Kidney Diet for Those with Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a difficult disease.  When a person hears they have kidney disease, their first thought is that of impending death.  In most cases, this is not necessarily the case.  With proper care and proper diet, the patient can be successfully treated.  A kidney diet is essential for successful care of kidney disease.  As with any diet, it will not be easy.  Working with a dietitian will help the patient learn proper foods.  There are several basic rules.  They are as follows:

  • Avoid salt and MSG.  Read labels to make sure what you are eating.  Instead low sodium alternatives may be: Salt-free herb seasonings, Frozen vegetables, Plain rice, Plain noodles, Unsalted Pretzels, Unsalted popcorn.
  • Limit Protein.  Alternatives may include Egg substitutes, Shrimp, Tofu, Imitation crab meat, Chicken drumstick, beef stew.  Eat no more than 5 – 7 ounces of protein per day.
  • Limit Fluids.  Consume no more than 48 fl. oz. per day, be sure to count soups, jello and ice cream as fluids.  Grapes oranges, apples, lettuce and celery also have fluids in them.
  • Limit Potassium.  Do not use salt substitute as it contains a lot of potassium.  Possible alternatives are: apples and apple juice, cranberry juice, canned fruit, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, plums, pineapple, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens, and broccoli.
  • Limit Phosphorus:  limit intake of dairy products including milk, yogurt and ice cream.  Avoid nuts, peanut butter, seeds, lentils, peas and beans.  Avoid beer, cola drinks and cocoa.  Items to be included are Liquid non-dairy creamer, sherbet, pasta rice, rice and corn cereals, unsalted popcorn, green beans, lemon-lime soda, root beer and powdered iced tea and lemonade mixes.

All decisions about your food intake should made in consultation with a dietitian who is working in consultation with your doctor.  You may have specific dietary requirements that other persons may not have, or there may be some requirements that you need not follow on your kidney diet.  For many people, following a strict diet, and undergoing dialysis for a brief period of time may get your kidneys back in working order.  It all depends on the etiology for your specific illness.  There may be a need to stay on medication for a while as well, but you can do it. Good luck.