Low Sodium Fast Foods Options: Subway, McDonalds, & More

Low Sodium Fast Foods

Low Calorie and Low Sodium Fast Foods are recommended if one can not totally avoid fast foods.

Different Low-Calorie and Low-Salt Fast food Options are mentioned here, however, it is important to know the composition of your meal and adjust your meal accordingly.

Restricting Salt intake is especially important for people with hypertension, kidney disease, liver disease, and heart failure.

Excessive salt intake causes fluid retention and worsens your underlying medical condition.

The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends taking no more than 2300 mg (one teaspoon) of salt per day.

However, it is ideal to take a maximum of 1500 mg per day. Some patients with uncontrolled hypertension and heart failure may need to take no more than 1000 mg per day.

One teaspoon of salt: 2300 mg of salt

1000 mg of salt is one-fifth of a teaspoon

1500 mg of salt is one-third of a teaspoon


Why Do We Like Fast Food?

In today’s world, fast food consumption is at its peak. People religiously eat fast food more than they ever did before. Fast foods like burgers, pizzas, and unhealthy fries make a part of people’s three meals.

The composition of these food items is the most detrimental to one’s health. It contains the unhealthiest amount of fats, sugars, and salt.

The disadvantages of eating fast foods are well known and several measures have been taken to lower its consumption.

Despite these efforts and people being aware of the effects of fast food on health, rates of fast food consumption are still high.

People choose junk food because it has a delicious flavor and attractive appearance but it has no amount of beneficial nutrients.

All sorts of fast foods are calorie-dense and high in sodium. Thus, contributing to two of the most complained about health issues called obesity and hypertension.


Why is Salt Bad for Your Health?

Sodium-filled fast foods can induce several of the diseases known to man including hypertension, stroke, and kidney disorders.

Hypertension is characterized by a peak in one’s blood pressure which causes severe headaches, and irregular heartbeat and increases the risks of medical disorders like stroke, myocardial infarction, etc.

Continuous and increased intake of sodium-rich fast foods can either cause hypertension or exacerbate its symptoms.

Since people cannot stop eating fast foods even though several efforts are being made to make them aware of the possible and common consequences of its effects on health.

As we know lowering its rate of consumption is not possible.

So, the possible solution is to make it healthy, and here is a list of such low-sodium fast food options.

  1. Homemade Mixed Vegetable Burgers: Low Calorie and Low Sodium Fast Foods

home made mix vegetable burger low sodium fast food options best fast food options for diabetics
Homemade mixed vegetable burger is one of the best low-sodium fast food options

Yes! Fast foods can be prepared at home. In fact, one way to ensure healthy composition in your fast foods is by making it at home. A healthy option is making a veggie burger.

5 Easy Steps to Prepare a homemade mixed vegetable burger that is low in sodium:

  • Take a burger bun,
  • slice it in half, and heat it a little in a microwave or on a pan.
  • Take some lettuce leaves and place them on your burger.
  • You can also add some tomatoes and onions if you prefer.
  • Place a boiled or steamed piece of chicken in between the burger buns and you have healthy fast food that you can devour.

Do not add any sauce or cream as they contain salt in them.

  1. Low Sodium Subway’s Veggie Delight:

subway s veggie delight low sodium fast food options
Low-sodium fast food: Veggie Delight

Even though Subway is not packed with healthy options whatsoever. But you can still try the veggie delight option at Subway.

This veggie-filled sandwich is low in sodium, making it a healthy choice. It has about 140 to 210 mg of sodium.

It is a combination of some healthy vegetables like onions, tomatoes, green peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers on 9-grain wheat bread.

Vegetables are generally low in sodium which makes this all the more nutritious. This weighs around 280 mg. You can also choose to add chicken to your sandwich.

  1. McDonald’s Low Sodium Options:

Definitely hard to believe but McDonald’s has healthy fast food options as well, you just have to choose them.

Breakfast options like scrambled eggs, fruit and maple oatmeal, cinnamon melts and, fruit and yogurt parfait are available. All of these contain less than 500 mg of sodium.

Here is a table of the salt content of these food options at McDonald’s:

Breakfast Option

Approximate Sodium Content

Scrambled EggsAround 500-700 mg (a plain scrambled egg has less than 10 mg of salt)
Fruit and Maple OatmealAround 140-210 mg
Cinnamon MeltsAround 360-490 mg
Fruit and Yogurt ParfaitAround 60-80 mg

For lunch, you can choose a side salad without dressing to avoid extra sodium and a small French fry to limit salt intake.

Try to minimize your portion sizes if you choose any other option on their menu as this will reduce the sodium content in your meals.

low sodium fast food options at McDonalds
Low-sodium fast food options at McDonald’s


  1. Burger King’s Low Sodium Options

Burger King offers the same low-sodium fast food options as McDonald’s.

For breakfast, they offer Cinnamon Rolls, Maple Oatmeal, and Egg and cheese Croissan’wich.

For lunch, they have hamburgers, Chicken Nuggets, Garden side salad with no dressing, and unsalted french fries.

The main aim is to avoid any sauce or creams. Sauces tend to have a spicy or savory flavor which shows their high sodium content.

Here is a table of the estimated sodium content of these low-sodium fast food options on Burger King’s menu:

Burger King Option

Approximate Sodium Content

Cinnamon RollsAround 350-460 mg
Maple OatmealAround 190-280 mg
Egg and Cheese Croissan’wichAround 470-640 mg
HamburgersAround 350-540 mg
Chicken NuggetsAround 250-480 mg
Garden Side Salad (No Dressing)Around 25-65 mg
Unsalted French FriesNegligible (depends on salt)
  1. Margherita, Gluten-Free, and Whole Wheat Vegetable Pizza

When it comes to fast foods, pizzas may top the list usually. Typically, any sort of pizza has a very unhealthy amount of fat, salt, and calories in it.

You can choose one of the three pizzas to avoid salt intake:

  • Margherita Pizza
  • Gluten-Free Pizza
  • Whole Wheat Pizza

This pizza can give you some extra fiber and protein as well as some extra calories.

On a positive note, these extra nutrients are healthy for you since they deliver the feeling of satiety.

Type of Pizza

Approximate Sodium Content (per slice)

Margherita Pizza300-600 mg
Gluten-Free Pizza300-600 mg
Whole Wheat Pizza400-800 mg
Vegetable Pizza400-800 mg
Cheese Pizza500-800 mg
Pepperoni Pizza600-1000 mg
Hawaiian Pizza600-1000 mg
Meat Lovers’ Pizza800-1200 mg
  1. Fish And Chips

Fish has been classified as one of the healthiest types of meat. Deep frying fish is not a good suggestion. Rather, baking or boiling is preferred for a healthy meal.

Fish and chips have been around for a long time. Although it is not recommended to add salt to it for obvious reasons.

Although fish and chips have more salt,  low-salt options can be ordered. In addition, if we avoid the batter, the saturated fat content of fish will be quite low.

Here is the sodium content of the “Fish and Chips” menu:

Fish and Chips

Approximate Sodium Content (per serving)

Battered and Fried800-1500 mg
Breaded and Fried700-1300 mg
Baked or Grilled Fish, Oven-Baked Chips or Fries400-800 mg
Homemade, Low-Sodium RecipeVaries based on the recipe
  1. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Multigrain Oatmeal – One of the Best Low Sodium Fast Foods

Dunkin’ Donuts’ Multigrain Oatmeal low sodium fast foods
Dunkin’ Donuts’ Multigrain Oatmeal

You might choose Dunkin’ Donuts for their donuts and coffee. But you can instead choose a healthier option on their menu.

Try to go for Multigrain Oatmeal. This item is filled with nutrition and has only 250 mg of sodium. You can choose to top it with dried fruits for that extra fiber and satiety from a single cup.


How Much Sodium Is Too Much?

It is a fact that sodium is a very essential nutrient that the human body requires to process but overdosing on it is still very harmful. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the daily RDA of Sodium is less than 2300 mg daily. [Ref]

This is nearly equal to a teaspoon of salt. Children under the age of 14 should take an even lesser amount of sodium in their diet.

Try to read food labels in order to learn about the sodium content in each item.

Any food item that claims to be sodium or salt-free has less than 5 mg of sodium. Whereas items claiming to be unsalted have no salt added to them during processing.

Table Summarizing the Best Low-Sodium Fast Food Options:

Fast Food Option

Approximate Sodium Content

Homemade Mixed Vegetable BurgersDepends on ingredients and recipe
Subway’s Veggie DelightAbout 140 to 210 mg
McDonald’s Breakfast and Lunch Options140 to 700 mg
Burger King’s Low Sodium Options25 to 600 mg
Whole Wheat Vegetable Pizza400 to 800 mg
Fish and Chips400 to 800
Dunkin’ Donuts’ Multigrain Oatmeal250 mg

Here are some other low-sodium fast food options:

Fast Food Option

Approximate Sodium Content

Grilled Chicken Sandwich/Wrap400-800 mg
Salad (Dressing on the Side)100-500 mg
Subway’s Fresh Fit OptionsVaries based on choice
Bowl/Burrito (Lean Protein)500-1000 mg
Plain Baked Potato5-20 mg
Oatmeal (Breakfast)100-300 mg
Fruit Cups0-20 mg
Children’s MealsVaries based on choice

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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