10 Low Sodium Restaurant Options For the New Year

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends individuals between the ages of 2-50 should reduce daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg or less. For those older than 51 or younger individuals with hypertension, diabetes, or other chronic diseases, the recommendation lowers to 1,500 mg per day.  Since sodium is essential element necessary for the body to function properly, it is important to consume between 1,500-2,300 mg per day on average unless otherwise directed by your medical provider.
 In our ongoing Food on the Run and Diet Friendly Dining series, one of the most common comments I find relates to why the sodium content is so high in the foods we suggest as being "healthier" options.  
More and more restaurants are moving in the direction of fresh, whole foods for entrée and side options. Since these tend to be naturally low in sodium, they are a great way to increase nutrition while decreasing the sodium and fat content at the same time. Options such as fresh fruit and steamed or raw vegetables without added sodium, lean meats, poultry and fish as well as whole grains, dried beans, and lentils that do not have added salt are usually better choices with lower sodium content.
The Healthy Dining finder's team of Registered Dietitians believes that Sodium Savvy menu items are those that provide 750 mg or sodium or less for an entrée, and 250 mg of sodium or less for an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. Here are 10 of the best low sodium casual dining and fast food entrée options you might want to select next time you are eating away from home.

Fast Food Chain Options
  1. Arby's Junior Roast Beef Sandwich
  2. Calories – 210
    Fat – 8 grams
    Sodium – 520 mg

  3. Burger King Whopper Jr.
  4. Calories – 340
    Fat – 19 grams
    Sodium – 530 mg

  5. McDonald's 4-Piece Chicken McNuggets
  6. Calories – 190
    Fat – 12 grams
    Sodium – 360 mg

  7. Subway 6" Veggie Delite
  8. Calories – 230
    Fat – 2.5 grams
    Sodium – 310 mg
  9. Wendy's Half-Size Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
  10. Calories – 170 (dressing an additional 60 and roasted pecans an additional 110)
    Fat – 6 grams (dressing an additional 3 grams and roasted pecans an additional 9 grams)
    Sodium – 580 mg (dressing an additional 160 mg and roasted pecans an additional 60 mg)
Casual Dining Chain Options
  1. Cracker Barrel Country Dinner Plate Spicy Grilled Catfish
  2. Calories – 120
    Fat – 5 grams
    Sodium – 300 mg (be sure you have requested no added salt)

  3. Red Lobster Mahi Mahi Dinner with fresh broccoli and garden salad without dressing
  4. Calories – 450
    Fat – 5 grams
    Sodium – 470 mg

  5. Denny's Grilled Chicken Deluxe Salad (doesn't include bread or salad dressing)
  6. Calories – 340
    Fat – 13 grams
    Sodium – 530 mg (be sure you have requested no added salt)

  7. Olive Garden – Garden Fare Lunch Portion Linguini Alla Marinara (doesn't include bread or salad)
  8. Calories – 310
    Fat – 4 grams
    Sodium – 670 mg (be sure you have request no additional sodium)

  9. The Old Spaghetti Factory - Spaghetti Vesuvius (a mixture of chicken, sausage and meatballs with mushrooms, green peppers and onions in a spicy Tabasco and cayenne pepper seasoned sauce over pasta.)
  10. Calories – 710 for a hearty portion
    Fat – 20 grams
    Sodium – 590 mg
Check out this article on diet friendly restaurants for more info.

What low sodium healthy options have you found when eating away from home to share with others who are trying to keep their sodium intake down?