Table of Contents
Salt and Sodium Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus: A Reference for the Dialysis Patient

Consume no more than ________ mg. sodium each day.

Edema: swelling in the tissues due to water retention.


Sodium is a major mineral needed to maintain water balance

Too much sodium in your body will make you thirsty and cause you to drink too much fluid. Rapid weight gain usually means you have had too much sodium and water. Edema, high blood pressure, and in extreme cases heart failure are caused by too much sodium.

REMEMBER! Thirst is not an indication of how much you should drink!

MSG: monosodium glutamate; a flavor intensifier





1 teaspoon of salt contains 2000 mg. of sodium!



Sodium is found in most foods but in varying amounts. Most foods in their natural state, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, contain only a small amount of sodium. Some sodium occurs naturally in fresh meat like beef, veal, pork, poultry, and fish and in milk. On the other hand, food that has been processed is usually high in sodium because it is frequently added during processing.

A high concentration of sodium is found in table salt (sodium chloride), soda, baking powder, and MSG. Condiments such as catsup, relishes, pickles, mustard, horseradish, soy sauce, and flavored salts like garlic salt are generally high in sodium as are prepared and convenience foods, and food from fast food restaurants. Avoid foods that are cured or in a brine solution.

Foods containing "hidden" salt or sodium may not taste salty but they can still make you thirsty.

DO NOT use "salt substitute". It contains high amounts of potassium.

Read food labels look for ingredients containing the word "sodium" (like disodium phosphate) to detect hidden sodium.

When buying canned goods, choose low-sodium varieties. Rinse regular canned vegetable well before cooking to decrease their sodium content.

The following foods and seasonings contain high amounts of sodium and should be consumed sparingly.

Barbecued, Cured, Salty

Bacon (beef, pork, turkey)


Meat or Fish

Ham (pork or turkey)


Hot dogs (beef, pork, poultry)


Lunch meats (regular bologna,

salami, pickle-loaf, Spam, etc.)

Sausage (beef, pork, poultry,

Vienna, venison, etc.)

Dried chipped beef

Salt pork


Hot links

Kosher meats


Canned Main Dishes &

Corned beef, corned beef hash

Bouillon (canned, cubes)

Other Canned Foods

canned chili, pastas, stews

Pork and beans

deviled ham, potted meats


Soups (canned, dehydrated,

Pickled vegetables (pickles,


relish, sauerkraut, olives,

Consommé, canned broth

okra, beets, jalapenos

Salty Bread Products

Snack foods (corn ships, potato

Salted popcorn

chips, etc.)

Packaged side-dishes (Rice-A-

Saltine crackers

Roni, noodle mixes,

Pretzels, salted

macaroni and cheese)

Seasonings & Sauces

Salt, sea salt

Tobasco sauce

Onion salt

Worcestershire sauce

Celery salt

Chili sauce

Garlic salt

Soy sauce

Lemon pepper

Steak sauce

Meat tenderizers & extracts

Barbecue sauce

Puoltry seasoning

Taco sauce

Accent (MSG)

Tartar sauce

Prepared horseradish

Teriyaki sauce

A-1 sauce

Prepared mustard




Salted nuts and snacks

Pot pies

Tomato and vegetable juices

Cheese spreads

Softened water

Chip and vegetable dips

Baking powder

Frozen dinners

Baking soda

Frozen entrees and side-dishes

Processed cheeses (Velveeta,


Recipes for Salt Shaker Substitutes

For all of the following recipes, blend in a food processor or blender until the mixture is fine enough to pour out of a salt shaker.

  1. 3 tsp. each of: paprika, dry mustard, parsley, onion powder

  2. 1 tsp. each of: garlic powder, basil
    1 tsp. white pepper
    ä tsp. thyme

  3. 2 tsp each of: paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard

  4. 5 tsp. onion powder
    tsp. white pepper
    ä tsp. celery seed

  5. Note: This blend is great for meats and vegetables.

  6. tsp. cayenne pepper
    1 tbsp. garlic powder
    1 tsp. each of: basil, parsley, onion powder, thyme, sage, marjoram, savory black pepper, mace

  7. 3 tsp. thyme
    1 tsp. sage
    2 tsp. rosemary
    3 tsp. marjoram

  8. 1 tsp. celery seed

  9. 2 tsp. each of: marjoram, savory
    2 tsp. thyme
    1 tsp. basil

  10. tsp. each of: thyme, marjoram, celery seed, garlic powder

  11. ä tsp. each of: onion powder, curry powder, dill weed
    3 tsp. paprika

  12. 1 tsp. of each of: thyme, sage, rosemary, tarragon

  13. 1 tsp. each of: savory, marjoram

  14. 2 tsp. each of: thyme, rosemary, marjoram

  15. 2 tsp. savory
    1 tsp. sage

  16. pepper
    garlic powder
    onion powder
    dill or tarragon
    nutmeg or cloves
    cayenne or chili powder

Seasoning Food without Salt

Herbs and spices add only flavor to foods. You can use them freely in cooking or at the table. You can purchase commercial blends or individual spices and herbs to add during meal preparation. The following chart is helpful in determining which spices to use for which foods.


Spice cakes, and cookies, plums, peaches, apple pies, breads, sausages, beef, lamb, oysters, pork, stews, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash


Cookies, cakes, breads


Italian foods, beef, eggs, fish, liver, poultry, soups, stews, cabbage, green beans, green peas, summer squash, tomatoes, white potatoes, vegetable salad, pasta

Bay Leaves

Meat stews, soups, game, pot roasts, beef, chicken, fish, lamb, veal, sauces, artichokes, green beans, beets, carrots, eggplant, onions, white potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes

Caraway Seeds

Beef, goose, pork, tuna, Eggs, noodles, breads, asparagus, cooked potatoes, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, turnips, winter squash, salads, soups, cookies


Spice cakes and cookies, apple and pumpkin pies, winter squash, sweet potatoes

Celery Seeds

Cold vegetable salads


Green salads, fish, shellfish, chicken, eggs, peas, green beans, tomatoes


Scalloped potatoes, salads, meat, tuna, eggs, cottage cheese, baked potatoes, potato salad

Chili Powder

Meat stews, soups, eggs, beef, corn, eggplant, lima beans, onions, Spanish sauces, tomatoes

Cilantro (corriander leaves)

Rice, fish, shellfish, poultry, vegetables, salsa, salads


Spice cakes, cookies, breads, fruit and squash pies, custard, fruit sauces, carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, rice


Spice cakes, cookies, quick breads, fruit pies, fruit sauces, beef, chicken, fish, pork, beets, sweet potatoes, winter squash, tomatoes, peas

Coriander Seeds

Whole for pickles; Ground for soups, rice, fish, shellfish, poultry, vegetables, salsa, salads


Curried vegetables, fish, lamb, beef, chili with meat, coleslaw, potato dishes

Curry Powder

Chicken, eggs, fish, meats, carrots, cauliflower, corn, green beans, lima beans, onion, tomatoes


Seeds in rice and fish dishes; Leaves with eggs, seafood, chicken, sauces, cucumbers, green beans, cabbage, beets, cauliflower, peas, salads, tomatoes, turnips, white potatoes


Breads, cakes, cookies, oily fish, soup, vegetables

Garlic/Garlic Powder

(NO GARLIC SALT) fish, meats, soups, salads, dressings, tomatoes, bread


Ground in cakes, cookies, fruit and squash pies; crystallized and preserved in cakes and cookies; fresh (sliced or grated) in marinades and with fish, poultry, pork, cornish hen, lamb, veal, pork and vegetables


Fish, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, salads


Spice cakes and cookies, fruit desserts, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, summer squash, potatoes, hot bread


Fish, lamb, beef, pork, veal, poultry, eggs, vegetables, tomato sauce


Lamb, cabbage, carrots, peas, white potatoes

Mrs. Dash/Papa Dash

Beef, pork, poultry, eggs, vegetables

Mustard (dry)

Beef, chicken, eggs, fish, pork, sauces, asparagus, baked beans, beets, broccoli, brussels, sprouts, peas, salads, white potatoes


Beef, chicken, cottage cheese, fruits, cream sauces, and soups, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, brussels sprouts, onions, cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, custard, eggnog

Onion/Onion Powder

(NO ONION SALT) meats, salads, vegetables


Meats, meat loaf, meat sauces, fish, poultry, cheese, eggs, vegetable soup, baked beans, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, peas, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, summer squash, eggplant


Cooked salads, salad dressings, sauces, soups, fish, shellfish, poultry, meats, eggs


Soups, stocks, cream and tomato sauces, salads, salad dressing, poultry, game, meats, fish, shellfish, eggs, most vegetables

Poppy Seeds

Cakes, cookies, breads, noodles


Game, poultry, meats, mushrooms, potatoes, stuffing


Fish soups, stews, tomato and cream soups, couscous, cakes, breads


Stuffing, chicken, duck, goose, pork, sausage


Meat loaf, sausage, poultry, eggs, cauliflower, tomatoes, onions


Chicken, veal, fish, shellfish, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots


Fish chowder, fish, shellfish, sausage, poultry, tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms


Curry dishes, pickles, relishes, rice dishes. Added to prepared mustard and curry powders.


Fish, meat, spaghetti sauce, other sauces, salads