Excessive amounts of sodium chloride, commonly known as salt, may raise your blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you have kidney disease, too much potassium is detrimental. Your body needs a certain amount of sodium and potassium to function normally, but if you have a health condition, your doctor may have instructed you to limit your intake of these nutrients.
Eat Your Vegetables
Fresh vegetables supply your body with essential vitamins and minerals and are low in sodium. If you buy canned veggies, choose low-sodium versions and drain the liquid before consuming them to lower their sodium and potassium content, recommends the National Kidney Foundation. Consume fresh vegetables, such as bean sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, kale, peas and spinach. Rinse and drain your boiled vegetables to help remove salt and potassium.
Focus on Fruits
Many varieties of fresh fruit contain minimal amounts of salt and potassium. Enjoy fresh peaches, pears, apples, cherries, grapes and plums for snacks and desserts. Drain the juice from canned fruits and avoid canned or frozen varieties that include seasonings. Add dried fruits, such as dates, raisins and prunes to your breakfast menu. Avoid high-potassium fruits, including bananas, strawberries and oranges.
It's All in the Sauce
Prepared sauces may contain large amounts of salt and potassium. Make your own pasta sauce from fresh tomatoes, avoiding tomato paste or tomato puree, as these are generally high in potassium and sodium. If you purchase ready-made sauce, check the nutrition facts panel. More than 20 percent of the daily value for sodium per serving is considered high. Potassium amounts are usually not listed on the label.
Some salt substitutes contain high amounts of potassium. Season your dishes with flavorful alternatives, such as black or red pepper, onion, parsley flakes and garlic.
Prioritize Your Protein
Prepared meats may contain excessive amounts of salt and potassium. Avoid seasoned meats, such as corned beef and salted bacon. Look for minimally processed raw meats, including turkey, chicken, beef and veal. Check the labels on canned meats to determine if they are high in sodium. Choose varied protein sources, such as eggs, nuts, seeds and soy.