Best Low Sodium Fast Food Options - Smeh Beautytips

What is a Low Sodium Fast Food?

Low sodium fast foods are foods having a lower level of sodium (atoms found in salt). Salt contains 40% sodium and 60% chloride. Sometimes sodium is also referred to as table salt but apparently, both have a slight difference in characteristics. Sodium helps in maintaining fluid balance in the body but some people have some restrictions in taking sodium in the diet. The normal daily recommended amount of sodium is 2300 mg per day (one teaspoon of salt) for a healthy person who eats a 2000 calorie diet, however, some patients (mostly having hypertension, cardiac disease or kidney disease) need to take lower sodium in the diet.

Is it Easy to get Low Sodium Fast-Food Options in the Restaurant?

Fast foods are generally high in sodium, therefore, it's hard to know which fast food is lower in sodium. It's not easy to get low sodium fast food options from every takeaway or restaurant. People prefer to eat piquant fast foods and one of the reasons is its higher level of sodium. As now people are getting more aware of the diet, some restaurants and takeaways are offering options of low sodium, gluten-free, sugar-free, etc options. There is a guide that can help to understand the amount of sodium in fast foods so one can't eat a higher sodium food if he/she is eating out alone or with family and friends.

Best Low Sodium Fast Food Option that One can Go for:

People having hypertension should try to eat 1500 mg of sodium per day or less. Fast foods are mostly high in sodium but it's also not recommended to skip a meal for maintaining daily sodium intake. The following are the low sodium fast food options that can be found in takeaways or restaurants.

* Grilled and Baked Foods:

Fried foods taste so delicious but they are high in sodium. Go for baked or grilled meat as these foods are generally low in sodium as compared to fried options. 

* Fish and chips:

Fish is naturally low in sodium. Don't add salt to the food. Going for fish and fries is one of the best low sodium fast food options. It's not only low in sodium but also enriched in nutrition.

* Veggie Pizza with Whole-Wheat Crust:

Choose vegetable or chicken pizza when eating out. Avoid pizza having topping of extra cheese, pepperoni or bacon. Whole wheat veggie pizza is also considered in low sodium fast foods. 1/3 slice of whole pizza contains 240 mg of sodium. For more nutrition facts, check the post, 'Veggie Pizza with Whole-Wheat Crust'.

* Tuna Burgers or Sandwiches:

Tuna sandwiches and burgers are low in sodium but canned tuna is higher in sodium as compared to fresh tunas. A homemade tuna sandwich is a better option than eating a shop's tuna sandwich. A shop's tuna sandwich contains 1293 mg of sodium and that is not advisable to eat if someone is restricted in taking sodium in the diet. A homemade tuna sandwich contains 500 mg of sodium that includes 2 slices of bread, 1 ounce of tuna and 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.

* Subway Veggie Delite:

Subway veggie delight is a nice low sodium fast food option when out. It contains just 310 mg of sodium so it's the healthiest option to eat for a person on a low sodium diet.

* Veggie or Chicken Pasta with Tomato Sauce:

Chicken pasta with tomato sauce has a very low sodium content and is a good option to eat at home or when out. One serving of chicken and tomato sauce pasta contains 69.9 mg of sodium. Also, veggie pasta with tomato sauce is low in sodium.

* Low Sodium Fast Food Options - McDonalds:

Below are some McDonalds low sodium fast food options that one can choose from:
  • McDonalds Grilled Snack Wrap with Honey Mustard contains 820 mg of sodium.
  • Grilled Snack Wrap with Chipotle BBQ Sauce contains 820 mg of sodium. 
  • McDonalds Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken contains 970 mg of sodium.
  • McDonalds Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken contains 890 mg of sodium.

* Low Sodium Fast Food Option - Wendy's:

At Wendy's, one can choose low sodium fast food from the list below:
  • Wendy's Ultimate Grill Sandwich contains 850 mg of sodium (custom option is also available that contains less than 850 mg of sodium).
  • 4 Pieces of Chicken Nuggets contains 390 mg of sodium.
  • The Sour Cream and Chives Baked Potato is 35 mg of sodium.
  • Small Natural-Cut Fries contains 320 mg of sodium.

* Low Sodium Fast Food Option -  KFC:

KFC has a variety of low sodium fast foods one can choose from.
  • KFC Honey BBQ sandwich contains 780 mg of sodium.
  • Kentucky Grilled Chicken Thigh, House Side Salad, and Green Beans contain 800 mg of sodium.
  • Chicken Littles Sandwich and House Side Salad contain 590 mg of sodium.
  • KFC Famous Bowl (snack size) and House Side Salad contain 850 mg of sodium.
  • Kentucky Grilled Chicken Breast, House Side Salad, and Corn on the Cob contain 740 mg of sodium.
  • Original Recipe Chicken Breast (w/o skin or breading), House Side Salad and Corn on the Cob contain 530 mg of sodium.

* Low Sodium Fast Food Option - Taco Bell:

Taco Bell has a number of low sodium fast food options. It has a list of low sodium breakfast, craving, fresco, sides, and sauces. Below are options in the fresco menu:
  • Beef soft taco contains 490 mg of sodium.
  • Spicy potato soft taco contains 480 mg of sodium.
  • Steak soft taco contains 440 mg of sodium.
  • Steak crunchy taco contains 300 mg of sodium.
  • Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Supreme contains 400 mg of sodium.
So now one can find a low sodium menu in different restaurants or takeaways. Before eating out, it's wise to check sodium content in foods online. Some famous fast-food restaurants have websites that give information about ingredients and its content in the food so one can choose a healthy option when eating out.

Tips for Eating Low Sodium Fast Food:

* Serving Guide:

Choosing the right serving size can help to take low sodium in the diet.
  • Serving to have a daily value of sodium is 5% is considered as lower sodium fast food.
  • Serving to have a daily value of sodium is 20% is considered as higher sodium fast food.
According to the FDA, Low sodium per serving has 140 mg of sodium or less. For more information, check post, 'Use the Nutrition Facts Label to Reduce Your Intake of Sodium in Your Diet' 

* Order Foods that are low in Sodium:

Choose the fast-food having low sodium ingredients. Low sodium food ingredients can be as follow:
  • Baked or grilled fishes (Cod, Tuna, etc)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Baked meat
  • Dairy products (Milk, Yogurt, Icecream)
  • Eggs
  • Grains and beans
  • Salad
  • Plain rice

* Avoid Appetizers:

Appetizer apparently increases appetite, therefore it's taken before the main course. It includes snack type foods and it's a small serving of food. It's good to avoid appetizer before the main course of the meal so it won't stimulate hunger and one can take low sodium in the diet by eating less food.

* Don't add Sauces or Gravies in the Food:

Sauces and gravies are generally high in sodium. Take less or no sauce when on a low sodium diet. In the hot sauce, just one teaspoon contains 124.2 mg of sodium. There are also some sauces available that are low in sodium like spicy BBQ sauce, soy-less sodium sauce, etc.

* Don't Sprinkle Salt on Foods:

People on a low sodium diet must avoid sprinkling salt on foods as it drastically increases sodium level. Just 1/4 teaspoon contains 575 mg of sodium.

* Choose Restaurants that Prepare Foods on Request:

Plan choosing a restaurant ahead for eating out. Some restaurants prepare fresh foods and can substitute ingredients on request. 

* Don't order Super-sized Foods:

Don't choose food that is super or jumbo-sized as it's a clear indication that they are high in sodium and calories. 

* Drink Water in between Eating Fast Food:

Taking water before eating a meal and in between eating it is the best thing one can do to avoid eating extra food. Water helps to make one feels full and he/she can eat low sodium in the food this way.

* Foods to Avoid in Low Sodium Fast Food Options:

Foods to avoid when eating out are:
  • Volcano Nachos - Taco Bell 
  • Big Breakfast with Hotcakes - McDonalds
  • Spicy Italian - Subway
  • Mac-N-Cheese - Domino's
  • Broths and Stocks - Any Fast-Food Shop
  • Salt Bagel - Dunkin Donuts
  • Buffalo Chicken Pizza - Papa John's
  • Pepperoni and Salami - Any Fast-Food Shop
  • Variety Big Box Meal - KFC
  • Baja Salad - Wendy's
  • Hot Dogs and Bratwurst - Any Fast-Food Shop

Foods naturally low in sodium:

In a low sodium diet, it's important to have awareness of naturally low sodium foods. It gives the understanding to choose the right food in different fast-food options. Following are the foods that are naturally low in sodium:

* Low Sodium Fruits:

All fruits are low in sodium. Below is the list of low or sodium-free fruits:
  • Sodium free fruits ( Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Banana, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Dates, Figs, Grapefruit, Guava, Mango, Orange, Peach, Pear )
  • Very Low Sodium fruits ( Papaya, Pineapple, Raisins, Grapes, Tomatoes)

* Low Sodium Vegetables:

Like fruits, vegetables are also low in sodium. Below is the list of low or sodium-free vegetables:
  • Sodium free vegetables ( Green Beans, Cucumber, Corn, Eggplant, Garlic, Potato, Squash, Asparagus)
  • Very low sodium vegetables ( Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Lentils, Chilli Peppers, Lettuce, Iceberg, Ladyfingers, Mushrooms, Parsley )
  • Low sodium vegetables ( Carrot, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Celery )

* What Meat has the Lowest Sodium?

In meat, chicken has the lowest amount of sodium. The average serving of chicken contains 20-80 mg of sodium. In beef, the average serving contains, 45-65 mg of sodium and in fishes, the average serving contains 40-200 mg of sodium. So, chicken is a good option when looking for low sodium fast food options.

The Bottom Line:

A low sodium diet improves blood pressure and good for overall health. Patients that are on a low sodium diet can eat out but keep important points in mind before ordering food. For a normal person reducing too much sodium intake can be unhealthy because sodium helps to maintain different bodily functions. A low sodium diet is recommended by doctors to patients having hypertension, kidney diseases or heart diseases. If sodium intake is in the right amount then it can also decrease the risk of cancer.

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