Best Store Bought Low Sodium Sauces. Dialysis Friendly! Dialysis Dietitian

Best Store Bought Low Sodium Sauces

Sticking to a low sodium diet can be challenging as a dialysis patient. Sauces and condiments help add flavor and enjoyment to your meals. Unfortunately, most store bought sauces come with a lot of added salt which easily adds up.

But, fear not! There are some lower sodium alternatives that you can find both in store or online that offer all the flavor without all the sodium (and often potassium) that comes with store bought sauces.

This blog post gives you some ideas of some lower sodium sauces and condiments that can replace the traditional higher sodium versions. So, say good-bye to bland and take control over your sodium intake!

Why Low Sodium?

When you have kidney disease your kidneys have difficulty balancing sodium and fluid in your body. The more salt or sodium you eat the more it can build up in your body causing high blood pressure which over time increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.

Too much sodium in your body can also cause a build up of excess fluid in your feet, hands, face and in places you can’t see such as around your heart and lungs. You may feel short of breath or have more difficulty breathing which can be a sign of too much fluid in your body.

Not only can this be uncomfortable and make you really thirsty, but this sodium and fluid build-up can cause discomfort during dialysis treatments (cramping) and lead to congestive heart failure.

Taking control over your sodium intake can help you avoid these symptoms and help you live a healthier life.

How Much Sodium Should Dialysis Patients Have?

Recommendations suggest keeping your total daily sodium intake between 1500 to 2000mg. So, if you eat 3 meals a day your meals this would be 500-600mg sodium per meal.

Read Food Labels

Always look for Unsalted, No Added Salt or Low Sodium on your food labels. To count as Low Sodium a food should contain no more than 140mg sodium per serving (6% of the daily value).

Reduced Sodium means the sodium content of a product has been reduced by 25%. Light in Sodium means the sodium content has been reduced by 50% in comparison to the regular product. Just remember these terms do not necessarily mean the product is Low Sodium. It just tells you the amount of sodium has been reduced.

The fewer processed, boxed, packaged and canned/bottled foods you consume the easier it will be to limit excess salt in your diet.

Best Store Bought Low Sodium Sauces

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you.

Herbs and spices are your best friend when you’re looking to add flavor to your food without the salt. There are many salt free/low potassium herb and spice blends out there, but what about sauces?

We are used to adding a variety of sauces and condiments to our food for flavor and taste. However, these usually come with a lot of sodium and often potassium.

The following are a few best options for store bought low sodium sauces:

Low/No Salt Hot Sauce

I don’t know about you but I love hot sauce. Typical hot sauces like Tapatío and Cholula contain 110mg sodium per tsp. Some hot sauces like Frank’s Red Hot contain 190mg sodium per teaspoon! Here are some low sodium alternatives:

No/Low Salt Mustard

Most traditional mustards contain around 57mg sodium per tsp. Boar’s Head Lower Sodium yellow mustard contains only 25mg per tsp. That’s twice the fun!

Even better, Organicville makes a No Added Salt Stone Ground Mustard with 0mg sodium. Definitely a winner.

Low Salt Mayonnaise

A couple of options for a lower sodium mayo are Miracle Whip 50% less sodium and cholesterol which contains 50mg sodium per 1 Tbsp and Vegenaise by Follow Your Heart which contains 70mg per 1 Tbsp Vegenaise is about 20mg lower in sodium than most regular mayonnaise.

If you have some time, ideally the healthiest and lowest sodium mayonnaise alternative would be to make your own. Try this low sodium mayo made from silken tofu! Cholesterol free, low in fat and contains plant protein. You’ll find it’s pretty easy to make and will last in the fridge for about a week.

Watch out for a brand called Mrs. Taste. They make “zero sodium” mayo and other condiments but often use potassium additives as well as the artificial sweetener Sucralose. I would avoid this brand.

No Sodium Ketchup

It’s really hard to find a low sodium ketchup that is also low in potassium. Heinz makes a No Salt Added ketchup with only 5mg sodium but contains 180mg potassium and 4g added sugar per Tablespoon.

The best option I found, although more expensive, is Dr. Fuhrman’s Ketchup* which contains 0mg sodium, 0g of added sugar (they use dates as a sweetener) and only 87mg potassium per Tbsp. If you have to have your ketchup this may be something you might want to indulge in.

Low Sodium Salsa!

Most salsa is not going to be that dialysis friendly since most are tomato based and not only high in sodium but potassium as well. The original Pace Picante salsa contains 250mg sodium per 2 Tbsp and doesn’t list the amount of potassium.

I found one jarred salsa that seemed fairly dialysis friendly. Desert Pepper Pineapple Salsa contains 80mg sodium and 35mg potassium per 2 Tbsp which makes it a better choice in comparison to other store bought salsa.

Another option is to make this quick and easy low sodium salsa with canned tomatoes. The recipe comes from Kiran Campbell Nutrition and contains 118mg sodium and 177mg potassium for a 1/2 cup serving.

So, if you compare per 2 Tbsp it would roughly provide 30mg sodium and 44mg potassium. A pretty sweet option!

BBQ Sauce?

Ok, this is a tough one. Most BBQ sauces are going to be high in sodium, potassium and sugar. Kraft original BBQ sauce contains 350mg sodium, 12g added sugar (high fructose corn syrup) per 2 Tbsp along with potassium additives. Not so dialysis friendly.

Although this technically isn’t low sodium, it is definitely lower in sodium than most bottled BBQ sauces and contains 0g of added sugar. Good Food For Good Classic BBQ Sauce is sweetened only with dates and contains 150mg sodium per 2 Tbsp. It does contain 110mg of potassium as well, so as long as you stick to a limited serving this is a much better option.

Another reason why I like supporting Good Food For Good is that every time you buy one of their products, they donate a meal to someone in need.

Good For Good Classic BBQ Sauce comparison

If you’re feeling up to it, you could also try making your own BBQ sauce! This no salt added BBQ sauce recipe is pretty easy to throw together and only contains ~25mg sodium per serving (and 107mg potassium).

Low Sodium Dressing

A couple of my favorite low sodium dressings come from Bragg’s. There’s Bragg Organic Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade* which contains only 20mg sodium and 2g added sugar per 2 Tbsp .

Bragg organic vinaigrette dressing

They also make an oil-free version: Bragg Dressing & Marinade with ACV* which contains 0mg sodium and 3g added sugar per 2 Tbsp. Both of these dressings state not a significant source of potassium which is a vague term meaning it contains less than 2% of the daily value (4700mg), so less than 94mg per serving.

Organicville also makes a no added salt Italian dressing which contains 5mg sodium and 94mg potassium per 2 Tbsp.

Stir-Fry Sauce

Mr. Spice used to offer a couple dialysis friendly no salt sauces: Ginger Stir-Fry and Tangy Bang (a hot sauce), but it doesn’t look like they are available at the moment. Keep an eye out though because this may change.

In the meantime, I like 365 Hoisin Sauce* which you can find at Whole Foods or Amazon. 1 Tbsp contains 115 mg sodium and 2g added sugar.

Technically this isn’t low sodium, but Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos* is the best lower sodium substitute for regular shoyu or soy sauce. 1 Tbsp contains 270mg sodium in comparison to almost 1,000mg in most regular soy sauces. I mean that’s a 72% reduction! It’s what I use myself and the flavor is really smooth.

Liquid Smoke

Liquid smoke* is the secret to the secret sauce and doesn’t contain any sodium at all. You don’t need much of it. Just adding 1-2 tsp to a marinade can really add that smokey BBQ taste without the salt, fat or sugar.

Liquid smoke

Vinegars

Using vinegar can be a great salt alternative and can be added to sauces and marinades to help give a kick of flavor to your veggies and proteins. The key is that a little goes a long way. Sometimes just adding a touch of it to your food and stirring right before serving can really add a pop of flavor.

There are many different types of vinegars that lend different flavors. The following are a few vinegar options and how to use them:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: tart and fruity. Salad dressings, marinades.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: sweet and zesty. Salad dressings, glazes, reductions. One of my favs.
  • White Wine Vinegar: sweet and mild. Salad dressings, sauces, condiments, marinades, pickling.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: tangy and sweet. Salad dressings, marinades, sauces.
  • Rice Vinegar: sweeter than white or red wine vinegar. Often used in Asian dishes. Salad dressing, sauces, marinades, sushi rice.
  • Sherry Vinegar: potent so use sparingly! Similar to balsamic but less sweet and more nutty. Salad dressings, glazes, marinades, reductions.

The Lowdown on Low Sodium Sauces

Giving up salt and salty sauces can be challenging in the beginning. But, when you are on dialysis or even if you are in the earlier stages of chronic kidney disease, controlling your sodium intake is so important.

There are a lot of lower sodium swaps out there that help you add flavor without the high sodium consequences. From lower sodium condiments to vinegars you now have a few new flavorful ideas.

By making a few lower sodium swaps on traditional sauces you could potentially decrease your sodium intake by half. That can have huge benefits! So, get to swapping and take control over your sodium intake.

If you’d like to learn more about how to better control your fluid gains, check out the post “How To Survive Fluid Restriction On Dialysis.

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