What is Low Sodium?

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive And Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a food label showing a Percent Daily Value for Sodium of 5% or less (120mg) is considered low sodium. However, the NIDDK’s definition of low salt is based on a daily allowance of 2400 mg of sodium.  That’s 20% more than my nephrologist recommends for my 2000 mg per day kidney diet!

Low Sodium
Source: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/eating-nutrition

So, I decided to check out some low sodium food labels.

low salt
Source: https://www.campbells.com/campbell-soup/campbells-low-sodium-soups/ready-to-serve-low-sodium-chicken-with-noodles-soup/

I know that canned soup is generally salty, so I checked out Campbell’s chicken soup. Note, that this item is ‘ready to serve’, which usually means even more salt.  Remember that the nephrologist recommended maximum daily amount of sodium is 2000 mg. And 5% of that is only 100 mg!  This soup has 120 mg of sodium, or 6% of your daily maximum. 

Don’t Forget the Fluid!

The can contains 10.75 ounces, much of that will be fluid. While you may be able to fit the sodium count into your daily total, you may also need to consider your fluid intake as well.

Or the Potassium

This soup also has a lot of potassium, 490 mg or nearly 1/4th of your likely daily maximum.

So, be careful eating this soup and pay attention to your daily totals of fluid, sodium, and potassium

What About Frozen Dinners?

We don’t seem to fare much better here. The “light” versions are great for weight loss diets, low calorie and / or low fat. But the sodium count is rather high. This chart of “The Best Frozen Dinners” was taken from WebMD[icon name=”copyright” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]. While all the items are low in calories and fat, only one item in the chart has less than 500 mg of sodium, and that is the Celentano Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

low salt
Source: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/best-frozen-dinners#2

Low sodium foods are often high in something else, and low calorie foods are often high in sodium. Proving that you must always read the label!