Processed meats could mean sodium overload

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -  School days are quickly approaching and health experts are advising parents to watch the amount of salt their kids consume this school year.

Experts say processed lunch meats, like ham and smoked turkey are convenient for school lunches, but loaded with salt. Besides posing serious health risks down the road, processed meats can also contain large amounts of saturated fat.

"We want to control sodium because when we increase blood pressure we increase our risk for heart disease," said Tim Scallon, with Memorial Health Systems. "Heart disease is the number one killer in Americans."

Scallon said peanut butter is an excellent substitute for processed lunch meats. Below are a few sandwich recommendations made by Scallon.

  • Apple butter with peanut butter
  • Peanut butter with fresh apple slices
  • Almond butter with slivered almonds and dried cranberries
  • Humus and chopped peppers
  • Light cream cheese and cucumber

Allergic to peanut butter? Check out some of these low sodium, peanut free sandwich recipes below.

  • Tuna salad with cheese & tomato
  • Light whipped cream cheese and fresh blueberries
  • Sliced avocado, fat free mayo, lettuce and thinly sliced tomato
  • Refried beans with fat free cheese, diced tomato and garlic powder

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