In Ohio, Bob Evans is an icon. A fresh, homemade lunch at Bob Evans is always appreciated. However, I suffer from high blood pressure, so I know it was important to check out the menu for low sodium options. Below are the salt content of some of Bob Evans’ popular lunch items, and menu suggestions for those of us looking to limit our sodium intake to recommended 500 mg per meal. (Click here for low sodium breakfast options at Bob Evans).
Soups are generally full of salt, and Bob Evans’ soups are no different. The Mayo Clinic recommends people at risk for heart attacks, high blood pressure, swelling, and strokes consume less than 1,500 mg of salt per day. That’s an average of 500 mg per meal. A cup of slow roasted Chicken-N-Noodles is the only soup that contains less than 500 mg of salt. See how Bob Evans’ other soups compare:
Beef Vegetable cup 527 bowl 949
Sausage Chili cup 661 bowl 1,183
Bean Soup cup 716 bowl 1,118
Cheddar Baked Potato cup 782 bowl 1,531
Broccoli Cheddar cup 962 bowl 1,866
So why not just switch to a salad? Salads are the healthier dinner option, right? Wrong! Salad toppings like cheese, ham, bacon bits, and dressing are extremely high in sodium (Check out my article here to see how salad dressing is one of the top five every day foods you don’t know is salty). Bob Evans’ bacon bits alone add 442 mg of sodium to your salad, almost the full amount of salt you are allowed to consume in a single meal.
The Wildfire Grilled Chicken salad contains 968 mg of salt, the savor size Cobb salad contains 1,018 mg of salt, and the Cranberry Pecan Chicken salad contains 1,463 mg of sodium. That is all before adding salad dressing! Three ounces of Lite Ranch dressing contains 704 mg of sodium. Add three ounces of sweet Italian dressing, and your salt intake increased by 741 mg.
Not a single sandwich on Bob Evans’ menu contains less than 500 mg of salt. Few contain less than 1,000 mg of sodium, twice as much as recommended per meal. Half a Chicken Salad sandwich contains 569 mg of salt and a grilled cheese sandwich contains 729 mg of sodium. You can choose half of a turkey bacon melt sandwich for 943 mg of salt or half of a pot roast sandwich, which contains 963 mg of sodium. Because cheese and breads are surprisingly high in sodium (see the full article here), many of Bob Evans’ sandwiches including the Big Farm Smokehouse Burger, the Smokehouse Grilled or Fried Chicken Sandwich, and the Slow-Roasted Turkey, Knife,, & Fork sandwich top out over 2,000 mg of salt!
Low Sodium Options
Unfortunately, consuming less than 500 mg of sodium at lunch at Bob Evans requires a lot of discipline. If you are craving soup, you could opt for a cup of slow roasted Chicken-N-Noodles soup which contains 365 mg of salt. Add a slice of Texas Toast with 129 mg of salt to make it a meal.
If salad is your preferences, opt for the farm house garden salad which contains 126 mg of salt. Pair with 3 oz of reduced fat raspberry dressing for only 184 mg more. Adding the 179 mg of shredded cheese makes this a meal option at under 500 mg of salt.
You can also make a meal from side options. A fruit cup or dish contains less than 10 mg of salt and is always a good option. A plain baked potato has contains no sodium. Top with sour cream (14 mg), butter (32 mg), or even splurge for ranchero picante sauce, which contains 92 mg of salt.
A low sodium lunch is possible with the proper knowledge, planning, and discipline. Although Bob Evans’ low sodium lunch options are limited, with the right amount of dedication anyone watching their salt intake can still enjoy a healthy, flavorful lunch at their favorite home style restaurant.