Why The American Heart Association Wouldn't Approve Of Sonic's Chili Cheese Tots

It's no secret that fast food isn't exactly good for you. Fast food is often high in fats, sodium, and sugar, all of which can cause health problems when consumed in excess. These health problems include heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Obesity, in particular, affects more than 42% of American adults (via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death for American adults, says Healthline, with close ties to eating fast food. A large fry from McDonald's, for example, is 560 calories, 27 grams of fat, and 420 milligrams of sodium. That's already 18% of the upper limit for daily sodium intake — for context, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration says foods with 20% or more of your daily value of sodium are high.

But even a large fry pales in comparison to some other fast food items. Let's look at those Chili Cheese Tots offered at Sonic and see how they stack up. 

Sonic's loaded tots are no laughing matter

Many of us are aware of the 2,300 mg recommended limit for daily sodium intake, even if we don't necessarily abide by it. However, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends an even lower number — 1,500 mg of sodium daily — for the sake of better heart health.

Now that you have those numbers in your head, let's talk about the Chili Cheese Tots at Sonic. A small tots order is 350 calories and has 1,000 milligrams of sodium (via Sonic Drive-In). A large order is 960 calories and has 2,690 milligrams of sodium. That's nearly half of the general recommendation for daily calories, and more than 300 milligrams over your daily allotment of sodium by national standards. By AHA standards, a large tots order takes you 1,190 mg over.

Don't get us wrong, you can order the chili cheese tots. However, you'd be better off ordering the small and adjusting the rest of your day's meals to compensate. Cooking Light suggests drinking more water, exercising, and eating foods with potassium if you've overdone it on the sodium.