Reducing sodium when eating out

Restaurant meals can be very high in sodium. Try the tips below to enjoy delicious meals while keeping sodium in check.

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Low-sodium tips for eating out

  • Order a smaller portion or share your meal with someone.
  • Ask for gravy, sauce, and salad dressing "on the side," and use only a small amount.
  • Flavour your food with lemon or pepper instead of salt, sauce, or gravy.
  • Ask for your meal to be cooked without salt or monosodium glutamate (MSG), a seasoning that is very high in sodium.

Did you know?

Our Sodium Detector can help you learn how much sodium is in the foods you eat.

Choose healthier menu items

Try these easy food swaps to cut back on sodium and enjoy your meal.

If you're eating North American food:
Choose... Instead of...
toppings like lettuce, onions, or tomatoes cheese, ketchup, mustard, or pickles
grilled or roasted chicken chicken wings or chicken fingers
salad with dressing on the side salad with dressing  mixed in
baked potato French fries or onion rings
If you're eating Chinese food:
Choose... Instead of...
steamed rice, steamed buns, or dim sum rice noodle rolls served with sodium-reduced soy sauce on the side fried rice or dim sum appetizers served with soy, hoisin, fish, or black bean sauces
stir-fry vegetables with garlic stir-fry vegetables in oyster sauce
steamed fish BBQ meat
wonton noodles or rice noodles chow mein or fried noodles
If you're eating Indian food:
Choose... Instead of...
plain rice Pilau
roti or chapati naan or parantha
tandoori dishes curry dishes or biryani
If you're eating Italian food:
Choose... Instead of...
grilled fish, meat, or poultry lasagna or parmigiana dishes
pasta in garlic and olive oil pasta in  Alfredo sauce
vegetarian pizza bacon or pepperoni pizza
If you're eating Thai food:
Choose... Instead of...
fresh rolls crispy rolls
mango salad Tom Yum soup
steamed rice fried noodles
chicken or beef satay chicken or beef curry
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