Best Restaurants for Low Sodium

 Best Restaurants for Low Sodium 

Low sodium pf changs
Eating out on diuretics

When eating out and reducing sodium at the same time, it’s easy to get confused. I’ve already called ahead, so you can just go through my list of the best restaurants for low sodium. We will look at everything from Italian to sandwich shops. In case you wonder what makes me an expert – The Best Friend’s Guide is an award winning blog where I help people who have liver or kidney disease. I have beat a death sentence away from my door with nutrition…. and I still eat pizza and barbecue. Let me show you how it’s done.


Buy the Liver Loving Diet ebook for help with high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease. Meal plan, recipes, shopping guide and more for only $4.99 

Rise and Shine You can do breakfast any time of day. IHOP, Denny’s, Waffle House, or Bob Evans. Order scrambled eggs or egg substitute. Did someone say omelet? Go for veggies like peppers and onions or spinach and mushrooms!  A serving of hash browns with toast or a big bowl of oatmeal always go great. Ask for a couple of strips of bacon. Steer clear of the salty gravy because if they give you gravy, you’ll want a biscuit. We know that most biscuits contain at least 400 mg of sodium.

Pancakes are mouth watering good, but be careful. Healthy Alert: Syrup is fine in regard to sodium, but the sugar can leave you feeling drained in a couple of hours.

best restaurant with low sodium lasagnaBest options Italian Olive Garden, Johnny Carrino’s, Macaroni Grill, Napoli’s or chains like Cici’s, Mazzio’s and Pizza Hut. It’s always safe to order a salad and marinara with pasta at an Italian Place. You can probably enjoy some lasagna or any baked dish if you have filled up on salad first. Many places will bake some fresh bread sticks without salt. Look for a buffet and go low on the cheese. Grab a couple of slices of pizza and finish off at the salad bar!

Best options for MexicanAbuelo’s, Borders, Taco Bueno, Taco Bell. Don’t forget the mom and pop places! I can feel my mouth watering now. Ask for a bowl of chips with no salt. They come piping hot that way too! I avoid Qudoba, Chuys, and Chilis.  They have 2 days worth of sodium in 1 entree. I tell them I am restricted on sodium and to “run it through the garden” for me.

best restaurant with low sodium pf changsBest options for Asian food – Ghengis Grill, P.F. Changs, and any buffet. You can top a bowl of steamed rice with a lower sodium chicken or beef dish. Load up on veggies like broccoli, carrots, and water chestnuts. Look for the sweet and sour sauce dishes for lowest sodium. Say no to soy. 

Best options Sandwich shopsSubway or local and build your own places are easy. Try using the vinegar and oil dressing. A vegetarian version is good, but lunch meat is high in sodium. Ask for very few slices of meat and load up on swiss cheese.  A bag of chips is only 200 – 300 mg of sodium. Ask for carrot and celery sticks or  a salad too. 

Best options for Sea Food Red Lobster, Bonefish Grill, Joe’s Crab Shack, Bubba Gumps. It’s hard to lose with baked fish and a baked potato. Let your waiter know that you go low sodium. Red Lobster keeps baked potatoes that are NO sodium all the time. Just ask for it plain and add sour cream, and a little butter. Hold the bacon bits.  Ask the staff for the low sodium specialty sides. I avoid Long John Silver’s and Captain D’s. Baked is better!

Applebee’s, TGIFriday’s, are NOT on my list.  A salad is the only thing they can offer. It is too much work for me personally. When your liver or kidney is damaged, it has a hard time with storing and processing fats, sugars, and sodium. If you have heart disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol, this is true also. It is not worth it to eat a meal that can jeopardize your health goals. You can eat out by choosing wisely.

Easy and Safe Bet at Any Restaurant:  A salad is a salad and can be found just about everywhere. I simply tell the waitress that I want lettuce and veggies only; no cheese, croutons, or salad dressing added. Ask for oil and vinegar on the side or a bowl of citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, or limes to squeeze on top of your salad.  A salad like this is about 150 mg of sodium if it has tomatoes.

Eating out with liver disease felt like it was hardly worth the trouble. I hope this look at how dining out with Hep C, high blood pressure, liver disease from NASH, fatty liver, or cirrhosis gives you the info you need to make good choices.

The Best Restaurants for Low Sodium list can benefit your body – no matter what your health condition.

Available Now for only $4.99

The first book to offer low sodium menu plan and recipes.

Learn more or buy here. 

best restaurants for Low sodium liver loving diet ihelpc


Low Sodium Drive Thru made easy.

Low Sodium shopping list

Youtube for liver disease – here!




About Karen Hoyt

Karen Hoyt offers a no nonsense approach to living with Cirrhosis. A Hepatitis C treatment survivor, she created a liver loving diet and lifestyle that allows her to create awareness and advocate for her Best Friends at

76 thoughts on “Best Restaurants for Low Sodium

  1. This is an awesome blog post. Sorry I haven’t visited in awhile. Another restaurant to add especially in the South is Ruby Tuesday’s. They have an excellent low calorie menu and will cook to order with low sodium to no sodium. It’s my favorite restaurant and I eat there about once or twice a month. I love the Salmon with steamed broccoli and salad with a tiny bit of oil and vinegar dressing. They also have a cheesy biscuit that is delicious but full of salt. I do eat one and it has about 200 mg of sodium. You must try it soon. 🙂

    1. Joel,
      Honestly, that is one restaurant that I haven’t tried since my diagnosis. Thanks for sharing! It’s always good to have another option.

      Red Lobster also caters to low sodium and usually has baked potatoes ready to serve with NO salt! That was a huge surprise and a bonus. Happy eating out during the holidays to you!
      Thank you,

      1. Thanks for all your info. Husband has CHF. HIV only been doing the low so for only 4 days and find it very stressful,

        1. It’s not easy. Grocery shopping and eating at home is a good option. It gets a little boring, but you get in the rhythm of it. Then it’s less stress and you don’t feel like food is going to kill you. :O
          Home baked chicken is always a good option. You can fix it in a variety of ways! Check out my recipes.. And thanks for stopping by!!

          xo Karen:)

  2. Hi,
    My husband has CHF and we eat at Ruby Tuesday’s once in a while – we start with the fresh salad bar (no prepared salads, just fresh raw vegetables – once in a while a little broccoli salad – they have oil and vinegar at the end of the salad bar), and the spicy tilapia with mango salsa is the lowest in sodium of the main courses (website nutritional information, which they update often). We order that with the zucchini side, no salt added. Or… the spaghetti squash.

    We go to Longhorn Steakhouse once in a while also – we get the Flo’s Filet without seasoning, the fresh steamed vegetable medley without salt or butter, and a side salad. If you go before 3pm, the price of the filet is reduced.

    There is a local greek restaurant that we go to also, where we order the grilled chicken platter (no salt on the chicken), roasted red peppers without salt, and greek salad with dressing and goat cheese on the side (to use sparingly).

    1. Susan,

      This is a great tip for those of us watching sodium. I turned down more invitations this holiday season! So Ruby Tuesday’s sounds like a great place to eat! What wonderful news!

      Filet is my favorite cut of steak so Longhorn Steakhouse sounds great too. I only eat 1/2 of the steak and save the rest for later. That may be a good Saturday afternoon late lunch!

      It blesses me that you are helping your husband with Congestive Heart Failure diet. It is a sweet spouse who goes along. But you will be gaining the benefits as well!

      I want to thank you so much for your comment and the inside scoop on some new restaurants. Those of us with a low sodium diet enjoy eating out also and knowing where to go is the trickiest part!

      All my best during the New Year!

        1. Hi

          I’m glad you found us too. Diet is so tough. It’s like a juggling act trying to keep our symptoms away. Beef can bring on HE for sure. But it’s also important to get protein. A lot of people with cirrhosis end up with malnutrion. I almost did.

          Also, some folks end up eating out due to circumstances. They are working and forgot their lunch. I am in another state visiting family right now. We have eaten out for 2 days. I haven’t had beef yet, but got chicken on my salad last night. If I’m really low on protein, I’ll grab something with beef just to get me going.

          Short answer: Yes beef is hard on us with HE. Good luck with it all and thanks for stopping by

          Xo Karen

  3. Just one additional note – as far as “fast food” goes, the only take-out we get is a rotisserie chicken at Whole Foods. They have a lavender herbe and also a naked chicken that are both salt-free. If you move to their prepared deli area, any labels that are purple and noted as a healthy option (I’m forgetting the phrase on the label) are either very low sodium or no sodium items. Some we’ve tried are roasted no-oil vegetables, a great California quinoa salad – and if the choices don’t appeal to us, we pick up a lower-sodium Amy’s macaroni and cheese and split the package between us. There are also purple labels on one or two of the prepared soups in the deli area.

    1. Wow! I didn’t know about the purple labels at Whole Foods! This is going to change my life. We shop several health food stores depending where the best prices are that week. Whole Foods deli used to be a favorite place for me to pick up some fast food, but I have not had any in 3 years now.

      The quinoa salad is a great source of veggie protein which is great for those with a live condition. I actually laughed when reading this comment to my husband. He bought a rotisserie chicken at the grocers to snack on during the holiday rush. It smelled so good, but I didn’t have any. I’ll be giving this a try.

      Amy’s is always a pretty safe bet with most items. Like you said, it may see a little high in sodium, but if you split it between you, it’s not much.

      Thank you again for your comments and great advice for eating out and fast good dining with low sodium options!

      xo Karen)

      1. Hi Karen,

        I’m glad to be of help – also, there is an area in Whole Foods – near the deli – where they have “healthy – low or no sodium” brown rice and black beans, as well as some pre-packaged low-sodium items (they will have the purple label). And on the top shelf of this area, there are a lot of low-sodium salad dressings in small containers.

        Bolton Farms makes a low-sodium dressing, Raspberry Merlot Viniagrette, that is really good – I think 40mg sodium for two tablespoons. We were in our local Publix supermarket yesterday, and my husband spotted Mrs. Dash’s packaged chili seasoning (0 sodium) – we made the recipe on the back, adding some vegetables to it along with ground round and no-salt-added tomato sauce, and it was really good. We picked up some “no-salt-added” turkey breast by Boars Head in the deli also. Whole Foods carries a no-salt roasted turkey breast in their deli section that is good too.

        I only wish we had the money – and knowledge – to open a low-sodium restaurant in our area (Fort Lauderdale) – I talk to so many people who are no longer eating in restaurants because of their sodium restrictions.

        On P.F. Chang’s website, they list Phillip’s Better Lemon Chicken as low-sodium. We are going to try that soon – not all P.F. Chang’s carry it in our area. Their Buddha’s steamed delight is low sodium also.

        Thank you, Susan

        1. Susan,

          I’m going to be heading out this weekend to grab some new ideas. I’m making a shopping list from your comments! I think a low sodium restaurant would be amazing. There is simply no need for all the salt they use. I’ve traveled to other countries and they put us to shame. Last night, one of the kids were going to a French bistro here in Tulsa that everyone raves about. Very few items under 2,000 mg of sodium.

          I easily eat 1,500 a day. If I choose to splurge, it can go up to 2,000. We had fresh black eyed peas with think pork chops to season it for New Years Day. Some fresh kale cooked with a couple of slices of low sodium bacon and we were set! We finished off the cranberry salad from Christmas Day for desert.

          Did you know that Williams always has NO sodium? They have taco seasoning in addition to several varieties of chili seasoning. I don’t know if you can find it there. I have lots of Mrs. Dash in the counter.

          So glad we met and thanks again for the tips! I am excited about shopping now!

          xo Karen:)

          1. You can find a lot of low or no sodium recipes on Pinterest! Taco seasoning wasn’t bad (Rachel Ray’s recipe).

  4. Thank you and I mean all of you Susan, Karen. I was just put on a 2000mg a day sodium diet, I was sure my life was over. I’ve been to at least 6 grocery stores and found 1 to 3 items mostly nuts. I will hit wholefoods tomorrow. Trader Joes was o.k. If you guys have any more tips on eating out so I can still take my wife out, I would deeply appreciate it. Thank you again. Stan

    1. Way to go! Being proactive is the best way to stay healthy! I ate at PF Changs yesterday and see that they have even more reduced sodium meals. Last week I went to a mexican place and they cooked a specialty fajita with chicken and veggies! They even reduced the price because I didn’t eat the beans and rice. That is a plus!

      It’s cool to find out that life is not over just because we have to change our diet. Wandering up and down the grocery aisles or looking at a menu can be depressing if you don’t know your options! Bon Appetit my friend and thanks for stopping by. I am sure my readers would enjoy hearing how it is working for you!

    2. A couple of additional options are Panera. Look for their Power Menu, which is often not shown inside the stores: There are good low-sodium options there.

      Interestingly enough, if you crave a burger, Five Guys is an excellent option. They will happily prepare your fries (which they do individually for each customer) with NO SALT on demand. Get your burger with the low-salt options (lettuce, tomato, raw onion, mustard) and it will be only 300mg of sodium. Dump the bun (which they will do – make it a lettuce wrap) and it’s even less.

      Generally, in nicer restaurants, look for grilled fish, as for it to be done without salt and served with lemon slices. Get salads without cheese, olives, etc., with oil & vinegar as the dressing and the sodium count will be very low.

      1. Thanks for submitting the link and tips! I actually ended up doing another blog just on fast food. I consider Panera to be a fast food type. They are not so bad!
        Another reader posted about Five Guys, but I didn’t know that they had the NO SALT option. There are 2 locations in Tulsa and I’m going to definitely give them a try. It’s just fun to be able to eat out and still watch the sodium content.
        I’m with you on the fish! It sounds like we eat a lot alike. Kudos to you for kicking the salt habit and giving your heart, kidneys, and liver a break!
        I really appreciate your feedback!
        xo Karen:)

  5. Hi Karen,..not sure if I told you about this item last time I wrote to you,..from Sprouts store,..Alpine Valley organic nine grain bread,..74mg a slice,..they also have a low sodium bread too,..I think it’s 20mg of sodium. I Love Sprouts! Also,..Doug and I have been making ‘pineapple whips’..tastes just like pineapple ice cream! All it is is a whole pineapple,..cut into chunks and frozen overnight,..then put it in the blender(I bought a ninja just for these!) with 1 cup of milk and blend until creamy,!!!! A great dessert.
    By the way,..did I tell you your eating out blog is a total lifesaver????? Thanks for EVERYTHING Karen!

    1. I love Sprouts too! I’m in Sedona with my cousin right now and they don’t have one here. I found a man who bakes home made w no sodium for now. When I get home it will be cool to check out the Alpine Valley Bread. It seems like Natual Grocers has carried that also. Anyway, thanks for the tip!
      I am going to have to try the pineapple smoothie. I’ve been doing something similiar with bananas. I just peel them and put them in a bag in the freezer. Makes a protein smoothie uber sweet!
      I got the Ninja bullet and am having a blast with it. Since I’ve been here w my cuz, we’ve been trying all kinds of recipes!
      By the way… Did I tell you that you make my day????? Thank YOU for being my Bestie.
      xo Karen

    1. I’m happy to know that it helped. I am convinced that we all need to reduce our sodium for general health benefits. It is easy now even with fast food drive thru’s!
      I really hope that you will be able to see good results for your hearing loss issues as a result of your diet. Nutrition plays such an important part in our lives.
      xo Karen:)

    2. Thanks or the great info, at food 4 less I found hamburgers that are 93% lean and only 75 mg of sodium, they are good and don’t shrink up to a poker chip. I just had a stroke and have been put on cardiac diet, tough change, I’m a real Mexican food nut, so anything you all can share will help, God bless you

      1. Ken,
        You’re my kind of guy. The only downside to mexican dishes is that tomatoes have naturally occurring sodium. I love picante and salsa! I make my own during the summer, but have found a few brands that are fairly good on sodium content. I also “stretch” salsa by adding cooked quinoa or even hummus.

        The other workaround is about the cheese. Swiss is the lowest sodium. I use a fine cheese grater so I can get the flavor without the salt. Another product I’m using is Majestic Garlic Spread. It’s made to use like cheese. I’ve got the cayenne and am loving it in small doses. Rich in flavor.

        I love any kind of taco. Chicken, beef, bean, whatever. I use chips and make nachos, soft corn or flour shells hold all my good mexican fillings! Have you tried Williams chili season? It’s the BEST and has 0 sodium. I keep a pan of home made chili in my fridge at all times. I think the recipe is on the home page drop down menu. I serve it over just about everything. I’m working on heart health. That means getting good protein with low sodium, sugar, and fat. I’m finishing up my transplant training menu and will have it on the blog soon.
        All my best!
        xoxo Karen

  6. I have found that Longhorn steak house will cook and Outback will cook my steak with out seasoning and I request my sides with no salt or butter. They also have salmon with no seasoning

  7. Husband recently diagnosed with CHF. Been low so for a month now, have yet to eat out. Thanks for the tips. If you want to cook low sodium please buy the No Salt Lowest Sodium International cookbook or any of his other cookbooks. The replacement soy sauce is awesome! The Author is Donald Gazzaniga.

    1. Thanks for the tip on the book! I’ve been looking for a replacement soy sauce since I love my wok!
      I appreciate you dropping by. Now you can eat out during the holidays I hope! xo Karen:)

  8. Just discovered your website /blog, Karen — Great information. I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease, and am looking to make drastic lifestyle and eating changes. Your experience and knowledge will be of tremendous benefit to me.

    1. Hay Ron! I’ve only got one kidney (born that way) in addition to the liver disease. Food is medicine to our body! We can extend our lives while improving the quality of it with our diet.
      I’ll keep you in my prayers. Thanks so much for dropping by. Keep me posted. kk? xo Karen:)

  9. Diabetes meds making my liver act up, so was just put on a low-sodium diet. So far I am doing great. Thanks for the restaurant list. I love Mexican and Oriental foods. Made a great steak and sauce with no salt and my husband ate it without adding table salt. It was that good. Always looking for recipes and will look forward to hearing some great ones.

    1. Sharon,

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing. I would LOVE to have your steak sauce recipe. I’ve found a few marinades that have low sodium, but to be able to make one with NO salt is great. Do you make a lot and then store it in the fridge?

      I’ve got a ton of recipes to post. Liver disease is not easy to live with. But once you get the diet down, it goes soooo much better. This is especially true since you are dealing with diabetes. Sodium intake is good there to help your kidneys!

      Congratulations on making some good choices and I’m so very glad we’ve met. I look forward to hearing from you again.
      xo Karen:)

      1. The steak recipe I used was by The Hasty Gourmet, Low Salt Favorites and the name of it is Rib-Eye Steak with Brandied Mushrooms. I left out the brandy as I do not like the flavor of alcohol in my foods and did not miss it. It makes only enough for the steaks. I also used New York Strip steak, which it mentions. If you cannot find it with this information, let me know and I will type it out for you. Either way I will get it to you.
        I have really been “falling off the wagon”, so to speak, but each day start out good.

  10. Thanks for the great information. I don’t have Liver disease but I do have friends that do. I have kidney problems and high blood pressure so this also is very helpful information. My boss had Hep C and took interferon treatments and was actually cured but it was a rough road and it has fairly low success rates. I here they have a new treatment that is much more effective though.

    1. Rob,

      Yeah, I was born with 1 kidney, so I get it.. It’s just so easy to prevent a lot of disease simply by eating better. We can be stronger longer if we make good choices and low sodium is a great choice!

      You’re right, the new treatments are much easier. I was on the same ones your boss used. It’s great to be virus free and eating a healthy diet. All my best to you.. xo Karen:)

  11. Thanks for all this good info. We like to go to a red lobster and olive garden and look forward to trying ruby tuesdays.
    Thanks John

  12. Thank you soooooooooooooooooo much for this web site…my husband has exactly what you have going on…and he started Harvoni in January. It has been rough going as he has a lot of trouble with ascites right now.
    God bless you!!!

    1. Hello there Elise, my name is Dee, I am a friend of Karen’s. She had a procedure on Monday and is recovering. She has asked me to fill in for a bit.
      I know that Karen appreciates you sharing your information. I hope your husband is doing well on the Harvoni. How many weeks is he taking it? I pray that he will get to SVR and can go on to live a long life with you. Bless you Elise for writing, for sharing. My niece always says sharing is caring. I think that is true. Take Care, Dee

  13. My mother had hep c and I wish your blog had been around a decade ago to help us with the low sodium diet at the time. I am grateful that you’ve taken the time to write out things that seem so simple, but I’ve forgotten. I am now on a low sodium diet, less than 1200mg/day due to a medication I’m on, and eating has become a frustrating endeavor at times. I got so excited the other day when I found Swiss cheese that was only 25mg a slice. My husband looked at me as if I’d lost my mind when I came skipping away from the cheese aisle with an arm full of swiss. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to put this together. It is truly appreciated, and I’ve even called ahead to the restaurant we are having dinner at tonight to see if they preseason their chicken.. Hahaha… It seems so silly, but I’d forgotten that I can simply ask them not to season it. Thank you, again. I cannot seem to say that enough.

    1. Hey there! I am so happy that this article helped you. It is so odd to think that there is salt in everything. I thought that by not using salt I was doing a good thing….NOT

      So I have gotten very particular about my food. Good idea to ask the restaurant not to season their food. Great idea actually. I am going to get some swiss cheese myself, thanks so much for sharing your idea. I know it will help others. Take Care

  14. I am a LOSO guy. I make my own spaghetti sauce, bbq sauce, hot sauce and relish, low to no sodium. I grow my own tomatoes and peppers, caned tomatoes and tomato sauce, all natural preserved in lemon juice not salt. They keep over 2 years and taste fresh from the garden. I use unsalted butter, garlic and other spices. Liquid smoke for bbq sauce is almost no sodium. Molasses ads a store bought flavor. I use some low moisture cheeses sparingly and grow a few fresh spices to put on everything. I will share recipes if you email me.
    Restaurants: I love Logan’s Road House. I get an anything and everything salad. Sub fresh chicken no seasoning instead of the marinated, no bacon, sub a small amount of shredded cheese instead of the blue high sodium cheese and I use only red wine vinegar. LOVE it. It has craisins, walnuts and mixed greens. Be careful, some restaurants like O’Charly’s, and others preserve their salad greens in a brine solution to keep them fresh. That adds about 600+ mg of sodium to a salad with nothing on it. Look up restaurant sodium content BEFORE you just assume a salad is fine. Most will add no seasoning to meats. Ask for no seasoning rather than no salt. Some of the cooks don’t know their signature seasoning is 90% salt.

  15. I love to shop at Sprouts also! Buying bread can be a problem but I found that Sprouts bakery makes a sourdough that has only 70 mg. sodium per slice. The slices are large too! Now I can make a sandwich and afford something between the bread!

  16. Thank you for making the information available regarding restaurants that cater to those of us who must comply with a low sodium diet. I was recently put on a low sodium diet after being diagnosed with non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy. As someone who has always loved salt and has added rather than avoided salt, I greatly appreciate knowing which restaurants I can actually eat at. After looking at a variety of restaurants online, I was truly wondering where I can go and actually have a real meal.

  17. help…………………..51 yrs old , found out 2 months ago after being hospitalized……………does anyone have recipes that i could cook

    1. Hello there, how are you? If you go to the top right hand corner of the page there is a drop down menu that is called Liver Loving recipes, there are all kinds of recipes there. In fact I think I just placed some in a response on this page. I hope this helps you. If you have problems please let me know. 🙂

  18. Thank you!! I have referred to this blog a lot since my 15 year old son was put on a strict low sodium diet due to high blood pressure… It is hard enough as a teen- and we don’t realize how much life- community revolves around food.

    1. Oh sweetie, thanks so much for writing in. I am sorry your son is on a low salt diet. It takes a while to get used to, my husband is on a no to low fat diet. He has lost 20 lbs in a month. My Mom had to do it and it was hard but it saved her life as she had a blockage in her heart so was well worth it. She was much older so went to Duke U to relearn everything. One book she followed was by Dean Ornish.
      Thanks so much for sharing, I know Karen will be thrilled that she is helping you and your son, Dee

  19. I have enjoyed this site so much. Just diagnosed with CHF a week ago and was told I have to live on a 2000mg sodium a day diet. This is a totally different lifestyle to me and I had no idea what I could eat. Thanks for doing all this research to save me and others time. I felt like one mistep in eating and I would be back in the hospital. You have put my mind at rest. Thanks so much.

    1. Hello! It is difficult to have a limit on salt. There is even salt in milk. Most soups are out. My Mom used to eat puffed rice at a crunchy treat. It was so hard to find we ended up shipping to her from our area. Also a good book is written by Dean Ornish. It is called the rice diet though it isn’t just rice. She went to Duke to relearn how to eat. She was able to dissolve a blockage in her heart just by changing her diet. Good luck to you! Dee

  20. Wow, I am vary greatful to have found your site! I need help dealing and living with my condition and the salt is making me more crazy about things when trying to eat! Thank you for the info and honesty. I have to start relating to people who can understand if I am going to make it.

  21. Bless your heart. I sure can relate to your comment “sometimes it’s too much trouble to eat” or something like that :o) I recently put myself on a low sodium diet for my BP. I am determined not to take the drugs. Your info is a great help. I just had no idea how much sodium I was eating. I love Trader Joe’s and was seduced by their frozen entrees and fresh sandwiches. Yikes when I looked at the sodium. I also fell for the hype of the sea salts…himalayan included. I never cook with salt but love to sprinkle it on eggs and chicken dishes we make. Dang, it’s still salt and I suspect I even have a salt sensitivity.

    Appreciate all the work you did.

    Wishing you more good days than bad in the coming years.

    1. Hey there! Nice to hear from you. Going low salt is difficult. I know when my Mom had to do it, it was difficult. But the pay off was tremendous. She was able to reverse a blockage in her heart with diet. She followed a book by Dean Ornish and the rice diet. We did not know at the time but even milk has salt. So when people say they don’t eat much salt, they really don’t know as it is hidden in a lot of things. Here is a list of recommended food

  22. Thank you so much for your reply. Wow, that is amazing about your Mom, good for her and you for doing the work. So many just won’t and go along with the medical/pharma industries. I will definitely check out Dean’s books.

    Your recipe info is great. I will be digging into that for sure.

    1. Thank you! Yes, most people can’t change their diets, they prefer to have surgery. But eating right can improve our bodies. Good luck to you, Dee

  23. Hi Karen –

    Thank you for writing this blog and for all the great suggestions. I was a huge fan of PF Chiangs back when I was approaching 251 pounds, now that I’ve been living healthier (down to 183 pounds and bicycling 30 miles a day) and eating the proper amount of calories, I find that I am salt sensitive. It only takes a few 100 mg over my daily allowance (even after sweating during exercise) and I gain the obligatory 3 pounds for a week. So my question is, what do you order at PF Chiangs and how do you order it to keep the salt down? Almost every item on the menu except for brown and white rice are in the stratosphere of salt, so i am very interested in your take on this.

    Kindest Regards,

    1. Hi Garry,

      First off Congrats! on your freedom of cycling 30 miles a day. Wow! You’re invested in being healthy for sure. I have a friend who just lost 100 pounds and I’m telling you he feels so much lighter. I just ate a Changs last week and I always order the same ole thing. The sweet and sour chicken. I got the lunch portion which is about 500 mg of sodium. I mix a lot of rice in with mine and skip the soy sauce. The dinner menu will be about 2xs that much. I just try and mix the carb in with to Streeeetch it out.
      I read the fortune cookie, but I don’t eat them. I tried making home made ones and they’re a LOT of work.

      I’ve been studying salt a lot in regards to sweat. It’s hot this time of year in Oklahoma and sweat pours off of me. I walked this morning and got a leg cramp. (That signals water/electrolyte imbalance for me) I wouldn’t even worry about water weight though. Yeah, it make create some puffy ankles, but the weight is temporary, right? Also, in your weight loss, muscle weighs more than fat, so you get skinnier as you convert fat to muscle, but the pounds may not go down.

      I hope this answers you question. Again, BEST of everything to you!
      xo Karen


  24. My husband was recently diagnosed with cirrhosis. We both retired last year to travel, but after his diagnosis, his two emergency hospital stays, my two unexpected surgeries, I was too close to giving up. Thanks you for sharing all the info you have learned. This is such a valuable website. I am still very upset over this diagnosis, but am crying happy tears after reading your blog! Thank you, thank you for giving us hope!

    Best of luck,

    1. Hi there! I can only imagine how you feel. Thank you so much for sharing! I was diagnosed with HCV and cirrhosis in 2008. My husband has just been diagnosed with COPD. It is difficult however we keep going on for our children, our family members. It take a bit for the brain to wrap around one’s new reality. I know it took me a while before I could discuss it without crying. It took a couple of months. I thought cirrhosis was a death sentence. With Karen’s help I have learned how to manage the problems that come with cirrhosis. She has many good experiences on here. Bless you and your husband, Dee

  25. Enjoyed reading comments from the people you have helped. i have chf and copd and a 2000 mg salt a day. Just been on this diet since coming home from the hospital on Sept. 5. Finding it hard to find no salt items that are reasonabe {almost in donut hole from mediations}. We used to go out for lunch at least 3 times a week and go out for dinner a lot in Florida. Going to an Italian place on Friday, the 19th, with friends from my cardiac rehab and don’t know how to handle it, since this is my first restaurant experience since the hospital.

    1. It can be difficult to eat out low sodium meals. I hope this was some help for you. Pasta with marinara and salad is a no fail! Just hold the parmesan cheese!
      If you’re all from the cardiac rehab, you’ll be in excellent company! Congrats on your good health and release from the hospital!
      xo Karen

    2. Hi there, Joyce, it is difficult to keep your salt intake under 2,000 a day. I was amazed how everything contains salt.
      There is a Dr Dean Ornish who wrote a book about this, it really helped a family member of mine. She went on what is called the rice diet.
      It was hard for her at first but she had no choice since she had a blockage and it was diet or surgery. She didn’t want surgery.
      Good luck to you, Dee

  26. I recently started watching my sodium intake too. And what helps me when confronted with eating out is going online and looking at the menu of the chosen restaurant. I find an item with the lowest sodium and then take half of it home.

    I even take my own glass container (for those who may not know styrofoam is a neurotoxin) and put the half in before I start eating. It saves asking for a container at the beginning of the meal which most servers just have a real hard time even comprehending .

    If you don’t want to be so obvious and have self control (which I struggle with) then take a piece of parchment paper and line the container to protect against the styrofoam. Some places have started using a white cardboard container but I don’t trust those either. And they probably soak up some of the good stuff too.

    Thankfully I have friends who put up with my eccentricities ;o)

    1. This is very helpful. Planning before you go. It is difficult, just about everything contains salt, thank you so much for sharing this. I did not know that styrofoam was a neurotoxin. I am sure this will help others. Thanks, Dee

  27. You’re more than welcome.

    And yes, my chiropractor alerted me to the styrofoam about 20 years ago. They usually are on the cutting edge of things like that. He warned me about the nsaids, hormone replacement therapy, statins, and of course antibiotics and recently the bone drugs for osteoporosis.

    He said he gets a kick out of patients coming in telling HIM when the news and dangers of these things finally hit the 6 o’clock news. He’ll look back in their file and say: “yes, I told you about that ___ years ago. He said they just say: “oh!”.

    If it doesn’t come from the mainstream media it can’t be true, right? And heaven forbid a lowly chiropractor would know anything about anything lol

    Thankfully the internet trumps (no pun intended in the current political climate) the 6 o’clock news more and more. Your wonderful website is a perfect example of getting the news out sooner than later.

    1. Thank you again! I appreciate you sharing. I remember hearing about the bone drugs, tried to share with others, no one listened until, like you said, it was on mainstream news. I love my chiropractor. He is like family to me. Thanks again

  28. I’m so glad I found your site! I was put on a low sodium diet today and had no idea where to turn for good advice on eating out. I love PF Changs, what do you order on the menu besides rice? Looking at their site’s nutrition facts was just depressing with th high sodium content.

    1. I’m SO glad you found the site. My yoga school adventure took me away for a few weeks. I hope you’re thriving with your low sodium diet. I always get the Sweet and Sour Chicken dinner portion. It’s just a safe bet. It has plenty of flavor so you can skip the salty soy sauce! Most of the time there are leftovers for lunch the next day….. so it’s totally 500 mg of sodium per serving the way I eat it.

      My best to you on your low sodium journey. I’m working on more recipes now!
      xo Karen

  29. Thank you so much for the tips about Red Lobster. My husband just finished 8 weeks recovery from his open heart surgery. He’s on a low sodium / low fat diet. We were hesitant about eating out since cooking at home afforded me the opportunity to know exactly what sodium was in each dish. The people at Red Lobster were extremely accommodating. They even had the head culinary expert come out to advise us on what to do and selection options. My husband said everything was still extremely tasty and really enjoyed it. Thank you for the tips. We used several from this blog.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you were able to go out to dinner! Red Lobster is one of my favorite restaurants. I’m glad that this helped you and I know Karen will be so thrilled to hear. That is what she is here for, to help other people. Nothing gives her greater joy than to hear from others. Take Care, Dee

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