Kidney Friendly Low Sodium White Beans Tuna Salad

You can make this Kidney Friendly Low Sodium White Beans Tuna Salad for lunch or dinner. Either way, you will be satisfied with this nutritious recipe for a long time. This recipe is easy to make, and you can put it together in 15 minutes. Walnuts add an earthy, umami flavor, and pomegranate seeds add texture and a pop of color to make this recipe vibrant.

The main ingredients in this recipe are albacore tuna and cannellini beans. If you want, you can replace the canned cannellini beans with other canned white beans of your choice such as navy beans, great northern beans or baby lima/butter beans. Just like walnuts, the white beans add an earthy flavor to this recipe.  

You can serve this recipe on a bed of lettuce leaves, or you can use a whole-grain bread of your choice to make this tuna salad sandwich.

Kidney friendly low sodium white beans tuna salad

This recipe is kidney friendly

This recipe is good for you if you have chronic kidney disease (CKD). It’s good for CKD stages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (non-dialysis) and dialysis. Here is an explanation of why this recipe is good for you if you have kidney disease.

This recipe contains 17 grams of protein per serving, of which 8 grams come from tuna and sour cream, but mostly tuna. Animal-based proteins are considered to be complete proteins, which means you are getting all the essential amino acids that your body needs.

The rest of the protein (9 grams) comes from the beans and other sources, which are plant-based. Plant-based proteins are excellent for you because they produce less nitrogenous waste for your kidneys to clean up. This gives your kidneys some rest and helps them relax.

Moving on to phosphorus intake from this recipe, the total amount of phosphorus in this recipe is 218 mg per serving. Of this, 87 mg come from animal sources, which are tuna and sour cream. The rest, which is 131 mg, comes from the beans and the rest of the ingredients. 

About 40-60% of phosphorus from animal based products is absorbed by your body. Only 10-30% of phosphorus is absorbed from plant based sources. However, more than 90% of phosphorus is absorbed from foods that contain phosphorus additives. So, it is important that you reduce you intake of prepackaged foods, frozen meals or restaurant foods that contain phosphorus additives to manage your kidney health.

Overall, this recipe is okay as far as phosphorus is concerned. This is because most of the phosphorus in this recipe comes from plants, which your body doesn’t absorb rapidly. However, if your blood phosphorus levels are high or if you have hyperphosphatemia, then you can reduce the amount of tuna in this salad and still enjoy this healthy recipe.

Another important thing that you should keep in mind is that when you choose canned foods like tuna and cannellini beans used in this recipe, make sure that it does not have added phosphorus. Look at the ingredient list of the food item and search for the word ‘Phos. If the ingredient list has the term ‘Phos’, it means that the canned food has added phosphorus and it is not a good choice for managing your CKD. 

Potassium in this recipe is moderate at 526 mg per serving. This is good if you are not on a potassium restricted diet. However, be mindful of your potassium intake if you have hyperkalemia. Most of the potassium in this recipe comes from cannellini beans (211 mg) and tomatoes (106 mg). You can reduce the amounts of either of these two ingredients to lower the potassium levels in this recipe.

Each serving of this recipe has 149 mg of sodium. This is considered low and is great if you are on a sodium restricted diet to manage your CKD or high blood pressure. 

Also, keep in mind that following an overall healthy eating pattern throughout the day is more important than focusing on a single nutrient or a meal.

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Kidney friendly low sodium white beans tuna salad – Great for chronic kidney disease

This recipe is diabetes friendly

This recipe is an excellent choice if you have diabetes. It has only 28 grams of total carbohydrate per serving, which is essentially a moderately low amount of carbohydrate for a standard diet of 2000 calories.

What’s more, 25% of the carbohydrate in this recipe is fiber (6 grams). Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest, and it helps to slow down the absorption of glucose in blood vessels. This means no sugar spikes after you eat this salad!

This recipe is heart-healthy

One of the most important things that you can do to manage your heart health is to reduce your intake of saturated fat. This recipe contains very low amounts (0.5 grams) of saturated fat per serving, which is good for managing your blood cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease. 

Furthermore, each serving of this recipe is also relatively low in total fat (7.5 grams) and cholesterol (17 mg). Managing your intake of total fat and cholesterol is important if you want to keep your heart healthy. 

As mentioned above, this recipe contains low amounts of sodium (149 mg), which is great if you want to manage your blood pressure. Consuming high amounts of sodium in your diet can actually increase your blood pressure and increase your risk of future heart diseases such as stroke or heart attack.

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Kidney friendly low sodium white beans tuna salad – Great for diabetes and heart health

Ingredients that make this recipe great

Tuna: tuna is an excellent choice as a heart-healthy fish. It is a semi-oily fish that is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids. It is considered a source of lean protein, which means it is low in total fat and saturated fat. It is also a great source of magnesium, selenium, niacin, and folate.

Cannellini beans: adding more beans to your diet is generally a great idea. Beans are complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber. Fiber plays an important role in maintaining digestive health and clearing waste from the body, such as excess potassium, through bowel movements.

Vegetables: Vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers add a lot of flavor and crunch to this recipe. But apart from the flavor, they also have added health benefits. 

Fresh and cooked tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that protects against heart disease, vision loss, and cancer. Cucumber contains lutein, a phytonutrient that boosts immunity, supports healthy skin, tissues, and blood, and protects the eyes. 

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Kidney friendly low sodium white beans tuna salad – Ingredients health benefits

How to make this recipe

Unlike many other tuna salad recipes, this easy to make, healthy tuna salad recipe does not use mayonnaise. Instead, this recipe uses fat-free sour cream to add the creaminess and smoothness, which makes it utterly delicious. Rice vinegar and onions add a ton of flavor and cucumber, pomegranate seeds as well as walnuts make it crunchy.

Ok, so let’s get started with making this recipe. This is a very simple salad that needs very little direction. Here are the steps that you need to follow to make this healthy delicious salad – 

  • To make the dressing, whisk together sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt and olive oil in a bowl till the sugar has dissolved.
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss so that the salad is coated with the dressing.
  • Place the salad in the refrigerator for 15 minutes so that the flavors blend in. Serve!

How to store this recipe

This recipe is great for make-ahead meals. You can store this recipe in the fridge for 2-3 days. To make it ahead of time, chop all the vegetables beforehand. Mix the tuna and the dressing in the salad 15 minutes before eating.

This recipe freezes well too. Put the salad in an air-tight freezer safe container and store it for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, thaw the salad in the fridge and drain out any excess liquid. Mix the contents thorougly and serve.

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Kidney Friendly Low Sodium White Beans Tuna Salad

8f7236c9626d7dcca9cca39f75b7f03fArchana Singh, PhD
A healthy low sodium tuna salad with cannellini beans, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, walnuts and pomegranate seeds to manage high blood pressure and kidney disease.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 237 kcal


  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4.5 oz) very low sodium albacore tuna, packed in water, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground


  • For the dressing – Combine ingredients 1 through 5 in a small bowl. Whisk these ingredients together untill the sugar has completely dissolve.
  • Put the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and mix them slowly.
  • Put the salad in the fridge for 15 minutes to let the flavors blend in. Server over a toasted slice of bread or on lettuce bed.


Calories: 237kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 17gFat: 7.5gSaturated Fat: 0.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 149mgPotassium: 526mgFiber: 6gSugar: 9gPhosphorus: 218mg
Keyword kidney friendly salad, Low sodium salad, Low sodium tuna salad, Tuna salad sandwich
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Can I have salad on a renal diet?

Yes, you can have salad on a renal diet. Salads that contain a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains are an excellent way for you to get your minerals, vitamins and other nutrients.

Kidney patients worry about eating salad due to potassium content in the fruits and vegetables. However, remember, you do not have to limit your potassium intake unless you have been asked to do so by your healthcare provider. 

Eating a high potassium diet is especially crucial during the early stages of kidney disease (CKD stage 1 and 2) as it can help you slow down the progression of kidney disease.

Can I eat fish with kidney disease

Yes, fish can be a part of a healthy kidney diet because fish is a complete protein that provides your body with all the essential amino acids it requires for adequate functioning. Apart from protein, fish can also be a good source of iron, magnesium, zinc and essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Consuming fish provides various health benefits. It is great for brain health, eye health and fighting inflammation in the body.

Your fish consumption will depend on the stage of your kidney disease and other dietary restrictions that you might have. Be mindful that different types of fish differ in their phosphorus and potassium content. 

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Archana Singh, PhD

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