Skip to Main Content

Starting Tuesday, any chain restaurant in New York City with 15 or more locations nationwide will be required to post warning symbols next to dishes that are high in sodium — the first such warning labels in the United States.

The symbol, a white salt shaker on a black triangle, will go next to any dish that contains more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, the amount that experts recommend the average person consume in one day. Too much sodium can increase blood pressure, but the jury is still out on how sodium affects risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and death, according to a 2013 Institute of Medicine report

Some of the dishes may come as a surprise to diners. Here, in ascending order of saltiness, are six dishes — from “heart-healthy” salads to monster sandwiches — that will soon come with a warning label.


Margarita Grilled Chicken, Chili’s (2,450 milligrams)

Advertised as a “Lighter Choice” because of its calorie count — under 600 — this dish features chicken, rice, black beans, and about a teaspoon of salt.

Classic Breakfast Crepes, IHOP (2,470 milligrams)

Forget banana and Nutella — think bacon, egg, and cheddar. These two crepes are topped with cheesy sauce and packed with more than a day’s worth of sodium.


Apple Harvest Chicken Salad, Friendly’s (2,590 milligrams)

Despite being advertised on Friendly’s menu as “Heart Healthy,” this salad packs a whopping salty punch. Want to cut down? Leave off the dressing, which has just under half of the meal’s total sodium.

Grilled Shrimp ’N Spinach Salad, Applebee’s (2,990 milligrams)

Spinach might make Popeye strong, but if it was in this salad, it probably also made him pretty thirsty. A cup of spinach has only about 24 milligrams of sodium, according to the US Department of Agriculture — less than 1 percent of the total sodium content of this salad.

Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad, Chili’s (3,460 milligrams)

This is the saltiest salad STAT could find. It has enough salt for the average adult — for a day-and-a-half.

Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak on a white giant sub, Jersey Mike’s (7,795 milligrams)

This monster sandwich has enough sodium for the average adult for over three days. You can bulk up on fiber with the whole-wheat version, which saves you a paltry 5 milligrams in the salt department.