Tips for Keeping a Low Sodium Diet when Eating Out

These tips for keeping a low sodium diet when eating out will help you chow down at your favorite eatery without watching you scale or your blood pressure spin upwards. Eating out can be tough for someone on a low sodium diet, because restaurants know that sodium makes food taste better, and tastier dishes mean happier customers. Most of these diners just chow down on sodium heavy foods, and don’t make the connection that the cost of the fun is a few extra pounds. The good news is that, with a little bit of education, you can learn to avoid the biggest traps when dining out, so that you can stay on a heart healthy, waistline reducing, low sodium diet without depriving yourself of the pleasure of your favorite restaurant. Learn to order smart and eat smart with these tips for keeping a low sodium diet when eating out.

Avoid The Dirty Dozen
If you’re concerned with keeping a low sodium diet when eating out, you’ll need to learn to order smart. The good news is, it couldn’t be simpler to learn to avoid the foods that are most likely to wreak havoc on a low sodium diet. Keeping a low sodium diet in a restaurant means avoiding the temptation to order any dish on the menu that includes one of these twelve “dangerous” terms. Get to know the list: pickled, marinated, smoked, barbequed, smothered(in sauce), teriyaki, soy sauce, broth, miso, gravy, bacon, and of course, salted or salty. Even if you do absolutely nothing besides steering clear of these code words for high sodium, you’ll greatly improve your chances of keeping a low sodium diet when eating out.

Watch Out For The Shaker
This tip for keeping a low sodium diet when eating out couldn’t be simpler. A low sodium diet is, quite simply, a diet that is low in salt. If you’re worried about keeping a low sodium diet, do yourself a favor when you’re eating out and avoid using the salt shaker. Make sure you take a few bites before you automatically give in to the shaker habit. Chances are, the meal you’re about to enjoy doesn’t really need an extra dash of sodium, and once you’ve let a few bites melt in your mouth, you’re likely to realize that the chef has already seasoned it adequately. This means letting the salt shaker stay in its spot on the table, and keeping to your low sodium diet. If your food isn’t satisfying on its own, read on to learn how to substitute other flavors for salt.

Careful With The Condiments
Ordering smart is the most important step of keeping a low sodium diet in a restaurant, but to really stay on course you’ll need to learn how to treat the food once it gets to your table. One of the common roadblocks to keeping a low sodium diet when eating out is the easily forgotten sodium content of condiments, sauces, and dressings. Sauces and salad dressings exist to add extra flavor to a dish, and that extra flavor often comes from salt, so if you’re on a low sodium diet, make it a rule to order dressing or sauce on the side, and use it sparingly. Dressings and sauces are almost always the most sodium intensive parts of a restaurant meal. Condiments are another common trap for anyone on a low sodium diet. All too often, a prepared condiment like ketchup, mustard, or tartar sauce, waits to trip up the diner who slathers these salty items onto his or her meal without thinking twice about the sodium content. Most prepared condiments are very high in sodium, and are the enemy of anyone committed to keeping a low sodium diet. Read on to learn about a few healthy alternatives to these sodium packed garnishes.

Substitute For Salt
Of course, simply avoiding salt and condiments isn’t a great tactic for keeping a low sodium diet if it means you’ll be eating a bland meal. No matter how devoted you are to keeping a low sodium diet when eating out, you never need to deny yourself a tasty meal. If your dish does need a little extra boost in flavor, there are plenty of alternatives to salt that are great for anyone on a low sodium diet. Try a squeeze from a fresh lemon wedge, a few dashes of pepper, or a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs. If you’re worried about a strange glance from the waiter when you request a side order of lemon or raw chives, you can always keep an emergency flavor pack in a Ziploc in your bag so that you’ll have what you need with you at all times. This little bit of advance planning can prove key to keeping a low sodium diet when eating out.

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