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Low Salt Restaurant Food

Sure, plain poached or broiled fish, with lemon instead of sauce, but what luck have you had eating out, finding truly low salt food, and being sure that is what you are getting? Fast food chains as well as non-chain restaurant types welcome. Any chains cater to this need?

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  1. This topic is of great interest to me! I find that anything over 1,500mg of sodium in a day makes me retain water like nobody's business. As a busy grad student, this means that I pretty much have to pack my home-cooked lunch and dinner in the morning every day, as low-salt restaurant dishes are kind of an oxymoron.

    That being said, the closest restaurant to my school is a Subway. While there is a whole lot of amazing food nearby, it's not only the cheapest thing around, but they have their nutrition info online so I can put together something that won't send me into the sodium stratosphere.

    So, for what it's worth, Subway's lowest sodium bread is their sourdough, and the swiss has the least sodium of all their cheeses. The 6" veggie delite sandwich topped with swiss cheese and all of the non-pickled, fresh vegetables, will set you back about 400mg. Don't even think about the cold cuts or tuna salad . . .

    2 Replies
    1. re: operagirl

      Oh, I should mention as well that In 'N Out burger will cook your fries or hamburger without added salt. So, you could theoretically have a no-salt-added meal if you ordered a protein-style burger, no added salt, cheese, pickles, or condiments, served with unsalted fries.

      1. re: operagirl

        Glad you included "theoretically" as all of those ingredients likely have a significant amount of salt added in their manufacture.

    2. Souplantantion (aka Sweet Tomatoes) is pretty good with low-sodium selections, but I wouldn't say they "cater" to this demographic.

      Beyond that, good luck.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Not whenever I've been there! Their food is great tasting, but LOADED with sodium.

        1. re: Kajikit

          gotta agree with you on this one (sorry ipse!) - according to the info on the Souplantation website, there are only 3 or 4 lower-sodium (80mg or less per serving) items, and i think all except 1 are fruit-based.

          of course it's easy to put together a low-sodium salad from the salad bar if you skip all the prepared, pickled & preserved items, cheeses, breads and salad dressings.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            At least you have a chance to make healthy choices there and maybe indulge on one or two other items.

      2. order a burger at mcd with no sauces, pickles, or "grill seasonings" (salt & pepper)
        Fries without salt are always available as well.
        The bun will be the biggest concern with sodium, and your food will be freshly made.

          1. Restaurant food is notorious for high sodium levels. It's hard to find an entree under 1,000 mg of sodium.

            http://www.dietfacts.com/ is pretty handy and can show you some of the sodium counts for your fav chain restaurants.

            If you have any vegan restaurants in town you may want to check that out as well.

            Seasons 52 offers Entrees under 450 calories so that may help as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sandwich_Sister

              Seasons 52 also offers a low-sodium menu (check the website) but even there it's pretty limited. I think they tend to amp up the salt to make up for the fat in a lot of their dishes.

            2. Most chain restaurant food like Olive Garden use garlic salt instead of garlic and salt so you are stuck! There are only 2 things you can eat with very low salt at the Olive Garden and that is a plain bread stick and salad without their dressing, croutons, peppers or olives! You can put some Balsamic vinegar on it and olive oil but if you can't have ANY fats like me, you're out of luck, you just get Balsamic Vinegar!
              All food chains use base sauces that already have salt in them!
              American restaurants cook with too much salt! The patron should be the one to determine how much salt they want or can have in their food!
              Just look up the nutrition table for each major chain restaurant and you would be appalled! I think they are trying to kill us with salt and fats and sugars in othis country! Do you know what a true taste of a vegetable really is like?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sandramee48

                "There are only 2 things you can eat with very low salt at the Olive Garden and that is a plain bread stick and salad without their dressing, croutons, peppers or olives!"

                I'm not so sure about that. Their plain bread sticks (no butter or oil) are reported to have 330 mg sodium (460 with the garlic butter). They don't seem to show the serving size, but the 25g of reported carbs is typical for two slices of bread (about 2 oz). That's about the same sodium content as two ounces of Lays Classic potato chips.