For most people, the higher the sodium intake, the higher their blood pressure will be. High sodium intake can lead to health issues such as congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease (CKD), cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. Therefore, it is important to limit sodium intake with the food and meals you eat. Understand you do not need to completely eliminate sodium out of all diets. Sodium is necessary for maintaining fluid balance as well as transmitting nerve impulses throughout the body. Here are a few tips as a guide to low-sodium recipes and foods that are common and that can be eaten when on a kidney-friendly diet.
Low Sodium Recipes for Kidney Healthy Meals
Low-Sodium Kidney Diet Tips
The bodies of individuals suffering from kidney disease or who are on dialysis do not have the ability to balance sodium and water. Therefore, restricting sodium intake and fluid is the main factor in a kidney diet. Consuming sodium in an excessive amount will make a person feel thirsty, which makes it harder to restrict fluid intake. Here are some common tips for low-sodium diets that are healthy for your kidneys.
How to Identify Low/High Sodium Foods
The main way to identify sodium is to think of any type of salts such as sea salt, table salt, and even kosher salt. American dietary guidelines recommend that children and adults should only consume up to 2,300mg of sodium per day. Those that are 51 and older as well as those with hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease should only consume up to 1,500mg per day of sodium. For reference, one teaspoon of salt has just about 2,300mg of sodium.
Always check the food labels when buying groceries. Although not all products will taste salty, they may still contain sodium. To identify the salt sources that are in a product, you must look for keywords such as sodium, baking soda, baking powder, and brine. These are generally hidden sources of salt/sodium. To limit sodium intake, choose food ingredients or products that have less than 200mg of sodium or a 10 percent value of your daily sodium intake.
Fruits and Vegetables
Almost all fruits have little to no sodium. The best fruits are whole fruits such as berries, apples, peaches, and pears. In terms of vegetables, the best options are fresh or frozen that do not have added salt. Before using canned vegetables, you should look at the ingredients list to ensure there are low amounts or no salts that have been added. If you must buy canned vegetables, empty the vegetables out and wash them using a colander with fresh water. Then, proceed to cook the vegetables to remove any remaining salt.
Meat and Dairy Products
When food companies produce the food, they use salt in processing. Manufacturers will add salt to foods like curing meat for flavor and moisture. Fresh meats and fish are the best options when opting for low-sodium meals on a kidney diet. Again, always check the labels to avoid any meats, fish, or dairy with high amounts of sodium.
Why Low-Sodium Is Important For a Kidney Diet
For people with kidney disease, consuming a high amount of sodium will cause their bodies to absorb and hold extra fluid. In turn, this will cause blood pressure to rise. Other potential side effects include puffy eyelids and swollen ankles. High sodium intake can even cause difficulty when it comes to breathing because the fluid will surround the heart and lungs.
Even if you don’t experience symptoms, a kidney diet is still beneficial as it limits thirst and helps to limit weight gain. Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and help to avoid other health complications later on.
Additional Reading: Kidney diet (renal diet) - Mayo Clinic
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