American fast food can be significantly saltier than similar foods in other countries. For example, “the McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets in the United States have more than twice as much salt as their sister nuggets in the United Kingdom,” writes Nancy Shute for NPR.
On many occasions, a single dish will even surpass the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) daily recommended sodium limit of 2,300 milligrams per day. To offer another example, the 30-count Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Boneless Wings has an incredible 13,080 milligrams of sodium—meaning that a consumer almost hits the daily recommended sodium intake after just five wings.
Discovering just how high the salt content of an item is can be shocking, as TikTok user Charlie (@chopmeatchuck) recently noted.
In a video with over 1.1 million views, Charlie picks up a frozen seafood boil for sale at Aldi. To his dismay, he discovers that a single portion contains 2,950 milligrams of sodium—and the whole bag contains 17,690 milligrams.
@chopmeatchuck SALTY. I still love aldi though. #aldi #sodium #diet #healthy #wtf #no #food #seafood ♬ original sound – Charlie
“I thought my eyes were deceiving me,” Charlie says in the video. In the caption, he adds, “I still love aldi though.”
In the comments, some users tried to explain the high salt content.
“They dehydrated an entire ocean,” joked a user.
“It’s a seafood boil, so realistically you aren’t ingesting all that,” offered another.
“It’s the packet of seasoning it comes with. I’ve never come close to using the whole thing,” stated a third.
That said, many users chimed in to say that they had purchased the product and were overwhelmed by its saltiness.
“I used maybe a quarter of that seasoning packet. it was plenty salty enough,” claimed a commenter.
“I bought the seafood boil. And it’s a dry seasoning that you add in the boiled water,” shared a second. “And it was so salty. I couldn’t even finish it.”
“Yeah. Couldn’t eat it,” echoed a further TikToker.
For Charlie’s part, he notes in a TikTok direct message conversation with the Daily Dot that “people seemed more concerned about the way I pronounced ‘aldi'” rather than the salt content. Still, he says that discovering the item’s sodium level was surprising.
“I’ve never seen a sodium amount in the ten thousands before so it was definitely a holy s#*t moment,” he says. “Maybe most of the sodium content comes from the packet and is in the water you boil it with, so it’s really not that bad. You’re not drinking the water itself.”
That said, this discovery hasn’t turned Charlie away from Aldi, which he cites as his “favorite grocery store.”
“Aldi has a lot of things that in a normal stores has high sodium and theirs surprisingly doesn’t,” he explains. “If you haven’t gone yet, you should — and say ‘Aldi’ however you like!”
The Daily Dot reached out to Aldi via email.