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6 food swaps to remember: low sodium edition

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

All these flavors, and you choose to be salty.

Sure, we all love salt. It adds flavor. It preserves food. It's good for the skin. But when it comes to your kidneys, salt is...

  • At best, a frenemy

  • At worst, a villain

Here's the salty lowdown

Your body needs to filter blood through your kidneys in order to remove excess water. This requires a balance of sodium and potassium. But a high sodium diet disrupts this balance, causing your kidneys to work harder. What's more, studies have linked excess sodium to an uptick in the amount of protein found in urine, which is a major risk factor for reduced kidney function--and by extension, kidney disease.

In other words, too much of a good thing, and your kidneys may suffer.

Now, imaging grappling with this reality while working with only one kidney. It's not fun. And I'll be honest, I haven't been the best at controlling my sodium intake, though I'm trying really hard. But I've learned to make better choices thanks to my cheat sheet of low sodium swaps. Even one simple change--like replacing sea salt with fresh lemon juice--can lower your sodium intake by 580mg.

All in all, by reducing my sodium intake, I am allowing my remaining kidney to run at its optimal function, which means I can optimize my performance without sacrificing my health. Check out some of my food swaps below.

If not this, then that: 6 low sodium food swaps

High sodium foods:

  • Feta | sodium: 312mg

  • Bread crumbs | sodium: 395mg

  • Sea salt | sodium: 581mg

  • White bread | sodium: 491mg

  • Soy sauce | sodium: 280mg

  • Cream of wheat | sodium: 331mg


feta for goat cheese

Per 28-gram (1 oz) serving: Protein: 5g | Carbs: 1g | Fat: 6g

  • Sodium: 104mg

  • High in calcium

  • Better tolerated

  • Good source of phosphorous

  • Good source of vitamins A & B

bread crumbs for rolled oats

Per 40-gram serving : Protein: 3g | Carbs: 25g | Fiber: 4g | Fat: 6g

  • Sodium: 50mg

  • Great source of Vitamin B1

  • Rich in antioxidants

  • Source of beta-glucan*

  • Rich in manganese

sea salt for fresh lemon juice

Per 100 ml serving: Protein: 0g | Carbs: 9g | Fiber: 0g | Fat: 0g

  • Sodium: 1mg

  • High in Vitamin C

  • Good source of fiber

  • Rich in plant compounds

  • Source of citrate

white bread for sprouted bread

Per 50-gram serving: Protein: 6g | Carbs: 22g | Fiber: 6g | Fat: 1g

  • Sodium: 105mg

  • Packed with manganese

  • Source of digestible proteins

  • Rich in fiber

  • High in nutrients

soy sauce for coconut aminos

Per 5-ml serving: Protein: 0g | Carbs: 1g | Fiber: 0g | Fat: 0g

  • Sodium: 90mg

  • Gluten-free

  • Packed with iron

  • Good source of B-vitamins

  • Good source of calcium

cream of wheat for cream of rice

Per 45-gram serving (dry): Protein: 2g | Carbs: 36g | Fiber: 4g | Fat: 0g

  • Sodium: 0mg

  • Gluten-free

  • Calorie-dense

  • Great source of iron

  • Packed with essential nutrients

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