What Is Sodium And How Does It Affect My Kidneys?
Sodium is a mineral that is found in many foods. Many processed foods have added amounts of sodium to preserve the contents. You may be steadily decreasing the fat in your diet but not realize how much sodium you take in and how it is affecting your kidneys. Sodium can be linked to increased blood pressure, and increase blood pressure levels cause damage to your kidneys over time whether you’re aware of your blood pressure being high or not. Sodium can also make you feel dehydrated. Start looking for low sodium foods in your grocery store and in restaurants.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you take in only about 2300 mg of sodium per day for a normal adult, and only about 1500 mg per day for someone who has high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease. On average, Americans still eat around 3400 mg of sodium per day. That’s about 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt per day.
What Foods Are High In Sodium?
Among the foods highest in sodium, are processed foods such as soups and canned products. You should learn to read labels and look for the line that says sodium and try to keep it to less than 250 mg per serving. In addition to food you may eat at home, the good majority of restaurant food is very high in sodium. When dining out, ask your server about how much salt is in your meal, and options to put sauces and gravies on the side.
How Do I Find Low Sodium Foods?
When you’re looking for low sodium foods, reading labels is one of the most important things that you can do. Comparing the exact same product may show that one pasta sauce has 80 mg of sodium and another pasta sauce has 400 mg per serving. Make sure the serving size is the same and choose wisely.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially those that are frozen or fresh. Canned fruits and vegetables can be higher in sodium, so choosing a frozen product may give you a fresher meal and reduce sodium altogether. Eat fruits that are in season that match your potassium requirement. And mix in extra vegetables into soups and casseroles to make them tastier and more filling.
Speaking of mixing extra vegetables into soups and casseroles, it’s very important that you prepare more meals from scratch at home. Our renal diet meal plans show you how to make meals at home seven days a week for dinner. No matter how you slice it, you really need to eat those foods that are not coming from boxes or frozen convenience foods, but something that you made that you can control the amount of sodium per serving.
Finally, look at the portion size of foods that you’re eating. You may find a pasta sauce with only 80 mg but determined that the serving size is only 1 tablespoon. You’re definitely going to eat more pasta sauce than that. So when you’re comparing make sure that you’re aware of how much are actually going to eat of the product.
Finding low sodium foods can be difficult, and cooking at home can be a challenge. Looking up recipes and planning meals can take a while, especially when it’s new to you. If you’re looking for an easier way, click on over to our renal diet meal plans and check out what we do for you here every day.