Protect Your Kidneys: How to Flavor Foods Without Too Much Salt

For patients diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, being careful with food and beverages is crucial

The kidney is an organ that filters the blood of the body, it needs a good nutrition to be able to do its work in the best way. This is especially important for those who have some nephropathy, such as Chronic Kidney Disease. It is for this reason that we talked with Lidia Carreño, nutritionist dietitian Baxter RCS, who gave us some keys to understand this issue.

To start, Lidia reminds us that salt, or rather sodium chloride, is a chemical that can be ingested and used in countless preparations. In addition, sodium is very important for a healthy diet, as it "intervenes in multiple functions at the organic level and the functioning of the body. Approximately 135 to 145 mq/l of sodium is needed in the body for an adequate acid-basic balance, maintain a good state of hydration, maintain muscle and heart function".

With that being said, this nutritionist reminds us that salt is not absolutely necessary in the diet, but the body does need sodium to function properly. In addition, these professional highlights that salt consumption is allowed in people with nephropathies, because in addition sodium provides iodine, chlorine and magnesium, which are important for certain functions of metabolism. However, there should be guidelines proposed by a doctor and nutritionist.

How do you know how much salt could be harmful?

"The really harmful thing is to have an excess in salt consumption, exceeding the daily nutritional recommendations", explains this specialist, who reminds us that "In chronic kidney disease, excess can have an effect on increased blood pressure, over hydration, cardiovascular disorders, among others. However, the deficit will also have consequences".

Healthy and tasty alternatives to reduce our salt consumption
In the case of low salt diets, which must be determined by a Nutritionist diagnosis of a nephrologist for each patient, Lidia recommends other options that also flavor foods without raising sodium levels, as certain natural spices free of chemical processes:

• Garlic
• Onion
• Coriander
• Parsley
• Oregano
• Laurel
• Thyme
• Cinnamon
• Pepper


Meals away from home: under the magnifying glass

Although at home it can be easy to monitor the type of food we consume, when leaving, it is important not to let your guard down in this aspect and avoid foods that may have high concentrations of salt.

"Outside the home we are exposed to higher consumption of processed and ultra-processed foods. These in turn are the highest sodium content. My recommendation is to avoid and control the quantity and frequency of consumption of food such as bottled beverages (soft drinks, sodas malts, etc.), canned goods, sausages, cured/matured meats, bakery products and commercial sauces", recommends Lidia, who also appeals to execute a review of the nutritional content labels of the products we consume. "Watch for "high sodium" messages; check the ingredient list and identify that the salt is not within the first three ingredients. Hopefully it is a product free of "monosodium glutamate", warns.