Salt is a mainstay in our lives. It’s necessary for survival and revolutionized the science of preserving food. It also adds zest to otherwise bland meals, so of course, it’s not surprising that many of us have become somewhat addicted to salt, and when you have chronic kidney disease, this can be a very bad thing. We can very easily get overly accustomed to eating salt on everything since it’s part of so many foods (including all the processed foods we eat in America).
Therefore when it is medically necessary to cut down on salt we
are not quite sure how to change our diet and still make it taste good or what substitutes to use in order to maintain a similar flavor.
Salt substitutes are usually a good option but they can be just as dangerous as the real thing if you have kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or liver disease. If you have any of these you should not take any substitutes unless approved by your doctor.
Salt substitutes contain high levels of potassium and it can be very unhealthy. Salt itself is not bad for us, in fact the body needs both salt and potassium because they pump fluid in and out of our cells. In fact the right amount of sodium regulate our fluid levels to prevent dehydration but too much salt or potassium can be dangerous.
Since too much salt can cause high blood pressure which can lead to kidney disease, heart disease and stroke. Salt substitutes are best when cooking and baking. Potassium is like salt but tastes better if mixed with regular salt and by using sodium-free baking powder.
You can also replace salt with herbs, spices, flavored vinegar and lemon juice. And you can also use Mrs. Dash sold at the grocery store or even make your own from recipes on the internet.
It is recommended that we limit our sodium to about 1 teaspoon per day.
For more advice on every aspect of eating with chronic kidney disease and which herbs, spices and supplements are the best way to support normal kidney function, be sure to check out our videos.