Sodium

A sodium restriction is an important part of the diet for kidney patients. We recommend no more than 2000 mg (2 grams) of sodium per day, which is a teaspoon of salt. However, you need to include in that amount what is already present in foods. Studies have shown the average American consumes about twice the recommended amount of sodium per day, and only about 10% of this comes from the salt shaker. The rest is already in present in the food you eat.

Your dietitian can assist you in reducing the amount of sodium within your diet. Here are a few tips:

  • You may add small amounts of salt to your food during cooking - then, take the salt shaker off the table.
    • Do not use salt substitute.
    • Use Mrs. Dash (Salt free seasoning) in place of salt
    • Avoid all seasoning salt, sea salt and garlic and onion salts
  • Limit the intake of fast food and eating out, NO more than 3 times a week
  • Limit the intake of convenience foods and pre-packaged foods:
    • Fresh foods and home cooked meals will contain the least amount of sodium
    • Take one day of the week to plan and prepare meals a head of time
    • Choose frozen meals that have 600mg of sodium per serving or less
  • Limit processed and smoked meats, fish and cheeses
    • Use fresh cuts of beef, chicken and fish.
    • Limit pickles, sauerkraut, olives, V-8 juice, canned soups.
  • Read food labels. Choose foods that are between:
    • Limit foods with a daily value of 20% or greater
    • Choose snack foods that have a daily value of 6% or less per serving