Kidney Diet Tips

Making Homemade Salad Dressing

Are salads a healthy choice or a diet disaster? When I was in junior high school, our school cafeteria had a salad bar. The salad graduated from a side dish to a main entrée. Many of the toppings included bacon bits, croutons, cheese and creamy salad dressings, which added a lot of sodium, fat and calories. If my salad had gotten a grade, it would have been an “F”. Here are some salad tips to help you earn a top-notch salad grade.

Salads and Kidney Diets

Healthy dietary patterns are high in vegetables. The kidney diet usually includes 2 to 3 servings of vegetables daily and limits sodium. . People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) cannot tolerate high amounts of sodium or processed foods with phosphate or potassium food additives. Salads are a great way to get your veggie quota for the day. With a healthy homemade salad dressing and a kidney-friendly veggie combination, a person with CKD can enjoy salad without the added sodium, unhealthy fat and calories.

Health Benefits

Including salad and a homemade healthy oil-based salad dressing can help add health benefits to your diet. For example, the American Heart Association recommends replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats like olive oil to help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels1.

A Mediterranean-type diet, which includes more plant foods and olive oil, is associated with less inflammation and lower heart attack and stroke risk2.

Making Your Own Salad Dressing

Salad dressing can make or break your best intentions to eat healthy.  By making your own salad dressing, you can limit sodium, unhealthy fats and calories. Try one of these salad dressing recipes from

Try one of these salads with your homemade salad dressing.


  1. Accessed 3/8/21
  2. Accessed 3/8/21

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Dawn Johnson, MS, RDN, LD

Dawn Johnson, MS, RDN, LD

Dawn Johnson MS, RDN, LD knew she wanted to be a dietitian when she was 18 years old. Now practicing over 20 years, Dawn has worked in various settings with a focus in renal nutrition over 12 years. She is passionate about addressing, examining and resolving people’s ambivalence for change. Dawn resides in Highland, Indiana with her husband and 2 young children. During her personal time, she likes to run, visit her local library and volunteer at church.