How Can I Limit Sodium at a Chinese Restaurant?

Chinese food has long been associated with high sodium menu items and MSG leading many to avoid Chinese restaurants all together or go in search of ways to limit sodium.  While many Asian restaurants are now eliminating MSG completely from their recipes and working with nutrition professionals to decrease the sodium levels of their meals, there are still ways food-lovers can limit sodium in their meals. 

  1. Look at the nutrition facts information, if available, to make the best choice for your health goals.  Many meals we assume are “healthy” or “low-sodium” can actually be just the opposite.
  2. Request sauce on the side. Most of the sodium in Chinese food and other cuisines is in the condiments, so requesting sauce on the side will allow you to use just a small amount to limit sodium.
  3. Go easy on the soy sauce (even the reduced sodium soy sauce).  A little goes a long way both for flavor and added sodium.
  4. Search Healthy Dining for Sodium Savvy menu choices.  These dietitian-recommended choices feature entrées that contain no more than 750 mg sodium and side dishes, appetizers and desserts with no more than 250 mg sodium.

    These tips will help you limit sodium at Chinese restaurants, other Asian restaurants and more!  Find nutrition information including calories, fat and sodium as well as Sodium Savvy menu choices on