Kidney Diet Tips

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How much salt do you use?

If you have kidney disease or are at risk one question to ask yourself is “How much salt do you add in cooking or at the table?” Try to evaluate by measuring all the salt you use in cooking or at the table for 2 to 3 days. Use the chart below to estimate added salt and the effect of reducing it.

This portion of salt provides This amount of sodium
1/4 teaspoon 600 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon 1200 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon 1800 mg sodium
1 teaspoon 2300 mg sodium

Make a difference in your sodium intake by doing the following:

  • Read labels and choose the lowest sodium brand
  • Look for no salt added, low sodium and reduced sodium products
  • Limit how often you eat at restaurants, fast food places and order take out foods
  • Taste food before adding salt and keep it to a minimum if you must add it.
  • Trade salt shaker and high sodium condiments for herb and spice blends.
  • Use tart low sodium flavorings like lemon or lime juice and vinegar
  • Prepare home made meals from fresh ingredients
  • Limit use of packaged and processed foods
  • Buy no salt added or low sodium canned or frozen vegetables and sauces

If you have high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease, lowering salt and sodium intake will help control blood pressure. If you are on dialysis, reducing sodium helps control thirst so fluid restriction is easier. The payoff is a stronger heart and lower blood pressure.

The whole family benefits from your new focus on sodium. Nearly 2/3 of all people over forty in the US develop high blood pressure. By reducing sodium intake your family decreases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease, as well as a reduction in kidney disease risk.

Check out over 650 kidney-friendly recipes on DaVita.com to help you and your family discover and enjoy lower sodium homemade meals.

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

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Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 30 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.