Kidney Diet Tips

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Sandwich-High Blood Pressure Connection: Try These Lower Sodium Sandwich Tips

Is your daily lunchtime sandwich contributing to higher blood pressure and weight gain? Medical News Today has a must read story “Your daily sandwich may be chewing up nearly 50% of your sodium allowance”.   The article describes a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that reveals a typical sandwich can contribute one fifth of daily sodium intake. In addition, people who consumed sandwiches averaged an extra 300 calories a day.The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends daily sodium intake of 2300 mg daily for general population, and 1500 mg or less for people over 50, African Americans, and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. One sandwich can contribute nearly half of the daily sodium intake goal! High sodium intake is linked to higher blood pressure, which impacts the kidneys and progression of chronic kidney disease.

So how does the sodium in a sandwich add up? Sliced bread, bagel, pita, flour tortilla or wrap, hoagie, submarine or ciabatta roll contributes 250 to 700 mg sodium; deli-type meat (2 ounces) contributes 700 mg sodium; homemade tuna salad, pimento cheese spread or peanut butter contributes 150 to 400 mg sodium; 1 slice of processed cheese contributes 200 to 460 mg sodium; 2-3 teaspoons mayonnaise or mustard contributes 50 to 120 mg sodium.

Ways to reduce sodium in sandwiches:

  • Replace deli meats with fresh-cooked turkey or chicken breast (90 mg sodium), fresh roasted beef or pork, and avoid ham, hot dogs and sausage products.
  • Go for natural cheeses such as Swiss, cheddar or mozzarella (50-180 mg sodium) instead of processed cheese slices, and limit to 1 ounce.
  • Compare breads and rolls and limit to 2 ounces per sandwich. Consider an open-faced sandwich or lettuce wrap, or purchase or make homemade low-sodium breads, pita or tortillas.
  • Limit amount of spreads added to sandwiches, compare and buy lower sodium brands, or switch to oil and vinegar.

Choosing lower sodium ingredients and controlling portions makes a big difference in sodium content of  sandwiches.

Check these lower sodium sandwich recipes from DaVita.com:

Resources from DaVita.com:

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 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 currently 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.