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Sodium is a mineral that the body needs in small amounts. Because sodium is found in table salt, most people eat far more sodium than they need. When sodium intake is too high, it can increase thirst and cause the body to retain fluid. To avoid these side effects, people with kidney disease are often told to eat less sodium. The tips on this sheet can show you how.
Unlike canned and processed foods, fresh foods have no added salt and are better for you. When you’re food shopping:
Choose fresh foods when you can.
Read food labels before buying packaged foods. Check the label’s nutrition facts for sodium amounts and servings per package.
Try to pick packaged foods with a sodium content of 140 mg (milligrams) or less per serving.
Do not choose foods with over 400 mg of sodium per serving.
Try the seasonings and foods listed below to season without sodium.
Basil: tomatoes, squash, eggplant, soups, fish
Curry: soups, rice, lentils, chicken
Dill: beets, cucumbers, green beans
Garlic: sauces, vegetables, meats, fish
Ginger: carrots, chicken, cooked fruit, white sauces
Lemon: asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, spinach, fish
Mint: cold soups, salads, fruit dishes
Oregano: eggplant, chicken, salads, sauces
Thyme: chicken, fish, lean meats, soups, stews
Do not use seasoning salt or salt substitutes. They may contain sodium or potassium (another mineral people with kidney disease are often told to limit).