EWWK: Chili

By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

Don’t you just love chili? It is delicious, warm and comforting and inviting. However, when researching chili recipes on the Internet, it became interesting and I got sidetracked reading about the debate over where chili was first made and whether or not it should contain beans.

My take on it is I don’t care where it was first made (I am just glad it was made) and as a dietitian I very much want it to contain beans! Please!

Chili is a delicious and potentially healthy food choice. But your average canned chili has too much sodium/salt. A typical serving size for canned chili is 1 cup. Most of the canned chili I looked at had well over 600mg sodium except the chili in the organic section. I do know that Hormel is coming out or has come out with a lower sodium canned chili -- I just did not find that at my Kroger.

General guidelines for healthy chili are to look for canned chili with 3g or less saturated fat and 680mg or less sodium per serving (preferably less of course).

I did find one organic brand that met these guidelines. Amy’s (thank goodness for Amy’s or I would not have much to write about!). Both the regular and the low sodium chili met the above guidelines.

Now when you start talking about chili starters (seasoning packets, canned mixes or anything that helps you get it on the table faster), there are more lower sodium options to choose from.

-Bear Creek: “Darn good Chili” mix: Contains 550mg sodium and if you add no salt-added tomatoes, you will stay below the 600mg mark per serving.
-Bush’s Chili Magic Chili Starter (mild only): 652mg sodium (made with onion)/per serving.
-McCormick: Chili packet has 310mg sodium per serving
-McCormick: Reduced sodium version has 210mg sodium per serving
-Many store brand seasoning packets are following suit as well.

I made chili using lean ground beef, onion, green pepper, low-sodium seasoning packet and reduced sodium crushed tomatoes. it was quick, easy and deliciously low in fat and sodium.

Until next time, shop well and eat well!

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