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
Fat – 8 grams
Sodium – 520 mg
Fat – 19 grams
Sodium – 530 mg
Fat – 12 grams
Sodium – 360 mg
Fat – 2.5 grams
Sodium – 310 mg
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
Fat – 5 grams
Sodium – 300 mg (be sure you have requested no added salt)
Fat – 5 grams
Sodium – 470 mg
Fat – 13 grams
Sodium – 530 mg (be sure you have requested no added salt)
Fat – 4 grams
Sodium – 670 mg (be sure you have request no additional sodium)
Fat – 20 grams
Sodium – 590 mg
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?
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