Finding Problems With Your Restaurant

How To Order At A Restaurant In Order To Reduce Your Sodium Intake

by Peppi Hautala

Everyone likes going to restaurants. It's incredibly relaxing to have someone prepare food for you while you converse with your family and friends. However, it can also be stressful not to know what is going into your dish, especially for those who need to keep their sodium intake low for health reasons. Here are some tips for eating at a restaurant and still keeping your sodium intake at a normal level.

1. Make Sure Any Sauces are Served on the Side or Bring Your Own Low Sodium Option

The first step is to make sure that any sauces are served on the side. Many sauces, such as soy sauce, contain a great deal of sodium and you would never know it because you did not see how it was prepared. Your best option is to order the sauce on the side and then dip your fork into it each time before taking a bite of food. This will allow you to get the flavor of the sauce but not eat as much of it.

Another option is to bring your own low sodium sauce that you've thoroughly vetted in order to make sure that it is correct. Explain to the waiter or waitress your situation and ask for your meal to not have sauce. Your waiter or waitress will be able to relay this order to the kitchen staff and ensure that you do not cause any offense by using your own sauce.

You can also bring your own seasonings, another culprit of high sodium levels in restaurant food.

2. Make Sure Your Sides are Right

Next, make sure that you are ordering sides that contain as little sodium as possible in order to make up for the unknown amount of salt in your entree. Steamed vegetables that don't have any sauce on them are going to be your best bet, especially when compared to french fries and potato chips. If you need to season your vegetables, ask for a slice of lemon rather than reaching for the salt shaker.

3. Keep Your Salads Salt Free

Along with asking for your dressing on the side, you also want to make sure that you order a salad that does not have croutons and has a minimal amount of cheese and deli meats. This is because these foods have a high sodium level that is impossible to avoid. Look for salads that are flavored with unsalted walnuts or other nuts, strawberries, grilled chicken, or poppyseeds. This will help you feel confident eating your salad.

For more information, talk to your waiter or waitress at restaurants like Buffalo Phil's Pizza & Grille. He or she will be able to provide you with tips for ordering food that does not have a high sodium level.