Industrialization has brought us outstanding solutions, but this time not for the kidneys. Industrialized tomato sauce has preservatives that carry sodium and potassium. You may not think to check the sodium in a can of plain tomato sauce or other canned tomato products, but you should.

Just 1/4 cup (62 grams) of tomato sauce has 321 mg of sodium or 14% RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake).

How about going back to the roots and making a delicious and easy marinara yourself with this precious fruit that Italians call the golden fruit or pomi d'oro?

You can freeze the sauce once you have cooked it and have it ready to use at any time. Does it sound like a good plan?. Let's start:

Marinara Sauce

Serves 4


2 tsp of garlic (minced) 1 tsp dried oregano

Two pieces of bay leaves (dried) 3 cups of crushed tomatoes

One small onion (chopped) 3 cups of tomato sauce

2 ½ Tbsps. of olive oil

¾ tsp of salt and pepper to taste


Add the olive oil and the chopped onion over medium heat. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Once the sauce starts boiling, simmer at low temperature for at least one hour. Serve on top of a whole grain pasta with a side green salad. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

This marinara recipe is a low protein recipe. Add the protein from pasta for the total amount of protein.

Nutrients per Serving:

Calories: 198

Protein: 3.75 g Vitamin A: 1895 IU Potassium: 620 mg Dietary fiber: 4.4 g

Total saturated fat, cholesterol 0 (ZERO)

To reduce potassium and protein:

Instead of 3 cups of tomato sauce, use 2 cups of chopped bell peppers. Per serving:

Calories: 166

Protein: 2 g

Potassium: 417 mg

To increase protein:

One pound of ground turkey adds 20 g of protein, 169 calories, total fat 9.4 g, saturated fat 2.6 g, and cholesterol 89.5 mg per serving.

One pound of grass-fed ground beef adds 215 calories, 21.5 g of protein, total fat 14 g, saturated fat 6 g, and cholesterol 69.5 mg per serving.

More information about the golden fruit:

The tomato was initially cultivated in Central and South America, where the Aztecs and other pre-Columbian civilizations had used it in their dishes for centuries. The word "tomato" comes from the Nahuatl "tomatl," meaning "fruit." When the Spanish Empire conquered the region, they brought the tomato back to Europe along with other local fruits, vegetables, and animals.

Though it is unknown exactly when the tomato reached Italy, it must have been some time before 1544, when Italian author Pietro Matthioli wrote about it. Matthioli, however, believed that the fruit was poisonous. In 1548, a Tuscan steward described the tomato as a "pomi d'oro" or "golden fruit;" this led to the modern Italian word for the food, "Pomodoro."

Nutritional benefits of tomatoes

Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, beta carotene/vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

Why are tomatoes a superfood?

  • They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Tomatoes are low in calories and high in fiber; 1 cup of cherry tomatoes has 27 calories with about 1 ½ to 2 grams of fiber
  • There are many varieties of tomatoes, and they are available in stores year-round. You can also grow them in your garden during the spring and summer months
  • You can eat them raw or cooked: add raw tomatoes to salads or sandwiches, use cooked tomatoes as a side dish, or make tomato sauce

Tomatoes and kidney disease

The amount of potassium you can have each day will depend on your stage of kidney disease or the type of dialysis you receive (see below).


Most people with early-stage CKD or a kidney transplant do not have to limit tomatoes because of potassium. If your laboratory results show higher potassium levels, your doctor or kidney dietitian may talk with you about how much to eat.

Hemodialysis (3 times/week)

Potassium can be a concern depending on the amount you eat. For example, 1 or 2 slices of raw tomato have a much smaller amount of potassium than a cup of cooked tomatoes.

Daily Home and Nocturnal Hemodialysis/Peritoneal Dialysis

These types of dialysis can remove more potassium, so you may need to eat more potassium-rich foods. Tomatoes are an excellent way to add extra potassium to your diet and decrease the need to take an additional potassium pill.

Kidney Stones

Eating tomatoes will not have an effect on forming kidney stones.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician.

-Ask your nephrologist and renal dietitian before preparing and consuming this recipe.Every person has different needs.-