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Shaking the Sodium Out of Your BBQ

Sodium and BBQ infographic

This information has been reviewed and approved by Andrew Freeman, MD and Michelle O. MacDonald, MS, RDN, CDE (June 2022).

Shaking The Sodium Out of Your BBQ Summary

Too much sodium increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Sodium is hidden in prepared and processed foods including hot dogs, lunch meat, canned foods, sauces, dressings, store-made salads and processed cheese.

Sodium in BBQ Food Statistics

  • A Typical BBQ Meal = 3,233 mg
  • Recommended Sodium Intake = 1,500 mg/day *
  • Baked beans = 1,100 mg/cup 
  • Chips = 170 mg/bag
  • Coleslaw = 388 mg/cup
  • Soda = 45 mg/can
  • Hot dog with fixings = up to 1,434 mg/each

Instead of High Sodium Foods

  • Hot dogs, brats or other processed, high-sodium meats
  • Bread
  • BBQ beans
  • Cole slaw
  • Pickles
  • Salt, condiments, sauces, dressings
  • Soda pop
  • Chips or french fries

Choose Healthy

  • Portobello mushroom, eggplant or other veggies
  • Bean or quinoa burger
  • Fresh meats — chicken, fish or other lean meat
  • Wrap food in lettuce leaf
  • Chop and place protein in a whole bell pepper
  • Fruit salad
  • Vegetable salad
  • Make your own coleslaw
  • Season with lemon juice, garlic and herbs
  • Make your own low-sodium condiments
  • Low-sodium condiments, sauces, dressings
  • Water
  • Fruit or veggie-infused water
  • Unsweetened iced tea
  • Bake your own veggie chips
  • Bake your own sweet or white potato fries with olive oil drizzle

Reduce your Sodium Intake with These Healthier Choices

  • Fresh meat: fish, chicken or other lean meats
  • Hearty vegetables: Portobello mushrooms, asparagus, eggplant, quinoa burger
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable salads with low-sodium dressings
  • Enhance flavor with lemon juice and herbs
  • Sweet or white potato fries baked in light olive oil drizzle
  • Low or no sodium condiments
  • Use prepared toppings sparingly
  • Water, fruit infused water
  • Unsweetened iced tea

 * The American Heart Association recommendation if you are over age 51, African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease


More Information on Sodium and your Diet


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