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Sodium (Na)

Sodium is an essential mineral that helps regulate your blood pressure and fluid balance. It is found in many canned, packaged, fast foods, and seasonings.

Sodium affects movement of body fluids and blood pressure by acting on the nephron to reabsorb water leading to fluid retention within the body. The more sodium present in the body, the more water will be reabsorbed in the tubule. In a healthy person, the daily-recommended sodium intake is less than 2000 mg/day.

When looking at lab results, normal blood sodium levels should be between 135-145 mEg/L. As the kidney function declines, sodium levels may be out of range. Therefore it is important to monitor for foods high in sodium to control our sodium intake.

To reduce sodium intake avoid pickled, processed, cured, and salted foods. Instead of buying prepared meals, cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients can lower your sodium intake. It is important to remember to not use salt substitutes as they contain a high source of potassium, also affecting kidney function. Talking to the registered dietitian during your clinic appointments will teach you how to read nutrition labels for processed and packaged foods.

Food lower in Sodium:
Food higher in sodium:       

Here is a helpful document from the National Kidney Disease Education Program on Sodium!