5 Sodium-free Foods for Dinner


Choose Salmon, not Shellfish

If you're watching your sodium intake, choose fresh fish like salmon, over shellfish.
If you're watching your sodium intake, choose fresh fish like salmon, over shellfish.

Seafood makes a tasty meal, and most of the time it doesn't pose a health threat (unless you have a penchant for rolling the culinary dice with poisonous fugu fish, that is). Before you tie on a bib and dine your way through the Admiral's Feast at one popular restaurant chain, however, keep this in mind: This entree of fried clams, shrimp and fish will send 4,400 milligrams of sodium coursing through your veins.

For a nearly no-sodium version, opt for broiled, poached or grilled fish. A serving of baked salmon has just 55 milligrams of sodium, and most other fish follows suit. Just make sure your catch of the day isn't smoked, or covered with a glaze or sauce, because this piles on the sodium.

Shellfish is higher in sodium than fish, often ranging up to 500 milligrams per serving. And that's if it's fresh and processed without salt. If you're buying crab legs, for instance, these delectable morsels often are frozen in salty brine as a preserving agent, and this can cause the sodium content to reach astronomical proportions. Fresh, not frozen, is better. Or, watch for labels that spell out how the shellfish has been processed.

If you're watching your sodium intake, make sure you're eating the real thing: Imitation crab legs have large quantities of sodium added during processing. The same is true for nearly any type of highly processed fish, like canned tuna.

The next time the soup's on, the sodium may be, too. Find out how this wholesome dish often serves up a killer ingredient, next.