Kidney Diet Tips

Food Facts Friday: Pretzels

The earliest pretzels date back to the 6th century. However the hard pretzel is not so old. According to Wikipedia, hard pretzels originated in Pennsylvania in the 1850s. Although they come in many shapes, traditional pretzels are known for their classic twist. But they should also be known for their versatility.

For those watching salt intake, pretzels are available in an unsalted variety. Sodium in the diet can add up quickly, especially when snacking on convenience and processed foods. It’s great to have the option to choose a lower sodium snack. A one-ounce serving of unsalted mini pretzels (20 pieces or 30 grams) contains 75 mg sodium. The salted version contains 250 mg sodium for the same amount.

Potassium in hard pretzels ranges from 40 to 65 mg per serving and phosphorus averages 35 mg. Pretzels are low in fat and average 25 grams of carbohydrate per ounce.

Soft pretzels vary in size from 2 to 5 ounces, which means the sodium, potassium and phosphorus also varies. A small 2-ounce soft pretzel with unsalted top contains 156 mg sodium, 55 mg potassium and 48 mg phosphorus. A larger 4-ounce soft pretzel with unsalted top contains 290 mg sodium, 100 mg potassium and 90 mg phosphorus.

Unsalted hard pretzels can be enjoyed plain — how I prefer them — or served in a variety of ways. If you are looking for an added boost of flavor, they can be served with mustard or a dip.

Consider these savory dip recipes to serve with unsalted pretzels:

Unsalted pretzels can be transformed with the addition of spices, a small amount of oil and an hour in the oven, like the recipe from for Addictive Pretzels.You may also want to consider incorporating unsalted pretzels in your favorite dish to gain some added texture, like how they are included in this classic summer dessert Pretzel Salad. You can even make your own soft pretzels at home by following this kidney-friendly recipe for Soft Pretzels.

Add a twist and crunch to your snacking with unsalted pretzels.

Reference:; accesses 12/26/2018

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.

Melanie Wierda, RD, CSR

Melanie Wierda, RD, CSR

Melanie is thrilled to start her blogging journey with DaVita. She has been a dietitian for over three years. In her free time, she enjoys running, visiting the local farmers' market and volunteering with a local nutrition education program.