By Anna Bennett
We hear it again and again - too much salt is bad for you. DSEN has a category of posts on CKD & Salt and Nancy Spaeth recently wrote a detailed comment about salt and the importance of sodium control. That is the salt that we can see, the salt that we have control over - not putting the salt shaker on the table, cooking without salt. BUT in today's over processed/fast food environment you may be ingesting salt without even realizing just how much. Moderating sodium in your diet means limiting yourself to about 1500 mg of salt per day.
Salt has many names: Some of the sodium ingredients used in food processing include: salt, sodium, monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking powder, baking soda, disodium phosphate, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, sodium nitrite, sodium propionate and sodium sulfite. All of these affect your body's fluid volume, your thirst level and your body's ability to be efficiently dialyzed - you won't be able to pull off enough fluid during a conventional incenter run if you have too much salt on board - too much sodium would make it mathematically impossible for a 3.5 hour 3x a week dialysis schedule to balance the fluid between your blood, your cells and your interstitium. Your body would have to have fluid removed from its blood compartment faster than it could transfer fluid in from the interstitium. This fluid deficit in the blood compartment is what causes cramping and you won't even finish dialysis at your dry weight. Hours later your cells and interstitium would release their fluid surplus into your blood stream leaving you chronically fluid overloaded. It's a vicious cycle that can start to wind down once salt is brought under control. For more on the body's three fluid spaces see Bill's post Dr. Agar on fluid and solute removal.
Salt is a preservative, and in general the convenient, shelf stable food that you buy pre-made or pre-mixed from the grocery store has too much salt in it. And I'm not even writing about processed meat - pretty much anything packed in plastic from your deli aisle - turkey slices, Bologna, hot dogs - these meats are treated with sodium and other preservatives to last longer on the shelf. When you are making yourself that Oscar Meyer shaved turkey sandwich (2oz = 460 mg salt) on Wonder Bread (2slices = 260mg), you are adding significantly to your salt consumption. It may be a quick meal now, but it is shaving time off your life span - you're "saving time", so that you can die earlier. That doesn't make much sense.
Here is how salt can sneak up on you (from Hidden Sodium in food)
- Twizzlers Black Licorice Twists - four strands have 200 milligrams; four strands of Twizzlers Strawberry Licorice have 115 mg.
- Raisin-bran cereals - Kellogg’s has 350 mg per cup; Post, 300 mg; Total, 230 mg.
- Jell-O Instant Pudding & Pie Filling Mix - the chocolate flavor contains 420 mg per serving; lemon, 310 mg; chocolate fudge, 380 mg.
- Prego Heart Smart Traditional Italian Sauce - this has an American Heart Association logo on the label which means saturated fat and cholesterol are restricted, but not that it’s low in sodium. This sauce has 430 mg per half-cup.
- Aunt Jemima Original Pancake and Waffle Mix - prepared as directed, the pancakes have about 200 mg of sodium each.
More Salt Resources:
If you're on dialysis, moderate your salt intake. It makes dialysis less of a burden and health impact aside, eating fresh, home made food tastes much better.