Here are some Dash Diet dining out tips for you to find a suitable restaurants with low sodium meals, many restaurants are putting the calorie content on their menus ( a little scary when you find out), but if you do a little research and look online before you go to eat out you can find out the healthy menu items before you go.
There are restaurants that cater to low sodium diets – Bonefish Grill, Bubba Gump’s, Applebee’s, Texas Roadhouse, Outback, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Subway, PF Chang and Taco Bell are to name a few that cater for the low sodium diet.
The key to eating low sodium in restaurants is to make special requests, avoid the soups, pizzas, seasoned rice, cheese, bread, deli meats as these are the sodium traps. Order oil or vinegar dressings.
Steakhouses offer the easiest way of ordering low sodium. Most have their food delivered fresh and “naked”, which allows us as the consumer to request that our meal not have any added salt. Steak, chicken or fish and simply request it to have no added salt (ask for absolutely nothing on it just to eliminate them adding salted butter or other spices with hidden salt) and a steamed veggie or salad with dressing on the side (see explanation to this below), or French fries with no added salt are really good options. Make sure you trim off the fat off the meat,
Applebee’s have many low sodium menu options.
Sandwich shops which also offer a “sandwich as a salad” option can be good. Subway has a wonderful oven roasted chicken chopped salad or veggie delight salad (no cheese, pickles, or pepperocinis) which is under 300 mg of sodium (use oil and vinegar as your dressing).
Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mike’s, and others also offer any of their sandwiches as salads. Your best bet is going to be a veggie salad or one with a whole meat (not processed lunch meat), and check those nutrition facts online. If you come across a sandwich shop that doesn’t promote this option, ASK if they will do it.
Chipotle you can get a chicken bowl with chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream for approximately 500 mg sodium.
There are low sodium Mexican meals, Fish tacos, roast chicken tacos, vegetable fajitas or a taco salad (don't eat the shell). Order corn tortillas, grilled fish, grilled shrimp, low fat sour cream to reduce the sodium levels in your meal.
Dash Diet Fast Food Options
Chick-Fil-A offers their grilled chicken sandwich and fruit cup which comes in at approximately 500 mg sodium and makes a nice lunch (they will also do this “protein style” to knock that sodium amount down a bit as well).
In-N-Out you can order a protein style (buns/bread are loaded with salt) burger with no added salt, same goes for their fries (simply request no salt).
TGI Fridays and Red Robin you can order any of their burgers or turkey burgers with no spices/no salt and protein style, request condiments on the side and put just a little bit on yourself, with a side salad, dressing on the side or request fries to be salt free.
Olive Garden offers herb grilled salmon with steamed broccoli for approximately 600 mg sodium. Ask for the salad to be dry and request olive oil and vinegar in the containers and mix the two on your salad for your dressing and skip the bread sticks (unfortunately most of Olive Garden’s food is frozen and shipped from a vendor, so requesting it to be no salt added may not possible). If you’re going with a group, they will gladly bring you your own bowl of dry salad and the rest of the table a dressed salad, you simply have to request this.
Asian restaurants, simply request grilled meat with no added salt or sauces, steamed veggies with nothing added, and white or brown rice (or no rice) and you’ve got a wonderful meat/veggie bowl.
Most restaurants will do French Fries with no salt added. Ask for the dressings on the side or condiments on the side. Ask for naked or steamed veggies.
Worst case scenario:
Order a salad and use the old 90’s diet trick of asking for the dressing on the side, dip your fork in the dressing, then stab salad with it and eat. You use FAR less dressing this way (approximately 1-2 teaspoons), which gives you a nice healthy salad with the flavor, but cuts down drastically on the sodium filled dressing.