Hey CSPI, hands off my salt shaker!

The Center for Science in the Public Interest recently released a report condemning the love affair our restaurants have been having with salt. In the study of 17 chain restaurants, the CSPI found that 85 out of 102 meals had more salt than an individual's recommended intake. Not only that, but the CSPI cautions that elderly individuals who indulge in more than 4,000 milligrams of salt in one meal may, "present an immediate risk of heart failure."

You read that right; consuming close to two and a half day's worth of salt in one sitting could kill you where you feast.

The saltiest offenders hail from Red Lobster, Chili's and Olive Garden and make for a pretty full plate.

  • The Admirals Feast with lobster-covered mashed potatoes, a cheddar bay biscuit and lemonade comes to a grand total of 7,106 mg of sodium.

  • Chili's Buffalo Chicken Fajitas and a Dr. Pepper clock in at an impressive 6,916 mg of sodium.

  • The Tour of Italy complete with bread stick salad and a Coke measure a whopping 6,176 mg of salt.

So to summarize, ordering a huge plate of fried seafood, topping your mashed potatoes with a butter lobster sauce and eating a biscuit infused with cheese isn't the best dining choice. And choice is exactly what the CSPI wants to give consumers; CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson feels that restaurants, "...should cut back and give consumers the freedom to decide for themselves how much salt they want."