14 Tips to Stock a Kidney-Friendly Kitchen

A well-stocked kitchen can help ensure you have everything you need to cook kidney-friendly meals. Use these 14 tips to get started.

1. Compare brands. Sodium and potassium levels can vary significantly from one brand to another.

2. Look for low-sodium labels on packaging. Stock up on the lowest sodium broths, stocks and condiments.

3. Choose fresh vegetables, or frozen or canned veggies with no added salt or sodium. If they're not available or unaffordable, drain canned vegetables and rinse to remove some of the sodium.

4. Use only 1/4 as much of the tomato sauce and canned tomatoes that a recipe calls for to limit potassium and sodium.

5. When using canned fish or chicken with added salt, rinse to reduce the sodium. Try to limit use of canned goods in general.

6. Avoid baking and pancake mixes that have salt and baking powder added. Instead, make a kidney-friendly recipe from scratch. Check out our Super Simple Baked Pancake recipe.

7. Use sweet pickles instead of dill pickles and check for added salt.

8. Check cold and instant hot cereals for sodium amounts. Although oatmeal contains more phosphorus than some cereals, it may be okay one to two times a week if phosphorus is well-controlled.

9. Check the ingredients in vinegar. Some vinegars, such as seasoned rice vinegar, contain added salt and sugar.

10. Avoid store-bought sauces and gravies that have mystery ingredients in them. Make your own instead from real-food ingredients. Check out our collection of kidney-friendly sauce recipes to get ideas.

11. Try homemade soup recipes, such as Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup, instead of premade or canned soups. Some soups contain more than 800 mg sodium per serving.

12. Low- and reduced-sodium broth is great for use in cooking. Save the homemade broth from stewed or boiled chicken or beef.

13. Don't trade sodium for potassium. Some products replace salt with potassium chloride.

14. Limit nuts, seeds and chocolate as they are high in potassium and phosphorus.