Fast food restaurants make it difficult to stick to a low-sodium diet since nearly everything they provide, from breakfast foods to main courses to desserts, is laden with salt.
Still, many prominent fast food places provide healthier options without sacrificing taste.
Many of these items are still heavy in calories, carbohydrates, and fat, so they shouldn’t be part of a regular diet. However, they are great as a treat or on-the-go alternative.
FDA’s Take On Sodium Intake
People with hypertension, hypernatremia, high blood pressure, or heart failure should pay close attention to their salt intake. Overconsumption of sodium, which can place extra stress on your kidneys, is another reason why people with renal disease should watch their salt intake. Keep to the recommendations of your medical professional.
Even if you don’t have any of these conditions, reducing salt consumption is beneficial.
Almost all Americans consume far more salt than is recommended by the FDA. The American Heart Association reports that the typical American eats more than 3,400 mg of salt daily (AHA).
According to the American Heart Association, “reducing merely 1,000 milligrammes of salt daily can improve blood pressure and heart health.”
Low Sodium Fast Food Options
Low-sodium breakfast choices at fast food restaurants include fruit cups, oatmeal, and yoghurt parfaits.
We researched menus to uncover more low-sodium options at well-known restaurants and included the salt content per dish. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
McDonald’s isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think about low-sodium fast food. Oatmeal with fruit and maple syrup is a healthy alternative, among others.
Oatmeal, sliced apples, low-fat cream, and cranberry-raisin mixture make up this low-sodium breakfast.
Each serving contains around 7% of the recommended daily salt value, or 150 mg (DV). Furthermore, it offers 4 grams of fibre per serving and might potentially increase your intake of minerals like iron and potassium.
Moreover, McDonald’s is known for its morning menu, which includes the ever-popular hotcakes. With only 24 per cent of the recommended sodium intake in each serving (550 mg), they are also a low-sodium alternative. The hotcakes include high quantities of sugar, fat, and carbohydrates in addition to salt.
Additionally, they are a good source of minerals, including calcium, potassium, and iron. Reduce your sodium intake by skipping the salty whipped butter. Using these strategies, you may cut the total amount of all three hotcakes to 480 mg.
Although Subway does not provide any genuinely healthy options, the vegetarian pleasure choice is still there for those who crave it. This veggie-filled sandwich is low in sodium and an excellent choice for a nutritious lunch.
Tomatoes, onions, lettuce, green peppers, and cucumbers make up a healthful combination on 9-grain whole wheat bread. It has less salt and saturated fat than the standard American diet. The approximate weight is 280 milligrammes. You can opt to add chicken to your sandwich if you like.
Wendy’s has a couple of low-sodium alternatives.
The baked potato is a side dish low in sodium (40 mg per serving, or about 2% of the DV) and high in other healthy nutrients.
This food serves 7 grams of protein in addition to a healthy dose of potassium, iron, and fibre.
You may choose a plain baked potato and load it up with your favourite healthy toppings like herbs and vegetables, or you can try the Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potato, which has just 55 mg per serving, or around 2% of the DV.
Even though Wendy’s does offer some lesser salt choices (such as salads), the vast majority of their food still has an extremely high sodium content.
The Southwest Avocado Salad has 930mg of sodium (or 40% of the DV) if ordered due to its combination of romaine lettuce, cheese, avocado, grilled chicken breast, and bacon.
However, the salt level drops to 790 mg or 34% of the DV without the bacon. When the grilled chicken is left out, the salt content of each dish lowers to 350 milligrammes (15 per cent of the daily value)
4. Taco Bell
Lower sodium choices are available at Taco Bell, both savoury and sweet.
There isn’t a lot of salt in most of Taco Bell’s soft tacos. And one serving of Black Bean Soft Tacos, for instance, has roughly 370 milligrammes of salt, or about 16% of the DV. It’s a good source of protein and fibre, with 6 and 4 grams each.
The seasoned beef in a Soft Taco has 9 grams of protein and 490 milligrammes of salt, or 21% of the daily value.
Onions, tomatoes, and jalapeno peppers are among the more taco topping options. If you’re ordering numerous tacos, you should be aware that the salt level can add up fast. It would help to eat your tacos in moderation and with low-sodium accompaniments.
Next up, this sweet cinnamon delight is among Taco Bell’s lowest-sodium offerings at 115 mg of sodium (or 5% of the DV).
Although a serving of Cinnamon Twists has 170 calories, they are minimal in fat and sugar.
The quantity of salt in your Chipotle meal may be easily adjusted by switching out the fillings to suit your dietary needs and preferences.
233 milligrammes, or 10% of the recommended value, may be found in a chicken taco made with romaine lettuce, a crispy corn tortilla, fajita vegetables, sour cream, and black beans.
Similarly, if you swap out the chicken for steak or carnitas, you may cut the overall sodium content in half, i.e., to 240 or 280 mg.
It isn’t easy to convince customers to stop eating fast food, despite numerous initiatives to enhance understanding of the possible and predicted consequences of fast food’s effect on health.
One solution may be to promote lower sodium intake across the food industry, including fast food, by reducing the amount of salt used in cooking. You may find low-sodium fast food alternatives at your favourite fast food restaurant when you know what to look for.