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Limit Your Sodium Intake When Eating Out


By Tiffany Pendle

Restaurant food often contains a high amount of sodium. In fact, over 75% of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods such as cheese, pizza, deli meats, sauces, and soups. All of these foods are often offered in restaurants, fast food chains, and in take-out food establishments. It is ideal to try to limit your sodium intake to 2,000 mg/day, especially if heart disease or high blood pressure is a concern.

Tips on limiting your sodium intake:

  • Check the nutrition information of menu items before you order, and choose foods with less sodium. This information can be found on restaurant websites.
  • Ask questions to learn as much as you can about the preparation of each food. Ask about spices, marinades, and finishing sauces, all of which can be loaded with sodium.
  • Skip the sauce on the entrée, or ask that it be served on the side. To cut down on salt, just dip your fork in the sauce and then use it to spear your food. This helps control calories and fat as well as sodium!
  • Condiments such as ketchup, relish, soy sauce, and dressings are high in sodium. Limit or avoid these condiments.
  • Look for hidden sodium. Words like marinated, pickled, smoked, breaded, brined, au jus, in broth, or teriyaki may mean your dish has lots of salt.
  • Fill your plate with vegetables. Ask for steamed vegetables with no sauce, and use a squeeze of lemon to brighten the flavor.

For more information on ways to limit your sodium intake, visit:


CDC – DHDSP – How to Reduce Sodium. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Take Action: How to Reduce Your Sodium Intake. (2019, May 13). Retrieved from

Tiffany Pendle is a Dietetic Intern with C.W. Post LIU with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program




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