Which Fast Food Chains have low-sodium options?

Our love for fast food often comes with a salty twist. Sodium, the primary component of salt, is often abundant in these meals, leading to potential health issues over time, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke. Studies reveal that Americans ingest over 3,400 mg of sodium daily – a staggering amount when compared to the CDC’s recommended daily limit of 2,300 mg. Fortunately, with a little awareness and planning, you can find low-sodium options even at your favorite fast-food joints. Read on for some curated picks.

Top Fast Food Restaurants with Low Sodium Options

1. McDonald’s

While the Golden Arches are synonymous with burgers and fries, low-sodium delights are hidden within the menu. For instance:

  • Fruit & Maple Oatmeal: At just 150 mg of sodium, this delightful breakfast blend of rolled oats, fruits, and light cream tops the low-sodium list.
  • Opt for the Filet-o-Fish sandwich without cheese and tartar sauce, bringing the sodium count down to 370 mg.
  • The Classic McDonald’s Hamburger is another option, but say no to the pickles, ketchup, and mustard to limit sodium to 380 mg.

2. Subway

Subway’s diverse menu makes it easier to find low-sodium meals. A few recommendations include:

  • A 6” Veggie Delight, boasting only 320 mg of sodium. Keeping off cheese, pickles, and high-sodium fixings can reduce this further.
  • The Tuna Salad, a wholesome mix, contains 390 mg of sodium. Want it lower? Opt for the salad without the bread, bringing it down to just 75 mg.

Subway’s full nutritional information can be accessed through their Nutrition Data Tables (USA) PDF.

3. Taco Bell

While tacos can be sodium-heavy, there are still options:

  • Consider pairing a hash brown (280 mg) with orange juice (20 mg).
  • The cheesy rollup and nacho cheese Doritos Locos tacos contain 430 mg and 350 mg, respectively.
  • Craving a snack? The cinnamon twists are a delight at just 115 mg.

Expert Tip: Avoid Taco Bell’s hot sauce packets to save on sodium.

4. Burger King

Starting your day at Burger King? Here are some options:

  • Three French Toast sticks offer a sweet start with 317.8 mg of sodium.
  • Lunch or dinner? Try the four-piece chicken nuggets (495 mg) or jalapeno cheddar bites (453.6 mg).
  • Satisfy your sweet cravings with two chocolate chip cookies at 220 mg or soft serve at around 146-154 mg, depending on the choice of vessel.

5. Starbucks

Starbucks isn’t just about coffee; their menu also has low-sodium delights:

  • The Kale and Mushroom Egg Bites contain 340 mg of sodium.
  • Other items like the oatmeal with blueberries or the Berry Trio Parfait range between 15-130 mg of sodium.

6. Wendy’s

Wendy’s offers a few tasty low-sodium options:

  • Try the four-piece crispy chicken nuggets at 380 mg or the Jr. Hamburger at 420 mg (omit pickles and ketchup).
  • For a sweet treat, consider the Junior Frosty varieties, ranging between 85-90 mg of sodium.

How to Find Low-Sodium Fast Food?

When eating out, be vigilant. Avoid sides and dressings high in sodium, opt for grilled meats, steer clear of super-sized items, and stick with water. Always check the nutrition facts and consider fresh over processed meats.


While indulging in fast foods, it’s not just about the calories or fat; sodium is a silent factor often overlooked. Thankfully, many popular fast-food chains now offer dishes that are relatively low in sodium. Being aware and making the right choices can ensure that you enjoy your meal without compromising your health.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I eat pizza on a low-sodium diet?

Yes! Pizza is a cherished food for many, and fortunately, you don’t have to skip it entirely on a low-sodium diet. Instead, choose low-sodium pizza sauce which is flavorful and simple to prepare. With over 3 billion pizzas consumed in the US annually, switching to a low-salt sauce can make a big difference in sodium intake. Good news? Making this sauce is easy, and you probably have all the ingredients at home.

2. How do I avoid sodium when eating?

At the Grocery Store:

  • Opt for fresh or frozen veggies without added salt.
  • Look for “low sodium” labels.
  • Check the Nutrition Facts for sodium content.
  • Avoid cured, salted, and smoked meats.

3. Does fasting flush out sodium?

Fasting can help excrete sodium from the body. For example, during food deprivation, a negative sodium balance usually starts from the 2nd day. With prolonged fasting, sodium loss can accumulate up to 7,475 mg over 7 days. It’s essential to supplement sodium during a fast, especially if you’re active.

For home-delivered alternatives, check out the best prepared meal delivery services in NYC.

Shaleen Ashish
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