Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Does low-sodium fast food exist?


How to Order Low-sodium Fast Food

You may wonder if it's even possible to maintain a low-sodium diet when you're on the run and limited to eating fast food. Because a food item must contain 140 milligrams or fewer of sodium in order to be considered low-sodium, it's more difficult to find these items on the fast food menu, although it is possible.

The key is doing your research on what to order before you find yourself standing at a fast food counter. The phrase "knowledge is power" is no exception when it comes to your diet! Almost every fast-food restaurant has a nutrition guide available in stores and online. Refer to nutrition guides to check out low-sodium options at your favorite places. Make sure to look at all components of your meal, such as drinks, entrées, salads as well as condiments and toppings -- every milligram of sodium adds up.

There are also plenty of other tricks you can use to cut back on sodium levels in your fast food. For example, a small order of McDonald's french fries contains 160 milligrams of sodium, but ask for a serving from a fresh batch that hasn't been salted yet, and you significantly reduce this number. If you frequent delis and sandwich shops, monitor the amount of deli meat that goes on your sandwich, as processed deli meat has high levels of sodium. Ask for whole-wheat bread and pile on the vegetables. Avoid those salty potato chips and grab some fresh fruit as a side to help you create a more balanced meal.

You can even make a chart of the foods you eat during the day to keep up with how much sodium you're consuming. Download a program on your phone or computer to help you with this, if you desire. If you see just how much sodium you're consuming and from what sources, it will motivate you even more to cut back on those salty foods!

Continue reading for our tips on finding low-sodium fast food.


More to Explore