Two of the biggest health issues people in the United States have are blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. And the one best thing to manage in your diet with these conditions includes sodium. But when so many foods are sneakily packing in sodium, it can be tough to follow a low-sodium diet. We did the leg-work so you can enjoy low-sodium snacks found in the grocery store or online. In this article, we provide a “crash-course” on sodium, plus an extensive list of low-sodium snacks to enjoy while protecting your health.
This article was written by dietetic student Rachael Craig and reviewed by Jen Hernandez RDN, CSR, LDN.
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Low sodium snacks and kidney disease
There are many kidney-friendly low-sodium snack options available.
Just make sure you check the label for added phosphates, protein, and potassium content if you need to limit.
The recommended snacks above are still great options for kidney patients.
By keeping portions in snack amounts, they can absolutely fit into a renal diet.
Why are Low Sodium snacks important?
Snacks give us an extra boost of energy between meals, so we can keep energy levels up throughout the day.
It’s important to eat at least once every 3-4 hours. Some people may find they have better energy levels with snacking every 2-3 hours as well.
That being said, snacks can really help or hurt your health goals.
Choosing unhealthy or nutrient-poor snacks can make setbacks on your goals or it can propel you in the right direction.
Shopping for Low Sodium Snacks
Many options for low sodium snacks and no sodium snacks can be found at your local grocery store or market.
These days, convenience stores also are starting to increase their healthier snack options.
This helps to make them more accessible to everyone on-the-go or with limited food options.
You can also check out our Amazon Store for some of our favorite options, including many of the ideas shared here.
How to Choose Low-Sodium Snacks
The best rule of thumb when it comes to cutting back on sodium is to read your food labels.
Sodium adds up quickly so stick to freshly prepared foods as much as possible and try to avoid processed foods and fast food.
When snacking on packaged foods, make sure to choose low sodium snacks.
A great rule of thumb for low sodium snacks is to keep it to less than 5% sodium in your snack serving.
If you find a snack that is 10%, just take half the serving size to make it 5%.
No sodium snacks
For some on-the-go, no sodium snack options try roasted, unsalted nuts and seeds.
Throw a few different types together with some dried cranberries and raisins for a tasty sodium-free trail mix.
Low sodium snacks
Many fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium and make great snack options.
12 Fruit or Veggies + Dip Ideas
It’s always a great thing when we can get in some more fruits and veggies.
A tasty dip can make it even more enjoyable by adding more flavor.
Since fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium, you’ll just want to make sure your dip is low in salt. Portions are key.
Some ideas we love include;
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- Strawberries and coconut yogurt
- Celery and nut butter
- Mini bell peppers with salsa
- Cucumber slices with cream cheese and everything-but-the-bagel Dash blend
- Apples and nut butter and cinnamon
- Roasted Broccoli with Tzatziki sauce
- Zucchini “fries” with ranch-yogurt sauce
- Radishes with a creamy yogurt herb dip
- Snap peas and guacamole
- Cauliflower and paprika hummus
- Carrot chips and baba ghanoush
11 Crunchy Packaged Snack Ideas
As mentioned, many packaged snacks can be packed with sodium.
These ideas below are low sodium snacks that are meant to satisfy and keep you feeling good.
Try adding one of these with a fruit or veggie-dip combo from above for a well-rounded and filling snack.
- Late July grain free lime and sea salt tortilla chips
- Low-sodium pretzels
- Wheat Thins Hint of Salt crackers
- Skinny pop popcorn
- Roasted edamame*
- Ritz Crackers Hint of Salt
- Snap pea crisps*
- Triscuit Hint of Salt crackers
- Off the Eaten Path veggie crisps
- Roasted chickpea snacks*
- Simple Mills Sweet Thins cookies
- Blue Diamond Hint of Salt Nut Thins
*these snacks are higher in protein
As mentioned above, you can find most these snacks online or in grocery stores.
10 Sweet Low Sodium Snack Ideas
Sometimes, a sweeter snack feels like the better fit. But don’t be fooled- just because a snack is sweeter doesn’t mean it won’t have salt in in.
In fact, many sweet snacks are higher in sodium to “balance” the sweetness.
Here are some low sodium snacks to enjoy without overdoing the salt.
- KIND bars
- That’s It fruit bars
- Applesauce to-go pouches
- Berries and coconut yogurt
- Purely Elizabeth Grain free granola
- MadeGood rice crispy squares
- Raspberries with chocolate chips
- Chia pudding with berries
- Chocolate dipped clementine slices with flaky sea salt
- Nut butter-stuffed, chocolate-covered dates
In general, those with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and/or kidney disease should keep their sodium intake between 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day.
When choosing low-sodium snacks, start with a fruit or vegetable. Fruits and vegetables are naturally very low in sodium, and will provide healthy nutrition to support heart and kidney health.
However, fruits and vegetables alone may not be satisfying enough. To add more calories, texture, and a little fun to your snack, grab a simple trail mix, nut bar, or even low-sodium chips or crackers.
Low-sodium dips like cream cheese, yogurt-based dips, salsa, and even guacamole can also be included. Read the food label and aim for no more than 5%DV (daily value) sodium per serving. Be sure to measure out the portion if it’s not pre-portioned.
By choosing snacks that are naturally lower in sodium, like fruits and vegetables, sodium will be less of a hassle to worry about. That doesn’t mean you can’t use packaged snacks. As always, remember to check your nutrition fact labels before indulging. Happy snacking!
This article was written by dietetic student Rachel Craig and reviewed by Jen Hernandez, RDN, CSR, LDN.
Jen Hernandez is a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in renal nutrition. She has nearly a decade of experience with kidney disease patients in all stages - from stage 1 through kidney transplant. Jen writes on the blog of Plant-Powered Kidneys to help reach and teach more kidney patients about how they can enjoy more foods in a plant-based diet while protecting kidney health.