kidney disease. Which is what you would like to do, right?
You probably already know that the amount of sodium you should eat in a day is the equivalent of about 1 teaspoon. Also known as approximately 2400 mg per day. As a person on a renal diet, your aim should be slightly lower than that – in the 1500 mg per day range.
Let's talk about ways you can reduce the sodium in your diet.
Cook at home more often. Bottom line – you have complete control over the amount of sodium that goes into your meal when you're cooking at home and have a choice of what you put into the meal. Choosing not to add the extra salt, or rinsing your canned vegetables before you put them into the recipe, or using frozen vegetables – all contribute to a lower sodium meal.
Eat more whole food snacks. No, I'm not talking about going to the Whole Foods Market and buying snacks. But I am talking about eating less processed snacks. Eating an apple for a snack is a low potassium low phosphorous choice. If you were to eat applesauce, you would not get as much fiber and you would possibly get a little more sodium in your snack. When I say whole food, I'm referring to the less processed version of a meal or snack. Something that is closer to what it would be found like in nature.
Speaking of whole food snacks, eating fruits and vegetables as part of both your meals and snacks every time lowers your sodium and increases the fiber that you intake. Fresh fruits in season can be reasonably priced. And if you don't like the fresh fruit in season you can grab a bag of the frozen fruits and snack on those. A bowl of strawberries with some artificial sweetener or sugar can be a great snack. Frozen and fresh vegetables have the least amount of sodium. When compared to the canned vegetable, the sodium in a fresh or frozen vegetable is negligible. Choose fresh vegetables when they're in season, and the rest of the year eat the frozen version. Either way, take up half your plate with fruits and vegetables and you'll be lower in sodium and much healthier.
Cut back on condiments. You may not realize it but ketchup has a lot of sodium in it. I'm aware that on a renal diet you're not necessarily going to be eating a lot of ketchup or tomatoes, but almost every condiment is processed and has added sodium. Barbecue sauce, mustard, and salad dressings all are higher in sodium. For salad dressing as an example, you could use oil and vinegar instead of a process salad dressing and that would decrease the amount of sodium that you had in that salad.
I know it's hard to reduce the amount of sodium that you have in your diet especially when you eat out a lot or you eat a lot of processed foods. But the awareness that you need to follow a renal diet should help you to make this positive choices and take some of the steps that are going to be vital to reducing your sodium intake, and therefore improving your kidney function.
If you want new recipes every week that are low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus and made especially for kidney diet check out our meal plans by clicking here and learning more about them.