CKD Blog
CKD Blog
Blog CKD
Blog IRC
ERC Blog
Back to CKD blog overview
Zurück zur CKD Blog Übersicht
Retourner à l'aperçu du blog sur l'IRC
Torna al CKD Blog
Volver a ERC Blog
A low-salt diet is enormously important for kidney disease. It lowers blood pressure, ensures that blood pressure lowering medication works better and reduces your thirst.
Here's what you need to know
Das solltest du wissen
Ecco cosa c'è da sapere
Voici ce qu'il faut savoir
Esto es lo que debe saber
  • A low-salt diet is recommended for many dialysis patients, as it is incredibly important for regulating blood pressure, for the effectiveness of the medications you take and for keeping your fluid balance

  • A low-salt diet means a maximum of 4.5 - 6 grams, which is about one third of an average daily consumption

  • There are many tips & tricks to mastering a low-salt diet - the hardest part is not necessarily the taste, but more importantly, changing a habit

This article and more can found in the Mizu app! Download for free now:
Diesen Artikel und mehr findest du in der Mizu App! Lade dir die App jetzt kostenlos herunter:
Questo e altri articoli si trovano nell'app Mizu! Scaricatela subito gratuitamente:
Cet article et bien d'autres se trouvent dans l'application Mizu !
Télécharge-la gratuitement  :
¡Este artículo y muchos más en la aplicación Mizu. Descárgala gratis ahora:

What do water, salt and sodium have to do with each other?

Your doctor has probably recommend that you reduce the amount of fluids that you drinking. This is important because your kidneys don't have the ability of producing urine sufficiently. If not adhered to, too much water in your body will be very dangerous for your cardiovascular system. Additional consumption aggravates the problem, as salt causes thirst, which makes it more difficult to adhere to fluid restrictions.

Salt - or sodium - plays an important role in balancing fluids in your body. More specifically, salt binds water in the body, thereby promoting water retention in the body.

By the way, sodium is just the pure chemical form of salt. Common salt (=salt) is chemically sodium chloride, i.e. a compound of sodium and chlorine. Since salt therefore does not only contain sodium, this requires a mathematical conversion. 1 gram of table salt corresponds to about 0.4 grams of sodium, the rest is chlorine.

Doesn't dialysis take sodium out of my body anyway?

While dialysis therapy can target and remove sodium, a low sodium diet is very important in kidney disease. As mentioned in the beginning it lowers blood pressure, ensures that medications work appropriately, and reduces feelings of thirst. In case you're interested, an approximate target for your blood sodium is 135 - 145 mmol/l. Unfortunately, you can't blindly use the blood sodium value to judge whether you are eating too much or too little. It's a bit more complicated. For this reason, it is even more important to orientate yourself to daily guidelines for your diet.

How much salt do you consume on average per day?

The average salt consumption in many European countries is 8-10 grams per person per day. However, this is more than the 6 grams that is recommended by the German Nutrition Society. In other terms, this is equivalent to 2,400 mg of sodium per day. Of these 8-10 grams, about one third comes from natural foods, one third from industrially produced foods and another third from salt used to season food. This is not surprising, because ready-made products such as a canned soup or a ready-made pizza directly contain between 5 and 10 grams of cooking salt.

How much salt should I eat daily as a dialysis patient?

Most of the time, you will be advised to adhere to a low-salt diet. More concretely, this means reducing your daily salt intake to under 6 grams. That is a little less than half of the usual amount of salt. If you can do this, you will complement your medication and dialysis therapy in the best possible way.

Do I have to give up salt completely now?

Absolutely not. Since we all add too much salt to our diets these days anyway, it's actually not that difficult to reduce the salt content in your diet. You can do it with just two tricks:

1. Get into the habit of seasoning without salt

This may be a bit of an adjustment for some at first, but it's actually not that difficult and tastes just as good if not better. Spices are more versatile and often times much tastier than seasoning with salt.

2. Pay attention to salt content in your choice of processed products

Salt is often used to preserve convenience foods. If you buy more fresh products and pay attention to the salt content on the packaging of ready-made products, you can also save a relatively large number of "salt points" here quite easily.

Maybe now you are saying to yourself that food without salt is rather tasteless. This is in fact only partly true, because the need for salt has been trained in humans. And it's just as easy to train yourself out of it. The taste buds of the human tongue adapt to new amounts of salt in just 2-3 weeks.

"I can't offer my guests unsalted food!"

Instead of salt, you can season with a variety of spices. Many countries, such as Italy or numerous Asian countries, produce delicious dishes despite preparing the dishes almost completely free of salt. And did you know that many professional chefs often cook completely salt-free? Only at the end, i.e. shortly before serving, do they sometimes add a little sea salt. This is because as soon as salt gets into the food, it prevents all the other existing flavors from developing further. But of course, you don't have to now become a professional chef either…. Guests and family members at the table can always reach for the salt shaker if necessary.

If you find it difficult to eat a low-salt diet, there are many more tips and tricks in the Mizu app, as well as examples, alternatives and recipe suggestions for a lower-salt diet. As a dialysis patient, it is incredibly important for your health to optimize your diet. This way, you can best support your body despite the missing work of the kidneys.

Medically reviewed by:
Medizinisch überprüft durch:
Verificato dal punto di vista medico da:
Médicalement vérifié par :
Médicamente comprobado por:
Dr. Diego Parada Rodriguez (en)
Specialist in training for Nephrology
  • ABIM Laboratory Test Reference Ranges ̶ July 2021
  • Ikizler TA, Burrowes JD, Byham-Gray LD, Campbell KL, Carrero JJ, Chan W, Fouque D, Friedman AN, Ghaddar S, Goldstein-Fuchs DJ, Kaysen GA, Kopple JD, Teta D, Yee-Moon Wang A, Cuppari L. KDOQI Clinical Practice Guideline for Nutrition in CKD: 2020 Update. Am J Kidney Dis. 2020 Sep;76(3 Suppl 1):S1-S107.
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung
  • Stevens PE, Levin A; Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes Chronic Kidney Disease Guideline Development Work Group Members. Evaluation and management of chronic kidney disease: synopsis of the kidney disease: improving global outcomes 2012 clinical practice guideline. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Jun 4;158(11):825-30.
Take control of your health,
download Mizu for free
Join more than 10,000 CKD patients and start today!
Nimm’ deine Gesundheit in die Hand, lade Mizu kostenlos herunter
Beginne heute und schließe dich mehr als 10,000 von CKD Betroffenen an!
Prendi in mano la tua salute, scarica Mizu gratuitamente
Inizia oggi stesso e unisciti a più di 10.000 persone affette da CKD!
Prends ta santé en main, télécharge Mizu gratuitement
Commence aujourd'hui et rejoigne plus de 10000 personnes touchées par l'IRC !
Hazte cargo de tu salud,
descarga Mizu gratuitamente
¡Empieza hoy y únete a más de 10000 pacientes con ERC!
<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en" /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="/articles/natrium-dialyse-die-grundlagen" />,<link rel="alternate" hreflang="es" href="/articles/sodio-y-dialisis-lo-basico" />,<link rel="alternate" hreflang="it" href="/articles/sodio-e-dialisi-le-basi" />,<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="/articles/sodium-dialysis-the-basics" />,<link rel="alternate" hreflang="fr" href="/articles/sodium-dialyse-les-bases" />