Managing Salt Intake

What is sodium (salt) and why should we eat less?

Salt, or sodium, is important for controlling blood pressure, but you need to strike the right balance. Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure, which is bad for both your heart and kidneys. Kidneys affected by disease cannot remove excess salt and fluid, so often they build up in your body, causing:

Sodium is a mineral found in salt and in many of the foods you eat.  Most (about 80%) of the sodium (salt) we eat comes from processed and takeaways foods.

How can you eat less sodium?

 Example of salt swap click here

Try these

Instead of these

Rolled oats porridge made with water, no salt  Hubbard's Toasted Muesli original Kellogg's Just Right Original Sanitarium Honey Puffs Weight Watchers Berry Muesli Wheat biscuits (limit to 2 biscuits per day)


Coco Pops, Cornflakes,  Rice Bubbles, Nutrigrain, Special K


Fresh & dried herbs & spices Garlic, ginger, lemon or lime juice, pepper and vinegar 


All types of salt –rock, sea, iodised and Losalt. Moroccan seasoning  Soy, oyster and fish sauces Stock cubes/powders and Gravy powders Worcestershire, tomato and sweet chilli sauce


Fresh meat, fish, chicken, tofu and eggs Canned salmon with no added salt  Canned Tuna in spring water  Dried peas, lentils, beans & split peas

Smoked, canned, cured or salted meats and fish e.g. bacon, corned beef, salami, sardines, sausages, ham, luncheon sausage, meat pies 


Cream, Crème fraiche, Milk Mascarpone, Sour cream, Yoghurt Cottage cheese, ricotta

All other hard and soft cheeses Cheese spread, Feta, Flavoured cheese and processed cheese (cheese slices)


Jam, honey, marmalade, Nutella or no added salt peanut butter 

Marmite and vegemite 


Plain popcorn, Fruit and vegetable sticks, yoghurt, unsalted nuts,  Crackers: Huntley & Palmers Wholegrain Crackers 8 Grain, Real Foods Corn Thins Multigrain and Ryvita Crunch Pumpkin Seeds

Chips, cup of soup, instant noodles, most crackers, Le Snak, olives, pickled vegetables, bhuja mix, salted nuts and popcorn



Note: This is a first line information sheet. Talk with your dietitian if you would like a more detailed low sodium food list.

For general and renal specific use Ownership of this material is vested in the Auckland Regional Renal Dietitians (arrd): Auckland DHB, Counties Manukau DHB, Waitemata DHB, Waikato DHB and Northland DHB. Reproduction of the whole or any part of this material for any purpose without the consent of arrd is prohibited. Last updated January 2021                                                      SOD001