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The Easiest Way To Track Your Sodium Intake & Still Eat Delicious Food

mbg Deputy Commerce Editor

By Braelyn Wood

mbg Deputy Commerce Editor

Braelyn Wood is the Deputy Commerce Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University, along with a certificate in marketing.

Image by PeopleImages / iStock

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

June 2, 2022

Sodium is essential for our bodies and crucial for a range of functions, like electrolyte balance and nutrient absorption and transport. All foods contain the macromineral, but the optimal amount needed for each body differs.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, but those with high blood pressure or heart and kidney failure may benefit from even less, aka a low-sodium diet.

When following a low sodium diet, it’s best to make a majority of your meals at home with whole foods. More than 70% of sodium consumed by Americans comes from prepackaged meals, processed foods, and restaurants, according to a study published in Circulation, a journal by the American Heart Association (AHA).

An easy way to stick to your sodium limit is investing in the best low sodium meal delivery services. Whether you want to improve your culinary skills with a meal kit or save time with packaged entr?es prepared with minimal salt, these services make it a breeze for you to limit your sodium.

What is a low sodium diet?

There’s no clear definition of what constitutes a low sodium diet, but a common target is between 1,500 to 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day. The exact amount will depend on your personal needs, but it’s important to remember the body needs an estimated 500 milligrams of sodium per day to function, per the AHA.

For our breakdown, we considered a low sodium entr?e one with less than 600 milligrams per serving. While some meal delivery companies set their own limits for sodium intake, this filter allows us to recommend brands that may not directly feature low sodium options but still cater to this way of eating.

How we picked:

Quality

We focused on brands that use high quality ingredients, ideally organic or locally sourced.

Sodium

Each highlighted company offers a variety of meals with less than 600 milligrams of sodium per serving.

Food budgets differ, so we provided a range of options to suit different allowances.

Sustainability

We vetted each brand’s commitment to staying green, including their packaging and shipping methods.

mbg’s pick of the best low sodium meal delivery kits of 2022:

Best meal kit: Sunbasket

Sunbasket

VIEW ON Sunbasket

Pros:

Mostly organicNew menu weekly

Cons:

Prep neededShipping fee

Type: Meal kit

Dietary Needs: Allergen friendly, Low-sugar

Get all the ingredients needed for a low-sodium meal for up to four family members delivered weekly with Sunbasket. The meal delivery kit gives you even more control over your meals, allowing you to omit ingredients with too much sodium as you cook.

Unfortunately, the brand doesn’t have a dedicated low sodium plan or meal filter. However, the site allows you to scan nutrition labels as you build your box. Another way to bypass salt-heavy meals: Skip to the diabetes-friendly meal plan, which restricts sodium to 700 milligrams.

Example meals:

– Lettuce-wrapped turkey burgers with green goddess dressing and lentil salad (280 mg)

– Herbed chicken thighs with “cheesy” broccoli and tomato-pesto relish (460 mg)

– Seared pork with blueberry-apricot sauce and saut?ed greens (105 mg)

Sustainability & quality: Sustainable agriculture is just as important to Sunbasket as environmentally friendly packaging. The brand sources organic and local produce and supports regenerative agriculture practices–so you get quality you can trust.

Cost: From $11 per serving for meal kits

Best prepared: Fresh n’ Lean

Fresh n’ Lean

VIEW ON Fresh n’ Lean

Pros:

No prepNever frozenFits range of diets

Cons:

Needs nutrition label vetting

Type: Fresh meals

Dietary Needs: Gluten-free, Organic, GMO-free, Dairy-free, Low-fat

Whether you’re following a keto diet or sticking with a fully plant-based regimen, Fresh n’ Lean has you covered. Its lineup of fresh entr?es are made from scratch with an average of 600 milligrams per serving–so you can consume breakfast, lunch, and dinner without hitting your daily sodium limit.

Crafted by professional chefs, these prepackaged meals are entirely gluten-free and delivered fresh. Simply pop in the microwave or oven for a speedy reheat and prepare to enjoy a variety of nutritious recipes.

Example Meals:

– Chimichurri braised beef with brown rice and veggies (510 mg)

– Lentils and herb roasted potatoes with remoulade sauce (470 mg)

– Romesco salmon with cauliflower and sweet potatoes (470 mg)

Sustainability & Quality: Expect whole, organic foods in every meal with the service’s entirely GMO-free menu. The brand links with supplies who practice human animal treatment and make note of sustainably sourced seafood, such as shrimp and salmon. Each single serving arrives in a BPA-free and recyclable tray.

Cost: From $8 per serving

Best plant-based: Veestro

Veestro

VIEW ON Veestro

Pros:

Fully preparedNo commitment

Cons:

FrozenNeeds nutrition label vetting

Type: Frozen meals

Dietary Needs: Gluten-free, Vegan, Organic, Dairy-free

Most traditional frozen entr?es from the grocery store are chock-full of sodium and other processed ingredients, but Veestro’s plant-based range offers a healthier alternative. While you’ll have to scan the nutritional labels to ensure you’re selecting low sodium items, there are dozens of entr?es available with less than 600 milligrams of sodium.

Many meals also come with the sauces separate, providing additional ways to cut back the amount of excess salt for stricter diets. Plus, the brand offers a small breakfast menu, so the plan can cover three meals a day.

Example Meals:

– Golden chickpea stew (330 mg)

– Mushroom risotto (420 mg)

– Eggplant casserole (415 mg with sauce)

Sustainability & Quality: Veestro promises 96% organic ingredients in every order with additional filters for soy-free, kosher, and nut-free meals. Every meal arrives in a recyclable carton or BPA-free tray, while the starch insulation can be dissolved in water.

Cost: From $8 per serving

Best for busy schedules: Splendid Spoon

Splendid Spoon

VIEW ON Splendid Spoon

Pros:

100% recyclable packagingFast shipping

Cons:

Lots of packaging

Type: Fresh meals

Dietary Needs: Gluten-free, Vegan, GMO-free, Dairy-free, Low-sugar

Choose from a preset plan or curate your own box of meals from Splendid Spoon’s fully vegan lineup. The sippable smoothies are the perfect match for busy mornings spent in traffic, while the noodle bowls make a satiating veggie-based lunch.

If the overall convenience of grab-n-go is worth it for you, you’ll also be relieved to know the entire lineup is GMO-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, as well as low in sugar and sodium. Add the low sodium filter to take the vetting one step further, which removes any items with more than 12% of your daily sodium value.

Example Meals:

– Roasted cauliflower grain bowl (270 mg)

– Tanger ginger noodles (200 mg)

– Butternut turmeric soup (280 mg)

Sustainability & Quality: While Splendid Spoon offers 100% recyclable packaging, only commit if you’re ready to adequately rinse and sort it, as items are packaged individually in plastic. The brand has also made huge strides in sustainability since launching: It switched to climacell recyclable insulation, reduced carbon emissions with a new factory, and replaced gel packs with dry ice to reduce waste.

Cost: From $9 per serving

Best for seniors: Magic Kitchen

Magic Kitchen

VIEW ON Magic Kitchen

Pros:

Budget-friendlyNo commitmentEasy to filter recipes

Cons:

Poor packagingNot organic

Type: Frozen meals

Dietary Needs: Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Dairy-free, Allergen friendly, Low-fat, Low-sugar

Unlike many other meal delivery services, Magic Kitchen is specifically geared towards seniors. The site is simple to use and easy to filter for specific dietary needs, including low sodium meals. Also available via phone orders, the menu offers hundreds of pre-made items including single-serve entr?es, snacks, and family plans.

Apply the low sodium filter to find the best low sodium options; ? la carte items under 400 milligrams or complete entr?es with less than 700 milligrams. (Note: Most meals contain less than 500 milligrams). Plus, you can add additional filters to select recipes that are low in fat or calories, as well as gluten or dairy-free.

Example Meals:

– Roasted veggie kale salad with chicken

– Chickpea-powered Mediterranean bulgur with zucchini

– Pesto-spiced shrimp with pesto couscous and blistered tomatoes

Sustainability & Quality: Magic Kitchen aims to use organic ingredients when possible and prioritizes grain-fed beef and hormone-free chicken. While the brand does use dry ice to ship, the coolers used to send the frozen items are not recyclable. The brand’s nich? service for seniors kept them on the list despite this less environmentally friendly choice.

Cost: From $10 per serving

Who needs a low sodium diet?

Not everyone needs to eat a low sodium diet. It’s commonly recommended to those with high blood pressure, kidney failure, or heart failure, but the benefits for those without health issues still needs additional research.

The kidneys are responsible for regulating salt levels in the body, so limiting sodium can be beneficial to impacted organs with decreased function. Similarly, those with heart issues often have reduced kidney function, which makes a low sodium diet beneficial. However, there’s still some conflicting research about the benefits for those with heart failure.

Additionally, a review of 34 studies found that those with hypertension saw a significant reduction in their high blood pressure levels after consuming a low sodium diet. Those with normal blood pressure levels also saw a drop–just on a smaller scale.

All that being said, a super restricted intake of sodium may also have negative impacts for those who don’t need it. At the end of the day, talking with your doctor is the best way to understand whether a low sodium diet is right for you.

The takeaway.

The best way to reduce your sodium intake is by consuming your meals at home–and a low sodium meal delivery services is the easiest way to track your intake without spending the evening reading nutrition labels. Whether you want a meal kit like Sunbasket to teach you new recipes or a prefer a prepared organic entr?e from Fresh n’ Lean, our picks have you covered with nutritious options that emphasize non-GMO and sustainably sourced ingredients.

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