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Keeping Sodium Low When You're Eating on the Go
- Items labeled "sodium-free" must contain 5 mg or less sodium per serving.
- Items labeled "low-sodium" must contain 140 mg or less sodium per serving.
- Items labeled "heart healthy" must be low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol .
The Fast-Food Scene
- Pass on the cheese. A slice of cheese can add another 200 mg of sodium to your burger.
- To further reduce your sodium intake, skip the pickles.
- Ask for sauces on the side.
- Pass on the fries or ask that the fries be unsalted.
- When at a sandwich shop, choose fresh meats, like chicken or turkey rather, than processed meats.
- Opt for oil and vinegar instead of packaged salad dressings.
- Choose salad over soup. Each 8-ounce cup of soup contains about a half teaspoon of salt.
- Opt for yeast-risen bread, such as rolls, instead of higher sodium choices, like biscuits.
- Choose broiled meats over fried ones.
- When dining at Asian restaurants, ask for low-sodium soy sauce, which is almost always available.
- Try using sodium-free salsa, chutney, cranberry sauce, or horseradish for extra flavor.
- Choose oils over butter for the bread or vegetables.
The Bottom Line: Taking Control
- Read nutrition labels when they're available.
- Pre-plan your food selection with the aid of websites and books.
- Check ahead with restaurants and airlines for lower sodium menu options.
- Pack your own lower sodium food and snacks in coolers for car trips or plane trips.
- Keep portion sizes reasonable.
- Avoid obvious sources of extra sodium, such as soups, pickles, cheese, and salted foods.
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org/
National Restaurant Association http://www.restaurant.org/
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.com/
Be salt savvy—cut back on sodium for healthier school meals. United States Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/DGfactsheet%5Fsodium.pdf. Accessed April 12, 2012.
Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfate. National Institutes of Medicine website. Available at: http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3788/3969/18495.aspx . Accessed February 18, 2008.
Heart-check mark nutritional guidelines. American Heart Association website. website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HeartSmartShopping/Heart-Check-Mark-Nutritional-Guidelines%5FUCM%5F300914%5FArticle.jsp#.T4g9RFFSTng. Updated April 12, 2012. Accessed April 12, 2012.
Lichten JV. Dining Lean: How to Eat Healthy in Your Favorite Restaurants . Nutrifit Publishing; 2000.
Natow AB and Heslin J. Eating Out Food Counter. Pocket Books; 1998.
Nutrition fact sheet: sodium. Northwestern University website. Available at: http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/nutrition/factsheets/sodium.html . Accessed February 18, 2008.
Reading food nutrition labels. American Heart Association website. website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HeartSmartShopping/Reading-Food-Nutrition-Labels%5FUCM%5F300132%5FArticle.jsp#.T4g8uFFSTng. Updated September 1, 2010. Accessed April 12, 2012.
Sodium: the facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/salt/pdfs/Sodium%5FFact%5FSheet.pdf. Accessed April 12, 2012.
Sodium fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data%5Fstatistics/fact%5Fsheets/fs%5Fsodium.htm. Updated April 29, 2011. Accessed April 12, 2012.
Special meals. Delta Airlines website. Available at: http://www.delta.com/components/popups/menus/special%5Fmeals.jsp. Accessed April 12, 2012.
United States Department of Agriculture and United States Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 . 7th Edition, Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, December 2010.
- Reviewer: Peter J. Lucas, MD
- Review Date: 05/2012
- Update Date: 05/07/2012