those MREs and added more rice and vegetables to the entrees to cut the salt, maybe it would be better. I would use the MRE food only as a base for other foods. You could carry one to two meals of MREs and a bag of rice and dehydrated vegetables. You would end up with less weight and more meals for the space it takes if you mixed different ingredients in.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:33 PM
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that is a LOT of sodium- almost enough for me to start thinking SOFT KILL later in life...
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:57 PM
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As I'm sure my wife, my cardiologist and my heart surgeon would agree, large amounts of sodium will exact a price from you.
Thanks for the heads up Kev.

Bob.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:04 PM
RockyHarlow RockyHarlow is offline
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If I'm not mistaken, It helps in preservation of the food. The reason of varying sodium in he same food, Is it mabey the age the meals?
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:30 PM
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The massive amounts of sodium are to replenish what you're losing from sweating your ass off. The meals are not designed for normal people doing normal 9-5 jobs. If you're in the sun and doing hard labor from sunup to sundown you'll notice that your clothes are getting salt stains on them from sweating so much.

In a shtf situation you'll probably need the sodium because you'll be digging, fixing, planting or chopping all day long. You can probably always find something to do on a farm.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by termd View Post
The massive amounts of sodium are to replenish what you're losing from sweating your ass off. The meals are not designed for normal people doing normal 9-5 jobs. If you're in the sun and doing hard labor from sunup to sundown you'll notice that your clothes are getting salt stains on them from sweating so much.

In a shtf situation you'll probably need the sodium because you'll be digging, fixing, planting or chopping all day long. You can probably always find something to do on a farm.
Agreed, though plenty of people would just eat the MRE and do nothing all day long, or bare minimum. So the sodium content here will definitely hit them hard. The rest of us who are working, it's a reasonable intake of sodium.

Still if you're on a restricted diet, I'd watch out for that.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:16 AM
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dont forget salt helps you retain water so if your in the south in the summer time you WILL need more salt than being in the north in the winter.

your not going to live on MRE's for years and years,and if you are your wasteing ALOT of money when it could be better spent on better quality stock piles. MRE's primarly are for backpacking so you should only have maybe a 2-4 weeks supply at most for each person. not really enough to be a life changeing event unless you are at present haveing problems with salt intake.then i can see a concern about salt content.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:22 AM
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When the nuke goes off in Miami and I need to bug out, the MRE's get tossed into the SUV with the BOB & weapons and we're out of here. The last thing I'm worried about is how much salt is in my MRE's.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:44 AM
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The MDR for salt is 2400mg, about a teaspoon.......also, look for other names for salt....MSG, anything with word 'sodium' in(before)it- sodium Alginate, sodium Ascorbate, bicarbonate, benzoate, caseinate, chloride, citrate, hydroxide, saccarine, etc and disodium and trisodium Phosphate.
Salt is in just about everything including, soy sauce, corn flakes and wheaties and canned stuff..things to do is mix cereal with puffed rice( salt free), rinse off canned veggies and wash the salt off, don't use the flavor packet in the Top Ramen noodles, flavor with meat and veggies.
We plan to make a MRE last all day, to take the edge off while looking for other food.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:49 AM
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First I am sure the high Na content is greatly responsible for the long life. Also the Na/High blood pressure thing is greatly overrated. This is a characteristic that effects black people to a higher degree. I would not lose sleep over it. Being in a negative calorie balance will deplete the volume. Also the increase activity, depletion of stress hormones from adreanal fatigue, weight loss, limited water, etc. Will make being weak from low blood pressure a greater issue. Kevin
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:23 AM
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I don't really see the issue. Your daily intake for sodium should be 1,000 mg for every 1,000 calories you eat, with a maximum of 3,000 mg of sodium. All MREs I have looked at are just slightly higher than that ratio, which makes sense since you will likely be doing lots of physical activity if you are stuck eating MREs.

I can't speak to anyone with restricted diets because I don't know what caused them to be restricted in the first place.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:33 AM
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Well, the MDR of salt is in one MRE, so if you eat 3 of them, that's 3 times the MDR......granted, in the Summer , with constant sweating, the MDR could double.......
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:47 PM
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Default MRE Salt Content

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Originally Posted by Enscheff View Post
I don't really see the issue.
It may not be an issue to "you" - if your a young, healthy person that gets plenty of physical activity.

But, in the event of a disaster, some of us have plans to take in family members. Some of those family members might be older, have heart problems, be diabetic, borderline stroke, kidney failure,,,,,, and be on a salt restricted diet.

A lot of replies to this thread shows a self centered "I only care about myself" attitude. This is not just about one single person, its about the family unit as a "whole" - that means everyone from grandparents to pregnant women.

If you look at the comparison at the bottom of the first post:

Campbells Spaghettios and meatballs - 14.75 oz can - 650mg of sodium
MRE Beef Ravioli in meat sauce - net wt. 8 oz., - 1,080mg of sodium

If your going to stock one or the other, Campbells Spaghettios and meatballs has 400mg less sodium then the Beef Ravioli MRE. That is a lot of salt that can be removed from your meals. That 400mg could mean the difference between someone going hungry, or getting to eat.

While prepping for a disaster, we can not sacrifice our health. Nor can we sacrifice the health of those might come to stay with us.

Since I made this post, I'am thinking of going through a lot of my stocks and noting the sodium content, serving size and calories.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
....Campbells Spaghettios and meatballs - 14.75 oz can - 650mg of sodium
MRE Beef Ravioli in meat sauce - net wt. 8 oz., - 1,080mg of sodium.....
I'm just wondering, the Spagettios( don't have any in the house), is that 650mg per serving and the can is 2.5 servings? I'm looking at a can of Cream of chicken soup and it's 800mg per serving, but the can says it's 2.5 servings, so that's 2000mg of salt for a 10.5oz can......
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:54 PM
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Default salt content in mres

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I'm just wondering, the Spagettios( don't have any in the house), is that 650mg per serving and the can is 2.5 servings?
Good question and I dont know.

When I get home this evening I'll dig the can out of the cabinet and take a look.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:19 PM
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That's the real trick with the "contents" labels. You need to factor serving size in. A box of crackers will say something like 100 mg per serving which may be six crackers but there are 25 servings in the box. They're pretty tricky like that.

Another thing to watch is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which is a major cause of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and liver problems. I eliminated most of it from my diet a year ago and lost 85 pounds.
Same thing with most artificial colorings, flavor enhancers and such. Our livers can't really process them and we gain weight without even trying and we're all on the verge of liver failure every day.
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Old 04-14-2010, 07:43 PM
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A can of soup says 2.5 servings, but I can easily eat the whole thing myself.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:04 PM
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Default salt content in mre

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Originally Posted by letsgetreal View Post
The MDR for salt is 2400mg, about a teaspoon.......
The recommended daily allowance of salt/sodium is 2,400mg - IF, your a healthy, young white adult.

If your black, have any underlying health issues, already have high blood pressure - then the recommended daily allowance is 1,500mg or less.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
The recommended daily allowance of salt/sodium is 2,400mg - IF, your a healthy, young white adult.

If your black, have any underlying health issues, already have high blood pressure - then the recommended daily allowance is 1,500mg or less.
Granted, All MDA's are based on a healthy adult........... did you find anything on your Spagettios?
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