What Is a Low Sodium Diet?

What Is A Low Sodium Diet

Sodium is a mineral naturally found in foods such as eggs and vegetables and is the main component of table salt. While it performs many essential functions in the body and is vital to your health, there are times we may recommend a low sodium diet. That’s usually the case with heart failure, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

Sodium and Your Kidneys

Sodium, potassium, and chloride are the body’s major electrolytes. Sodium helps regulate blood pressure, blood volume, nerve function, muscle contraction, and how much fluid the body keeps or eliminates.

One of the primary jobs of the kidneys is filtering excess sodium and fluids out of the body and into the urine. Consuming too much sodium can be harmful to patients with kidney disease because the kidneys can no longer effectively eliminate excess sodium or fluids.

As sodium and fluids start building up in the body, patients often experience symptoms, including increased thirst, high blood pressure, and edema (swelling) in the hands, face, and legs. Excess fluid in the bloodstream can overwork the heart, enlarging and weakening it, a condition known as heart failure. Fluid can also build up in the lungs, making it hard to breathe.

What Is a Low Sodium Diet and Why Is It Necessary?

As the name suggests, a low sodium diet is low in sodium. Its goal is to slow the progression of kidney disease and to help improve the patient’s quality of life. We recommend limiting sodium intake to 400 mg per meal and 150 mg per snack. Try to aim for less than 1,500 milligrams each day. To ensure you’re not consuming too much sodium, always read your food labels and pay attention to the serving size.

Processed foods are usually extremely high in sodium, so try to cook your meals from scratch. Always choose fresh meats instead of packaged ones, and opt for fresh fruits and vegetables. If you prefer canned foods, make sure you choose ones that have no added salt. Lowering your sodium intake doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. Numerous salt-free spices and herbs can create delectable dishes!

Kidney Care You Can Trust in McKinney, TX

Contact Texas Advanced Renal Health to learn more about maintaining a low sodium diet to safeguard your kidneys and your overall health. Our team is here to answer your questions and provide you with nutrition tips. You can always count on us for the highest quality of care. Call us at 972-548-4833 to schedule your appointment today!