Lower salt dining out, post salty meal recovery

I had a salt bomb meal tonight , and I’m up at 2 am drinking water.

The salad dressing on my insalata mista was over salted- unintentionally- , and the veal parm would’ve had a lot of accumulated salt. My bad for eating the salad when I could tell the dressing was too salty. There were a ton of greens but not enough to counteract the amount of salt in that little tablespoon container of dressing.

Ironically- I didn’t order pizza or the gnocchi alla Gorgonzola, and chose Italian over a cheeseburger, Middle Eastern, Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese or Greek takeout, because I thought those other choices I didn’t opt for might be too salty and interfere with my sleep.

I guess I’ll be looking for melon and bananas tomorrow morning.


Ugh. I feel your pain. Strangely enough, I’ve found that some restaurant Italian-American dishes tend to be more salty than I think they should be. Definitely more so than Chinese/Vietnamese/Asian in general.

Feel better :slight_smile: and thanks for the tips!

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In Ontario, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and cheap Middle Eastern tend to be much saltier than upscale Italian. This was a $32 veal parm and $10 salad, plus tax and tip.

I don’t order Korean food from restaurants anymore because I can’t deal with the salt. I make the Korean food at home. I also can’t do pho- I do bun to cut down on salt, at Vietnamese restaurants.

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restaurant ‘truisms’ are salt, sugar, fat.

ueber-low salt eating in restaurants will be limited to very select dishes - primarily salads with no dressing. not even a fish goes not-over salted.
inescapable. good/bad/other - but true.


But most restaurant meals don’t cause me to drink 3 litres of water after I have them.

This only happens to me maybe once or twice a year.

I keep track of which dishes, which cuisine (realizing some kitchens have a lighter touch) and what restaurants have caused the reaction. I usually don’t go back if I have to guzzle water all night. Most restaurants in Toronto that have caused this reaction have been Middle Eastern (Me Va Me and Byblos), Korean, Thai, Ethiopian and Vietnamese.

there is absolutely no user / eater / patron control over the amount of salt added to dishes.

and . . . what the last “chef” did, is no indication of what the “new” chef does.
by chef, by day, by dish.

if a sodium/salt intolerant one dines out, one simply has to deal with consequences. it’s not ‘difficult’ to recognize/know what kind of dishes are super-salted.
it is impossible to recognize/know how the specific eatery/chef deals with added salt.


I wonder if it’s like booze - whether that dehydration can be counteracted by drinking LOTS of water with a salty meal. But I’m no chemist.

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Before the pandemic, I ate out at least six times a week. After a year of no purchased meals, my first meal out blew my mind with how salty it was. I’m a salt lover, so it was interesting that I only needed a year to re-set.


Sometimes upscale places take the “salt at every stage” mantra a bit too seriously and end up serving a salt lick.

Whenever I eat Chinese food out, I crave (sugary) soda right after - if I stick with my no-soda thing, I feel the salt a lot worse than if I finish with coke or similar. I wonder if the soda cuts the effect of the salt.


I’m the same! Always wondered why I craved that.


I rarely ever drink soda anymore, but there’s a salt-lick Chinese chicken noodle soup I like to get on occasion, and a Mexicoke is the perfect counterbalance of sweetness to have with it :relaxed:


I drink Coke with dim sum to counterbalance the salt and fat.
I have a nap after dim sum, even if it’s just pieces.

This happened to me Friday night. Was too tired to cook, a new and different Chinese restaurant was on Uber Eats and thought why not give it a try. Interesting flavors and dishes, though not exactly great - normally I chalk it up to delivery, but this was not about textures and temperature. One consistent theme - holy moly on the salt shaker, Batman! I had several glasses of water right after – 1 hour later…2 hours later. Just kept getting up to get a drink and then before bed time more water.

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Before the Pandemic, I was usually dining out around 6 to 10 times a week, 3 dinners out, one or two quick takeout meals for the train, brunch once or twice a weekend.

Even back in 2018 & 2019, I was running into a problem if I had shawarma, if I needed a good sleep.

I used to be a bus captain for day trips for a ski club, , which ran for 12 weeks each winter, which meant I’d have to wake up at 5:30 m, and be in charge of running the 2 h bus trip, ski from 10 to 4, and run the bus home. I used to often grab takeout or meat friends for dinner the night before . I learned through trial and error which dishes I couldn’t eat the night I needed a good sleep.

Over the past 2.5 years, my takeout habits have changed. This past year, I’ve been finding higher end restaurants don’t tend to be as salty or greasy as some lower end restaurants.

For the last 30 years, I’ve tended to be someone who tries a lot of hole-in-the-walls and who tries a lot of new-to-me foods. I’ve shifted to focusing more on somewhat upscale restaurants, (ordering less, less frequently), some bakeries and a few local pubs.

I’m cooking more of the new foods at home, rather than ordering them out, mostly to control the salt and portion sizes.

So- yesterday, this was my recovery day, while I was on the road for 12 h:
Fruit salad from a grocery store
Peach kefir
A banana
An iced latte
A bottled mango passionfruit smoothie

Wendy’s grilled chicken on a bun, no condiments

Filet o’fish, no cheese and no condiments

A McD’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, since it’s October

More fruit salad.

Feeling back to normal today!

In terms of salt avoidance while dining out, I think, at middle eastern restaurants, I’ll get the shish tawouk or beef kabobs and tabbouleh or fattoush, dressing on the side if possible.

I’ll have to figure out my plan for lower salt Chinese and Thai.

I remember some takeout spots in Manhattan customizing dishes for lower salt 25 years ago.

Bumping this because I’m bloated! :joy:

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Water, and potassium rich foods help (bananas, avocados, spinach, etc.). Yogurt also helps.

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I did have kefir this morning. Making something low salt tonight.

Heavy exercise helps remove sodium and (as already mentioned), passing a lot of water through the kidneys.

Of course, if one is already feeling bloated, the motivation for heavy exercise is going to be slim to none, and I hear Slim just left town.