In my last couple of blog posts, I’ve been addressing the topic of rotisserie chicken. You can’t beat them for their convenience. But you know the saying, “if it’s too good to be true it probably is”. They aren’t just simply a roasted chicken.

While many companies label them no added steroids or no hormones, they all seem to have some added seasoning or flavoring. What’s in the seasoning? This tends to vary from store to store, but the items most listed are: salt, maltodextrin, natural flavors, food starch and spices.

These seasonings add more than flavor. Nutritionally, the major difference between a home roasted chicken is the amount of sodium in the final product. According to the USDA a roasted chicken contains 72 mg of sodium for 4 ounces of meat. The nutrition facts labels on several rotisseries chickens showed the sodium content ranged from 613 mg to 884 mg for the same amount of chicken.

The MyPlate recommendations for Americans on sodium say everyone, including kids, should reduce their sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Adults age 51 and older, African Americans of any age and individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should further reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day. A small serving of roasted chicken can easily be a half day’s supply for most people.

Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS
Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University