OK In Health - Pass On the Salt

Low-Sodium Fast Food Nutritional Options - October 2019

Finding any fast foods that are low sodium is nearly impossible - So be prepared!

By 'PASS on the SALT'

fast food sign - low sodium meals

According to Statistics Canada, 85 per cent of Canadian men, and 60 per cent of women, consume sodium above the upper daily limit of 2,300 milligrams -- about one teaspoon of salt -- beyond which health risks increase. On average, Canadians consume 3,100 milligrams of sodium daily. Sodium in processed food accounts for 77 per cent of consumption. Health Canada wages war on excessive salt intake and will finally begin to grapple with a public health menace that one health group says is killing 30 Canadians every day. The menace is dietary sodium, which is present in unhealthy quantities in processed and restaurant food. Largely from such hidden sources, Canadians consume, on average, more than twice as much sodium as the recommended daily dose.

Whenever, as a family, we are going on a road trip we plan ahead and bring with us food, snacks and drinks that are low in sodium.

One day this month, we were on our way home from an out of town appointment and it was now way beyond lunch time. With an hour drive home still to go, we decided to grab something from a fast food outlet.

If any one has watched the movie ‘Super size me’ you will know that fast food is never a healthy choice. It isn’t even an affordable choice as a fast food for 4 is more expensive than chicken dinner at home.

With three kids in the car and wanting to get home before it got dark, we stopped at the drive-thru. We thought we made some good choices but later we realized how badly our choices were.  

Finding any fast foods that are low sodium is nearly impossible and not recommended on a regular basis. However, if you are caught on a road trip like us…. here are some suggestions and information.


To Reduce Sodium

Limit items such as cheese, bacon, salt, mustard, mayonnaise, olives and pickles.

Top your sandwich or burgers with vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, green peppers and onions.

Try the Olive Oil Blend and vinegar on your salad instead of creamy dressings.

Skip the soups unless they say low sodium and then I would still check Nutritional chart

If you must have cheese, try Swiss Cheese instead of Cheddar

Limit how much ketchup you use and pass on the mayo and dressing or ask for a small amount.

Avoid anything with a crispy coating. Chicken nuggets can be three times as high in sodium as a burger.

Ask for no salt on your fries and the bonus is they will make you a new batch so they will be fresh and hot.


Plan Ahead

Before you leave home, I would highly recommend you check out the nutrition charts for your favourite fast food restaurants. If you plan your meals ahead of time and leave a list in the car.

Basically all fast food is high in sodium. Some are high and some are off the charts. One item could be nearly what you could have for your complete daily requirements. By planning ahead, you figure out what is the best choice for you that is low in sodium. 

Small choices can make big difference. An example is those little sachets of ketchup.  1 sachet of ketchup in MacDonald’s is 3mg, Wendy’s is 95mg and in Burger king they are a whopping 125mg.

One medium French fries in MacDonald’s is 270mg, Wendy’s is 350mg and Burger king is 590mg

Drinks range from Black coffee is 0mg, Tim’s Iced Capp - Original (Medium, Milk)  is 50mg, MacDonald’s  Coke zero med is 60mg and guess what is the highest….  1% partly skimmed chocolate milk is 200mg of sodium.

Pizza can range from 350mg to 980mg a slice.

A burger with no cheese, easy on the mayo can range from 350mg to 1,090mg of sodium


Fast Food Nutritional Charts

This is only a guideline that will hopefully make you aware of the hidden sodium in the foods we eat and feed our kids. Here are some sodium levels for a few fast food joints.

I have added some useful links and I would highly recommend you take a look at your fast food restaurant nutrition chart and find the foods you enjoy with the lowest sodium. Make of list of low sodium choices and leave it in your bag or in your car.

Next time, you are on the road…. Don’t get caught out like we did. Be prepared!


Wendy’s Nutritional Charts - www.wendys.ca/food/Nutrition.jsp

  • Sour Cream and Chives Potato = 80 mg
  • 1 ketchup pkg = 95 mg
  • Chocolate frosty= 160 mg
  • Medium Fries = 350 mg
  • Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Sauce Potato = 370 mg
  • Garden salad = 450 mg
  • Medium fries with sea salt = 500 mg
  • 1/4 lb.* Single Hamburger = 870 mg
  • Ultimate Grilled Chicken = 1090 mg
  • 5-piece Crispy Chicken Nuggets = 1190 mg


Tim Horton’s Nutritional Chartswww.timhortons.com/ca/en/menu/nutrition-calculator.html

  • Black coffee  = 0mg
  • Iced Capp - Original (Medium, Milk)  = 50 mg
  • Light Plain Cream Cheese    = 216 mg
  • Old Fashion Plain Donut  = 230 mg
  • Boston Cream Donut  = 260 mg
  • Apple Fritter Donut = 360 mg
  • Wheat 'n Honey Bagel  =  460 mg
  • Egg Salad Sandwich (Regular, White Bun) = 760 mg


Burger King’s Nutritional Charts - www.bk.com/en/us/menu-nutrition/index.html

  • BK® Fresh Apple Fries  = 40mg
  • 1 ketchup pkg = 125mg
  • Whopper Hamburger = 530mg
  • WHOPPER® Value Meal (Small) = 1510mg


Dairy Queen’s Nutritional Chartswww.idq.com/DQCNCPublic/

  • Mint Oreo® Blizzard - Medium =  530mg
  • Reg. Hamburger with no cheese =  680mg
  • Vanilla Cone – Medium = 120mg
  • Hamburger Kid's Meal with Apple Sauce = 710mg


MacDonald’s Nutritional Chartswww.mcdonalds.ca/NutritionCalculator/index_en.html

  • Honey sauce = 0 mg
  • Ketchup = 3mg
  • Coke zero med. = 60 mg
  • Vanilla cone = 135 mg
  • 1% partly skimmed chocolate milk = 200 mg
  • French fries. Med = 270 mg
  • Hamburger =  510 mg
  • Filet-O-fish  580 mg
  • 6 white meat chicken nuggets = 670 mg
  • McDonald's Big Mac value Meal (small) Trend = 1159mg



Subway’s Nutritional Charts - www.world.subway.com/Countries/NutritionFiles/CanNutritionValues.pdf

  1. 6" Veggie Delite Sandwich = 520mg
  2. 6” Oven Roasted Chicken =600mg
  3. 6" Roast Beef Sandwich = 920mg
  4. 6" Turkey Breast Sandwich = 1020mg
  5. 6" Cold Cut Combo Sandwich = 1280mg
  6. 6”  Pizza Sub = 1640


  • Chicken with White and Wild Rice soup  = 1000mg
  • Vegetarian Vegetable soup = 930mg


  • Light Mayonnaise = 80mg
  • Sweet Onion Sauce, Fat Free = 90mg
  • Honey Mustard Sauce, Fat Free = 140mg
  • Ranch Dressing = 200mg
  • Chipotle Southwest Sauce = 220mg
  • Pickles (3 chips) = 115mg
  • Olives (3 rings) = 25mg
  • Cucumber, pepers, onions, lettuce = 0mg


  • Swiss** =  45mg
  • Cheddar Cheese Product, Processed $200mg


White Spot Nutritional Charts -

  • Breakfast wrap 1671mg
  • Mushrrom, Spinach and Cheese Frittata 860mg
  • Nat's Veggie Sunny Start
  • Buttermilk Stack 1974mg
  • Fajita Salad 1886.9mg
  • Hot Salmon Ceasar Salad 1089  with dressing 1700mg
  • Portbello Provolone Veggie Burger 1333mg
  • Wild Pacific salmon Fillet 492mg
  • Lengendary Burger 740mg ( without sauce 392mg)
  • Add cheese slice 360mg
  • Add bacon 194mg
  • Add Mushrooms only 8.5mg
  • Add Gravy 608mg
  • Sweet Potato Fries  678mg
  • Triple O sauce is 350mg
  • Zoo dip 149mg
  • Pirate Hamburger  790mg
  • Pirate Mac and Cheese  1007mg
  • Pirate Grilled Cheese  1160mg
  • Pirate Fish 238mg
  • Add fries  68mg
  • Add sweet potatoes 197mg

PIZZA – one medium slice

  • Domino Pizza – Veggie fest = 340mg
  • Domino's Pizza - Hawaiian Feast = 390mg
  • Pizza hut Veggie Lover's = 550mg
  • Pizza hut  Pepperoni = 720mg
  • Little Caesars   Veggie = 710mg
  • Little Caesars Pepperoni - Hot-N-Ready = 520mg
  • Pizza hut - Cheesesticks = 120mg
  • Domino’s cheese sticks = 140mg
  • Caesars’ Crazy bread = 140mg


This is only a guideline that will hopefully make you aware of the hidden sodium in the fast foods we eat and feed our kids. I would love to hear your feedback and if you have any suggestions of topics you would like to see in this column.

Plan ahead and be prepared!

And have a good low-sodium day!


From Maria O’Farrell Carr



'PASS  on the SALT''PASS's Bio: Are you trying to cut down on salt? It isn't the easiest thing to do if you are used to adding salt to everything to enhance the flavour. And the fact that many foods come pre-salted often doesn't help. These 'Pass on The Salt' articles sets forth some ways in which you can start your journey to a less salty cuisine and a healthier you. Please contact your dietitian for specific information. These articles are only a guideline. - Email

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