Low Sodium Asian food. Does it exist? Is it possible? Low sodium soy sauce is an oxymoron for those of us on a sodium restricted diet. So of course, everyone wants to know the answer to can I eat low sodium at Panda Express. Historically, asian restaurants as a whole were considered dicey for anyone on diet restrictions. MSG (monosodium glutamate) was rampant as a seasoning in asian restaurant kitchens.
Soy Sauce is the basis or foundation for so many other asian sauces: hoisin, plum, oyster, fish, and duck sauce. It is easy to just wipe all of the asian dishes and options off the list of options for those of us on a low sodium diet. We learned that we can make low sodium asian dishes at home. You can see my recipes for low sodium soy sauce and for low sodium hoisin sauce here. As well as my low sodium Thai Drunken Noodles recipe.
If you know anything about me, you know I hate the denial aspect of any diet. If we want to succeed in living a low sodium life, it has to be just that, a lifestyle we make. In life, you are going to get invited to work events, you are going to travel, and you are going to go to work. We can’t always eat safely wrapped in our low sodium kitchens and pantries at home.
The real world is out there, and they salt almost everything. Until that changes, we need to know what we can and can’t eat. So that is why I create these guides to eating low sodium at restaurants. Today we are looking at the nutrition information for Panda Express, and are wondering: Can I eat low sodium at Panda Express.
Let’s take a quick review of what criteria we use to discern if we can have a “meal.” The USDA recommends a healthy person maintain a diet that is at 2300 mg of sodium or less per day. The Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association recommend 1500 mg per day for everyone age 50 and up. It is also the limit for anyone with Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), or are in a demographic at risk for heart disease. So we ideally want a meal to come in around at a third of our daily allowance. That is the ballpark of 750 mg for the meal.
We also believe that a meal should not be items strictly on the “kids” menu. It feels demeaning to an adult to resort to that. We do call out kids menu items as it is important to also keep our children healthy.
Can I Eat Low Sodium at Panda Express
Panda Express has a choice of Vegetables, Chicken, Beef, Pork, or Seafood served over rice or chow mein. You can choose a side dish, appetizer, or soup as well. They also call out items they have that are part of their Wok Smart Menu, which means it is a choice that is 300 calories or less and at least 8g of protein. Sadly, that doesn’t make them low sodium. Here are the choices to make to be able to eat low sodium at Panda Express.
Choice of Side:
Steamed Rice is your only option. You can have the steamed brown rice at 15 mg of sodium, or the steamed white rice at 0mg.
Mixed Veggies (Entree) is 280 mg.
Eggplant Tofu is 520 mg.
Hot Szechuan Tofu is 580 mg.
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken is 530 mg.
Grilled Asian Chicken is 530 mg.
Orange Chicken is 620 mg.
String Bean Chicken Breast is 590 mg.
SweetFire Chicken Breast is 320 mg.
Sweet & Sour Chicken Breast is 260 mg.
Beijing Beef is 660 mg.
Broccoli Beef is 520 mg.
Pacific Chili Shrimp is 640 mg.
Honey Walnut Shrimp is 440 mg.
Golden Treasure Shrimp is 440 mg.
Crispy Shrimp – 3 pcs is 400 mg.
Chicken Egg Roll – 1 roll is 340 mg.
Chicken Potsticker – 3 pcs is 250 mg.
Cream Cheese Rangoon – 3 pcs is 180 mg.
Vegetable Spring Roll – 2 rolls is 520 mg.
Sauces & Cookies:
Teriyaki Sauce 1.8 oz is 380 mg.
Sweet & Sour Sauce 1.8 oz is 115 mg.
Chili Sauce 1 Packet (7g) is 125 mg.
Soy Sauce 1 Packet (7g) is 375 mg.
Potsticker Sauce 1 Packet (11.4g) is 290 mg.
Hot Mustard 1 Packet (7g) is 15 mg.
Plum Sauce 1 Packet (7g) is 5 mg.
Fortune Cookies 8 g / 1 pc is 8 mg.
The choices in kids portions all are similar to the above, but are slightly less than above due to a smaller sized portion.
Have you been craving Asian food? Now you know the answer to can I eat low sodium at Panda Express. If you follow the choices above, you may be able to add Asian food back into your low sodium diet. Let me know what you order below, and how good it is.