Restaurant meals that are high in sodium aren’t hard to come by. Most add salt to give food the intense flavor you expect when eating out. However, all that salt isn’t good for you – it can raise the risk of heart disease. So it’s best to go easy on the salt shaker. That’s not always simple at a restaurant because you never know how much is in a given meal. Check out this list of restaurant meals that are high in sodium and you’ll see what I mean. Keep in mind that the average person should get no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
1. Denny’s Lumberjack Slam
It sounds so delicious, but this is one of those restaurant meals that are high in sodium and should make you think twice before ordering. It’s got a whopping 2,770 milligrams on one plate. That’s because it loads you up on processed meats, including ham, bacon and sausage, which are items with lots of added salt. If you only order this meal once a year for a special occasion, have at it! Otherwise, I’d encourage you to choose something else.
2. Schlotzsky’s Large Original Sandwich
Get ready for this – 4,590 milligrams of salt. In one sandwich! And that’s before you add a side of chips, a big pickle or a drink. I can feel my arteries clogging as we speak. I’ll admit that I’ve had this sandwich, and it is downright delicious. However, I know better than to eat one every day. If you can’t give up your favorite, opt for the smaller version to reduce how much salt you get. And balance your choice with the rest of the day’s meals to keep things under control.
3. Chipotle Chicken Panini Sandwich
Chipotle prides itself on serving grass fed beef and other environmentally friendly and humane food options. That can make it easy to forget that those items can still be loaded with salt to give them that flavor you crave. The chicken Panini at Chipotle weighs in with 2,140 milligrams of salt. That’s a lot of sodium in one day, let alone one small meal. Make this a sandwich you only have now and then. Your heart will thank you!
4. Quiznos' Large French Dip
Mmmmm! It does hit the spot when you get really hungry, but this delicious treat from Quiznos contains 3,610 milligrams of salt. That’s quite a bit for one little sandwich. Do yourself a favor and choose something else most of the time and save this one for a special celebration. And don’t even think about the 1,200 calories it also contains.
5. Applebee’s Appetizer Sampler
I think you should be sitting down before you read the sodium facts for this plate of food. Ready? The appetizer sampler at Applebee’s can contain up to 6,110 milligrams of salt. No, that isn’t a typo. All those fried and processed foods are chock full of sodium. That may make them super tasty, but I guarantee your health will suffer if you load up on of these platters very often.
6. Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy
The Tour of Italy is the ultimate if you can’t decide which delicious menu option you want to try. However, since it weighs in with 3,830 milligrams of sodium, it’s probably something you should think twice about. There are lots of alternatives at Olive Garden that taste great without ruining your health goals.
7. Ruby Tuesday's Low Country Shrimp and Grits
The thing about ordering meat in a restaurant is that you can usually assume that it’s flavored with high-salt marinades or spice rubs before it’s cooked. As a treat, that’s fine, but if you eat out often, you definitely need to pay attention to what you’re ordering. This low country shrimp and grits meal contains 4,798 milligrams of sodium. It might taste good, but is it worth it?
These are a small sampling of what you can expect. No matter where you plan to eat, I highly recommend accessing the restaurant’s website and having a look at the nutrition info. That way you can make an informed and healthy decision. Were you surprised to see these sodium facts? Will you think twice next time you eat out?