We will discuss 6 of the best and readily available low sodium fast food options to assist individuals with hypertension and heart diseases who find it challenging to resist their cravings.
Most fast foods are unhealthy. However, one can not always avoid them.
For people with hypertension and other medical conditions, selecting low sodium fast food and eating in moderation might not be as hazardous as selecting any random fast food.
People typically have breakfast and dinner at home, while lunch is often consumed at work.
Choosing a low sodium fast food option for lunch can significantly reduce daily sodium intake, as individuals can more easily control their sodium intake during breakfast and dinner.
Salt, Food, and Medical Conditions …
As much as everyone loves to eat it is not always the healthiest meal that people go for. The one thing that is eaten the most frequently is fast food.
People are addicted to fast food and as delicious as it may taste, they fall to the bottom of the list of healthy foods.
These foods are greasy and full of every ingredient that is not supposed to be taken in excess.
Such fast foods are loaded with saturated fats and added sugars both of which can lead to a number of cardiovascular diseases; one of the leading causes of death.
One more thing that is found in great excess in such foods is salt or sodium.
Hamburgers or French fries are packed with sodium and these two are the most commonly eaten fast food options in the world, along with pizza.
Sodium is good for health only if it is eaten in moderation in order to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
The recommended sodium intake in various conditions is given in the table below:
Recommended Sodium Intake (per day)
|Normal Person||2,300 milligrams (mg) or less|
|Hypertension||1,500 mg or less|
|Heart Disease||1,500 mg or less|
|Diabetes||2,300 mg or less|
|Kidney Disease||Typically restricted to 1,000-2,000 mg or less|
|Liver Disease||2,000 mg or less|
|Pregnant Women||2,300 mg or less|
|Children (4-18 years)||1,500-2,300 mg or less|
Why Should High Sodium Fast Foods be Avoided?
The repercussions of excessive salt intake extend far beyond mere flavor preferences.
It is associated with a myriad of medical conditions, with hypertension (HTN) being the most prevalent outcome when salt consumption exceeds recommended levels.
Hypertension is characterized by an abnormal surge in blood pressure, which, left untreated, can trigger a cascade of other health issues.
One such linked condition is obesity, further exacerbated by the consumption of high-sodium fast foods.
This dangerous synergy between excessive salt and obesity can amplify the risks associated with both ailments.
Additionally, a lesser-known consequence of high salt intake is the increased likelihood of experiencing frequent headaches or migraines, disrupting one’s daily life.
To enhance our overall well-being and ward off these chronic medical conditions, it is advisable to steer clear of sodium-rich fast foods and instead opt for healthier dietary choices.
Furthermore, sodium restriction is especially crucial for individuals grappling with medical conditions that lead to fluid retention, such as heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disease.
By curbing sodium intake, we can proactively manage these conditions and improve our overall health.
We present here a list of some delicious low sodium fast foods which means that you can enjoy these without worrying much about your health.
1. Low Sodium Fast Food Options from McDonald’s
We agree that McDonald’s is not really the best place to go when looking for a healthy set of lunch. But there are some items at McDonald’s that can be low in sodium and still very delicious.
The Fruit & Yogurt Parfait can be seen as a healthy breakfast option but no harm is done if you decide to include this in your lunch and it offers only 80 mg of sodium.
The Fruit & Maple Oatmeal is again a breakfast option but eating this as a lunch can be both healthy and delicious. This option has only 160 mg of sodium and if you choose to exclude brown sugar then it is reduced to 115 mg of sodium.
The smoothies offered at McDonald’s are also a preferable low sodium fast food option as they come under 100 mg of sodium.
Here are some other low sodium fast food options at McDonald’s:
Low sodium fast food options at McDonald’s
|Side Salad without Dressing||10 mg|
|Small French Fry||130 mg|
|Fruit and Maple Oatmeal||160 mg|
|Hot apple pie||170 mg|
|Bacon Ranch Salad without chicken or dressing||320 mg|
2. Low Salt Fish and Chips
The trick with this one is that you have to make it at home. Fish and chips are generally high in sodium if you purchase them from the market which is why it is better to make them yourself.
So, if you make this dish at home by following some special directions and altering some ingredients, you can definitely get yourself a good serving of fish and chips.
You can wash and cut the potatoes and then bake them over 400 degrees in an oven.
Similarly, you can take strips of fish of your choice and marinate them with a mixture of yogurt and eggs, then coat them thoroughly with breadcrumbs and bake them.
3. Burger King’s Whopper Junior
Hamburgers are usually full of salt which makes them repulsive for people who are keeping a hold on their sodium consumption.
But, this specific option at Burger King has a low sodium content of only 440 mg.
This offers 260 calories in one serving; you can add extra veggies and choose mayo over cheese to avoid extra calories or fat.
4. Veggie Delight from Subway
Subway is not full of healthy options for fast food. However, not everything on their menu is unhealthy.
This gives you about 190 calories in a single serving and has 12% of your daily value of sodium, 39 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of protein along with other nutrients. This might be the only option that has the lowest sodium content.
If you want to increase your protein content you can always choose to add some Swiss cheese and bring it up to 13 grams.
5. Low-Sodium Homemade Hamburger
Probably, the best way to eat some healthy fast food is by making it yourself.
Hamburgers are wholeheartedly loved by fast-food addicts but the ones found at restaurants are packed with saturated fat and salt both of which are like tickets to an unhealthy lifestyle if eaten in excess.
So, if you choose to make a hamburger at home, you can control your salt intake with ease.
All you have to do is grab two slices of hamburger bread and place a chicken piece with some lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes in between.
6. Pizza Hut’s Veggie Lovers Small Thin ‘N Crispy Slice
This pizza filled with vegetables from Pizza Hut is another excellent option, particularly for people who love pizza. It might appear that pizzas are reserves of sodium but not in this case.
This veggie pizza is low in sodium and offers only 100 calories in a single slice plus the benefits of the antioxidants found in the vegetables.
It has 250 mg of sodium which should not be an issue for most people if other meals are also low in salt.
Some Key Points
Although the options stated above are healthier as compared to all the other ones available in the market.
Nevertheless, it is essential to not overeat or overdose on them. You can add these options as your lunch only on certain days but not daily.
Best Restaurants that provide low sodium fast food options at lunch
Pros of Eating a Low Salt Diet
A low-salt diet is not only necessary for your health but also for the quality of your lifestyle.
You have to keep a strict hold on your salt intake otherwise it can lead to many other diseases which can be life-threatening in any case.
If you get leg swelling or have a cardiovascular condition, try restricting sodium.
You can also manage your total daily sodium intake by lowering the salt in your other meals.