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What Are the Best Low Sodium Foods at Restaurants?

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Lauren Beck

For individuals following a low-sodium diet, dining out can pose a challenge. Many restaurant meals contain high levels of sodium, making it hard to track one’s sodium intake.

However, with some research and preparation, it is possible to enjoy a delicious meal while still sticking to your dietary restrictions.

What Are the Best Low Sodium Foods at Restaurants?

Here are 11 Best Low Sodium Foods at Restaurants:

  1. Grilled chicken or fish
  2. Steamed vegetables
  3. Fresh fruit
  4. Brown rice
  5. Baked potatoes
  6. Whole wheat bread
  7. Salad greens with low-sodium dressing
  8. Soup without added salt
  9. Grilled or roasted meats without sauce or rub
  10. Whole grain pasta with low-sodium sauce
  11. Low-sodium condiments such as salsa, hot sauce, and mustard.

How to Eat Less Sodium at Restaurants?

  • Ask the server about the menu options that are low in sodium.
  • Request sauces and dressings on the side and use sparingly.
  • Choose dishes that are grilled, steamed, baked, or roasted, instead of those that are fried or sautéed.
  • Ask for the dish to be prepared without added salt.
  • Avoid dishes with salty ingredients such as bacon, cheese, ham, and soy sauce.

How to Follow a Low-Sodium Diet When Eating Out?

  • Plan ahead by researching the restaurant’s menu and nutrition information.
  • Make healthier choices by selecting dishes that are grilled, steamed, baked, or roasted.
  • Avoid dishes that are high in sodium, such as processed foods, canned soups, and sauces.
  • Opt for low-sodium condiments, such as salsa, hot sauce, and mustard.
  • Ask the server to provide nutritional information, including sodium content, when ordering.

Tips to Help Trim the Sodium When Dining Out:

  • Start with a low-sodium dish, such as a salad or soup.
  • Share a dish or order an appetizer as a main course.
  • Avoid adding salt to your food at the table.
  • Ask for sauces and dressings on the side and use sparingly.
  • Drink water instead of soda or other high-sodium beverages.

Tips for Eating Low Sodium at Home:

chicken salad
  • Use herbs and spices to flavor dishes instead of salt.
  • Prepare meals at home using fresh ingredients, instead of canned or processed foods.
  • Read food labels and choose low-sodium options.
  • Reduce the amount of sodium in recipes by using low-sodium ingredients and seasonings.
  • Use a sodium-free substitute for salt, such as Mrs. Dash or NoSalt.

Why Should You Be Concerned About Your Salt Intake?

High sodium intake can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems [1]. Additionally, excessive salt intake can also lead to water retention, bloating, and weight gain.

Low Sodium Food Dishes You Can Make at Home:

  • Grilled chicken or fish with a side of steamed vegetables and brown rice.
  • Baked sweet potato topped with low-sodium salsa and black beans.
  • Whole grain pasta with a low-sodium marinara sauce and steamed vegetables.
  • Grilled or roasted meats without added salt, served with a side of roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables.
  • Salad greens with low-sodium dressing and a grilled chicken breast.

How Can You Avoid Sodium When Eating Out?

  1. Ask for nutritional information when ordering.
  2. Choose dishes that are grilled, baked, steamed, or roasted.
  3. Avoid dishes that are high in sodium, such as canned soups, sauces, and processed foods.
  4. Request sauces and dressings on the side and use sparingly.
  5. Opt for low-sodium condiments such as salsa, hot sauce, and mustard.

Conclusion

By following these tips and making informed choices, it is possible to enjoy a delicious meal while still sticking to a low-sodium diet. Remember to plan ahead, choose wisely, and ask questions when dining out. And don’t forget, cooking at home using fresh ingredients is always a great way to control your sodium intake. With a little effort and some smart choices, you can enjoy a delicious and healthy meal no matter where you dine.

Reference:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/salt/food.htm#:~:text=Eating%20too%20much%20sodium%20can,the%20health%20of%20your%20heart.
Lauren Beck
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