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Hospital Has Chicken Soup for the ’80s

September 13, 1988

HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) _ Chicken soup is good for you, according to folklore, but dietitians at Holyoke Hospital say it’s too salty for a healthy heart and have come up with a broth for the Eighties.

Patients at this 250-bed hospital in western Massachusetts may dine on ″Just What the Doctor Ordered″ low-sodium, low-fat chicken soup.

″A typical 7-ounce portion of dried soup contains 726 milligrams of sodium and the same-sized bowl of canned soup contains 850 milligrams of sodium, while our frozen ‘Just What the Doctor Ordered’ soup contains 22 milligrams of sodium,″ Patrick Ascolese, food services manager at the hospital, said Monday.

The typical restricted diet for a patient with high blood pressure or heart trouble limits sodium intake to 1,000 milligrams a day, he said, so a bowl of commercial soup would just about use up the daily allotment.

The chicken noodle soup, as well as a vegetable beef soup, were an outgrowth of the hospital’s 2-year-old frozen meal program for recently released patients and the elderly, Ascolese said.

The hospital began looking into packaging frozen meals after federal reimbursement regulations were changed in 1984 to shorten average hospital stays, he said.

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