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Hmmm, too much salt in Denny's eggs, bacon, ham, sausage and more sausage?

July 23, 2009 | 10:01 am


OK, let's just put this beast right on the table:

We're talking about Denny's "meat lover's scramble," two eggs scrambled with chopped bacon, crumbled sausage and diced ham and served with a side of two pieces of bacon, two sausage links, hash browns and a couple of pancakes.

No one's ordering this made with egg whites, right? So we're under no illusions: This food is NOT particularly good for you, if you eat it regularly.

But maybe the people ordering it -- including older people, African Americans, people with high blood pressure and those at higher risk of it -- should know that the Denny's breakfast confection has almost four times the recommended limit of sodium -- 5,690 milligrams of the stuff, and that several other entrees served at Denny's have sodium content almost as high. Eating meals like that is not going to be good for your blood pressure, and high blood pressure will put you at greater risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Well, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, often referred to derisively as the "food police" by the restaurant industry, is suing Denny's, saying it should disclose to diners the "dangerously high" levels of sodium in its meals by posting a warning on the menus of its more than 1,500 restaurants. The class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday in New Jersey's Middlesex County, with a Denny's regular, Nick DeBenedetto, as the lead plaintiff.

DeBenedetto, 47, who takes medicine to combat his high blood pressure, says he was "literally floored" to learn the high sodium levels of some of his favorite Denny's dishes, including "Moons Over My Hammy," with 2,580 mgs. "It's as if Denny's is stacking the deck against people like me," he said.

The Center for Consumer Freedom, an advocacy group sponsored by the restaurant and food industry, notes that consumers interested in knowing the nutritional content of what they're eating at Denny's have ready access to it. They just have to look here.

"Denny's customers deserve to be warned about the considerable health risk posed by many of these meals," says Michael Jacobsen, the advocacy group's executive director. "Denny's is slowly sickening its customers."

-- Melissa Healy