If you want to reduce your salt intake, you might be wondering what you can eat at Panda Express. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best low-sodium Panda Express choices. And, if you’re also watching other healthy facts like your calories or fat intake, we’ve also looked at the chain’s best options for other diets too, so you’ll know exactly what you can order.
So, here are the best low-sodium Panda Express dishes to pick!
The Absolute Lowest Sodium Menu Item At Panda Express
If you want to consume as little sodium as possible during your visit to Panda Express, opt for the Sweet & Sour Chicken Breast.
The Sweet & Sour Chicken Breast contains 260mg of sodium. For a fast-food chain, that’s pretty good. However, there is something you need to consider.
At Panda Express, most customers order a main menu item with some side dishes or as a combo. Therefore, you need to think about which sides have the lowest sodium level too.
We’ll look at low-sodium sides in a bit more detail later but if you just want to order the lowest sodium meal at Panda Express, you should order the Bowl with Sweet & Sour Chicken and white steamed rice which comes in at just 260mg of sodium.
If you have a larger appetite and want to pick the two item plates, then stick with the chicken and white rice and pick the Super Greens entree as your second dish – this has just 130mg of sodium, plus the veggies will add some important potassium to your meal.
This way, your whole meal will only contain 390mg of sodium.
Stock Photo: Not Panda Express
10 Other Low Sodium Panda Express Entrees
Unfortunately, the Sweet & Sour Chicken Breast doesn’t appear on every Panda Express branch menu, so, if it’s not in your local branch, then your next lowest choice is the Sweetfire Chicken Breast – or, pick one of the other low-sodium Panda Express entrees on offer. Here are the ones to pick…
|Sweetfire Chicken Breast||370mg|
|Golden Treasure Shrimp||440mg|
|Grilled Teriyaki Chicken||470mg|
|Grilled Asian Chicken||470mg|
|Honey Sesame Chicken Breast||540mg|
|String Bean Chicken Breast||560mg|
|Black Pepper Angus Steak Entree||560mg|
|Honey Walnut Shrimp||590mg|
The Lowest Sodium Panda Express Side Dishes
As we said, most Panda Express menu items are served with sides, so it’s important to pick the best choices here too – get it wrong and you could send your bowl soaring to 1500mg – which is almost as much as the 2300mg the American Heart Association suggest the average person eats in a day – and possibly more than your doctor wants you personally to eat.
There are 6 different sides you can add to your meals, and the best choice has absolutely zero sodium in it. That would be the white steamed rice.
Admittedly, it doesn’t have as much fiber or nutrients as the brown steamed rice, so, even though this contains 15mg of sodium, it’s probably the healthier choice.
Here’s how the others stack up…
|White Steamed Rice||0|
|Brown Steamed Rice||15|
|Super Greens (side portion)||260mg|
So, that’s the basics, but, what if you’re also watching your diet in other healthy ways too? Well, then you need to dig around the Panda Express nutritional information a bit more – and the good news is, we’ve done the hard work for you.
The Lowest Saturated Fat, Lowest Sodium Option
The lowest saturated fat, lowest sodium option at Panda Express is also the Sweet & Sour Chicken Breast, with just 260mg of sodium and 3 grams of saturated fat.
You could order this menu item with the white steamed rice and super greens entree for just 130mg of extra sodium – and you wouldn’t be adding any extra grams of fat to your meal.
Stock image: Not Panda Express
Other low-saturated fat and lower-sodium main menu items at Panda Express include Broccoli Beef with just 1.5mg of saturated fat and 520mg of sodium or the Golden Treasure Shrimp with 3g of saturated fat and 440mg of sodium.
Again, serve these with steamed white rice (or brown rice) and Super Greens. Neither of these contains any saturated fat.
The Lowest Calorie, Lowest Sodium Option
The best low-calorie, low-sodium main menu item is Broccoli Beef. Of the food items with the lowest sodium level, this menu item also contains the fewest calories.
It only contains 150 calories and 560mg of sodium. It may contain more sodium than other options but it strikes a good balance when it comes to fat, sodium, and calories.
One of the best things about this option is that you don’t need to worry about the calories from the sides. You can enjoy Broccoli Beef with white steamed rice (380 calories) and Super Greens (45 calories) and still bring your meal in at 575 calories – that’s just less than the 600 calories suggested by health authorities.
Stock Photo: Not Panda Express
Other low-calorie, low-sodium menu items include String Bean Chicken Breast (210 calories,420 mg of sodium), Black Pepper Angus Steak Entree (210 calories, 560mg of sodium), and Grilled Asian Chicken (275 calories, 470mg of sodium).
Visiting Panda Express with a friend who isn’t so worried about their sodium levels – but, is watching their calories, then check out our guide to the lowest calorie choices in Panda Express here.
The Lowest Sugar, Lowest Sodium Option
This is where our old friend the Sweet & Sour Chicken Breast stops being your best choice. While it only contains 260mg of sodium, the yummy Sweet & Sour Sauce means it has a whopping 24 grams of sugar – that’s like pouring seven teaspoons of table sugar onto your dinner!
Therefore, you might need to be a bit clever when ordering something that’s both low in sugar and low sodium in Panda Express.
Stock image: Not Panda Express
String Bean Chicken Breast, Broccoli Beef, and Black Pepper Angus Steak Entree are probably your best three options. Out of these three menu items, String Bean Chicken Breast contains the least amount of sugar (5 grams) – and has 560 mg of sodium. The other two contain 7 grams of sugar and 520mg/560mg of sodium respectively.
To keep sugar and sodium to a minimum, the best sides you can order with one of these items are Super Greens (1 gram of sugar) and white steamed rice (0 grams of sugar).
However do remember that white rice is a high-GI food, which means it converts quickly to the sugar glucose once it enters your body. Because it has more fiber, brown rice might be a better choice.
The Lowest Sodium Vegetarian/Vegan Option
Unfortunately, there aren’t as many choices on the Panda Express many for vegetarians, but, you can still order lower sodium without meat.
Pick the Super Greens Entree Size with the Brown Rice and you’ll get a tasty meal for just 145mg of sodium – this is slightly higher in protein than, picking the white rice, but it’s still pretty low.
You can add an extra 4g of protein from picking the Eggplant Tofu. This does contains 520mg of sodium, so combine it with a low sodium side like the brown rice.
It’s worth noting that some Panda Express restaurants use garlic butter to make their super greens, so they might not be suitable for vegan diners – make sure you check first.
The Lowest Sodium Gluten-Free Option
You might be disappointed to hear that there are no gluten-free options on Panda Express’ main menu – as I’m sure you’re aware, soy sauce is used in many Chinese dishes, plus you’ll find flour in the sauces and coatings of things like the Sweet & Sour Chicken.
In fact, according to the latest allergen information on the fast-food chains’ website, the only gluten-free menu item is brown and white steamed rice.
White steamed rice contains 0 grams of sodium and brown steamed rice contains 15 grams – but, it’s probably not the most appetizing meal!
In this post, we’ve looked at how to eat low-sodium at Panda Express. Hopefully, you now know exactly what to order the next time you visit your local restaurant – if your favourite isn’t listed here, then check out the official Panda Express Nutritional Information where you’ll find sodium content for all the Panda Express dishes.