Diet Plan For Kidney


Diet plan for kidney is really important to follow, as renal problem is increasing day by day. Diet plays a very vital role in preventing renal problem. If you are suffering from renal problem and you are looking for diet plan to control it, then let us know your requirements and our experts will suggest you an appropriate diet plan according to your need and type of renal problem.

Renal Diet

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People with compromised kidney function must adhere to a renal or kidney diet to cut down on the amount of waste in their blood. Wastes in the blood come from food and liquids that are consumed. When kidney function is compromised, the kidneys not filter or remove waste properly. If waste is left in the blood, it can negatively affect a patient’s electrolyte levels. Following a kidney diet may also help promote kidney function and slow the progression of complete kidney failure.

A renal diet is one that is low in sodium, phosphorous, and protein. A renal diet also emphasizes the importance of consuming high-quality protein and usually limiting fluids. Some patients may also need to limit potassium and calcium. Every person’s body is different, and therefore, it is crucial that each patient works with a renal dietitian work to come up with a diet that is tailored to the patient’s needs.

Below are some substances that are crucial to monitor to promote a renal diet:


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What is Sodium and its role in the body?

Sodium is a mineral found in most natural foods. Most people think of salt and sodium as interchangeable. Salt, however, is actually a compound of sodium and chloride. Foods we eat may contain salt or they may contain sodium in other forms. Processed foods often contain higher levels of sodium due to added salt.

Sodium is one of the body’s three major electrolytes (potassium and chloride are the other two). Electrolytes control the fluids going in and out of the body’s tissues and cells. Sodium contributes to:

  • Regulating blood pressure and blood volume
  • Regulating nerve function and muscle contraction
  • Regulating the acid-base balance of blood
  • Balancing how much fluid the body keeps or eliminates

Why should kidney patients monitor sodium intake?

Too much sodium can be harmful for people with kidney disease because their kidneys cannot adequately eliminate excess sodium and fluid from the body. As sodium and fluid build up in the tissues and bloodstream, they may cause:

  • Increased thirst
  • Edema: swelling in the legs, hands, and face
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure: excess fluid in the bloodstream can overwork your heart, making it enlarged and weak
  • Shortness of breath: fluid can build up in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe

How can patients monitor their sodium intake?

  • Always read food labels. Sodium content is always listed.
  • Pay close attention to serving sizes.
  • Use fresh, rather than packaged meats.
  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables or no-salt-added canned and frozen produce.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Compare brands and use items that are lowest in sodium.
  • Use spices that do not list “salt” in their title (choose garlic powder instead of garlic salt.)
  • Cook at home and do NOT add salt.
  • Limit total sodium content to 400 mg per meal and 150 mg per snack.


What is Potassium and its role in the body?

Potassium is a mineral found in many of the foods we eat and is also found naturally in the body. Potassium plays a role in keeping the heartbeat regular and the muscles working correctly. Potassium is also necessary for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the bloodstream. The kidneys help to keep the right amount of potassium in your body and they expel excess amounts into the urine.

Why should kidney patients monitor their potassium intake?

When the kidneys fail, they can no longer remove excess potassium, so potassium levels build up in the body. High potassium in the blood is called hyperkalemia which can cause:

  • Muscle weakness
  • An irregular heart beat
  • Slow pulse
  • Heart attacks
  • Death

How can patients monitor their potassium intake?

When the kidneys no longer regulate potassium, a patient must monitor the amount of potassium that enters the body.


Tips to help keep the levels of potassium in your blood safe, make sure to:

  • Talk with a renal dietitian about creating an eating plan.
  • Limit foods that are high in potassium.
  • Limit milk and dairy products to 8 oz per day.
  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid salt substitutes & seasonings with potassium.
  • Read labels on packaged foods & avoid potassium chloride.
  • Pay close attention to serving size.
  • Keep a food journal.


What is Phosphorus and its role in the body?

Phosphorus is a mineral that is critical in bone maintenance and development. Phosphorus also assists in the development of connective tissue and organs and aids in muscle movement. When food containing phosphorus is consumed and digested, the small intestines absorb the phosphorus so that it can be stored in the bones.

Why should kidney patients monitor Phosphorus intake?

Normal working kidneys can remove extra phosphorus in your blood. When kidney function is compromised, the kidneys no longer remove excess phosphorus. High phosphorus levels can pull calcium out of your bones, making them weak. This also leads to dangerous calcium deposits in the blood vessels, lungs, eyes, and heart.

How can patients monitor their Phosphorus intake?

Phosphorus can be found in many foods. Therefore, patients with compromised kidney function should work with a renal dietitian to help manage phosphorus levels.


Tips to help keep phosphorus at safe levels:

  • Know what foods are lower in phosphorus.
  • Pay close attention to serving size
  • Eat smaller portions of foods that are high in protein at meals and for snacks.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Ask your physician about using phosphate binders at meal time.
  • Avoid packaged foods that contain added phosphorus. Look for phosphorus, or for words with “PHOS” on ingredient labels.
  • Keep a food journal


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Protein is not a problem for healthy kidneys. Normally, protein is ingested and waste products are created, which in turn are filtered by the nephrons of the kidney. Then, with the help of additional renal proteins, the waste turns into urine. In contrast, damaged kidneys fail to remove protein waste and it accumulates in the blood.

The proper consumption of protein is tricky for Chronic Kidney Disease patients as the amount differs with each stage of disease. Protein is essential for tissue maintenance and other bodily roles, so it is important to eat the recommended amount for the specific stage of disease according to your nephrologist or renal dietician.


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Fluid control is important for patients in the later stages of Chronic Kidney Disease because normal fluid consumption may cause fluid build up in the body which could become dangerous. People on dialysis often have decreased urine output, so increased fluid in the body can put unnecessary pressure on the person’s heart and lungs.

A patient’s fluid allowance is calculated on an individual basis, depending on urine output and dialysis settings. It is vital to follow your nephrologist’s/nutritionist’s fluid intake guidelines.

To control fluid intake, patients should:

  • Not drink more than what your doctor orders
  • Count all foods that will melt at room temperature (Jell-O®, popsicles, etc.)
  • Be cognizant of the amount of fluids used in cooking

Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Issues

What is renal failure (also called kidney failure), and what are some symptoms that someone might be experiencing it? Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys stop working well enough to keep someone alive. This condition is characterized as “sudden loss of the ability of the kidneys to excrete wastes, concentrate urine, conserve electrolytes and maintain fluid balance.”

Acute kidney injury (also called acute renal kidney failure) is the term commonly used to describe patients whose kidneys suddenly stop functioning as they normally should. Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of normal/healthy kidney function.

Some patients with kidney issues or even kidney disease won’t experience any obvious symptoms. However, if sudden “failure” of the kidneys occurs, this quickly becomes an emergency situation as symptoms tend to progress quickly.

Kidney disease symptoms tend to worsen with time and can begin with:

  • Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleep problems
  • Swelling
  • Changes in how much you urinate
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

Kidney failure symptoms normally include:

  • Kidney pain, which feels like throbbing or tenderness below the rib cage or in the back/abdomen (sometimes called “flank pain”)
  • Producing less urine than usual or sometimes not at all. A warning side of kidney disease, however, may be frequent urination, sometimes with blood or other color changes.
  • Fluid retention and swelling due to imbalance of electrolytes, especially in the lower extremities, such as the legs, ankles or feet. The face and eyes may also appear puffy and swollen.
  • Indigestion, nausea, loss of appetite and sometimes vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Cognitive and mood changes, mostly due to shifting electrolyte levels and dehydration. These can include confusion, trouble sleeping, anxiety, fatigue, trouble concentrating, weakness and brain fog.

What increases someone’s risk for kidney issues? Risk factors for experiencing kidney disease/kidney failure include:

  • Having a history of diabetes, anemia, high blood pressure, heart disease or heart failure.
  • Consuming an unhealthy diet
  • Being very overweight or obese.
  • Being an older adult.
  • Having a history of prostate disease (an enlarged prostate), liver damage or liver disease.
  • Experiencing trauma or an injury to the kidneys that causes sudden blood loss.
  • Having low immune function due to another illness.
  • Being treated in a hospital or intensive care unit, such as having surgery or undergoing an organ/bone marrow transplant.
  • Taking medications that can sometimes lead to kidney problems, such as antibiotics, painkillers, blood pressure drugs or ACE inhibitors.
  • In rare cases, kidney disease can be caused by a kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, a type of urinary tract infection that can be triggered by bacteria or a virus. It often begins in the urethra or bladder and then travels to one or more kidneys. If a kidney infection develops, symptoms can include: fever, back and side pain, frequent urination, nausea, and blood in the urine.

3-Day Menu for a Kidney Diet

Kidney diet menu: Day 1


  • Ziptop Omelet
  • English muffin or toasted bread
  • Jam or jelly, margarine or butter
  • Fresh grapes
  • Coffee or tea
  • Sweetener or creamer


  • Blackened shrimp pineapple salad
  • Low-sodium crackers or crisp bread
  • Lemon cookies
  • Lemon-lime soda


  • Stuffed green peppers
  • Dinner rolls
  • Margarine or butter
  • Stuffed strawberries
  • Sparkling water

Day 1 tips:

  • Adjust Ziptop Omelet recipe for the number of omelets you plan to serve. You can make extra to refrigerate for an even quicker breakfast the next day. Reheat in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Increase shrimp in the salad if you are on a higher protein diet. Use leftover shrimp to make shrimp spread with crackers for a snack.
  • Make lemon cookies and serve as dessert at lunch or for an in-between-meals snack.
  • Buy grapes to serve at breakfast—they can be used for the second day’s salad and for the third day’s dinner, dessert or snack.
  • Use the extra pineapple as a snack or a dessert if you have leftovers once you make the blackened shrimp pineapple salad.
  • Buy enough strawberries for the stuffed strawberries recipe, the second day’s pancake recipe and snacks, if desired.
  • Leftover stuffed peppers are easy to refrigerate or freeze for a quick lunch or dinner later in the week.

Kidney diet menu: Day 2


  • Egg in a Hole
  • Homemade Pan Sausage
  • Toasted bread
  • Jam or jelly, margarine or butter
  • Pineapple juice


  • Tuna veggie salad
  • Sliced bread or pita bread
  • Lemon cookies
  • Home-brewed iced tea with lemon and sweetener


  • Slow rotisserie-style chicken
  • Red wine vinaigrette asparagus
  • Pasta tossed in olive oil and garlic
  • Chilled or frozen grapes
  • Decaffeinated coffee or herb tea

Day 2 tips

  • Make a batch of Homemade Pan Sausage and freeze patties on waxed paper and place in a freezer bag. You can prepare individual servings quickly throughout the week.
  • Tuna veggie salad calls for steamed vegetables, but you can add uncooked veggies if desired.
  • Home-brewed iced tea tastes fresh and is free of phosphate additives compared to some canned or bottled prepared teas.
  • Use leftover chicken from dinner for third day’s lunch salad.

Kidney diet menu: Day 3


  • Cottage cheese pancakes with fresh strawberries
  • Whipped topping or syrup
  • Scrambled egg or egg whites
  • Coffee or tea
  • Sweetener or creamer


  • Lemon curry chicken salad
  • Naan (Indian flatbread) or pita bread
  • Cranberry juice


  • Cilantro-lime cod
  • Lettuce, cucumber and carrot salad
  • Basic salad dressing
  • Steamed Rice
  • Luscious Lime Dessert
  • Lemon-lime soda

Day 3 tips

  • Include the eggs if you need a higher protein breakfast. Use low-cholesterol eggs or egg whites only if you are concerned about cholesterol. Egg whites are very low in phosphorus.
  • If you have time, make the lemon curry chicken salad the evening before so flavors can blend together.
  • Look for fresh cod or any comparable white fish on sale this week. You can also use frozen cod, sole or halibut.
  • The basic salad dressing recipe has only one milligram of sodium for two tablespoons, compared to 250 to 400 mg for commercially prepared salad dressing. It will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
  • To jazz up steamed rice, add your favorite low-sodium herb seasoning blend. Make extra rice for a kidney-friendly fried rice dish later in the week.

Springtime snack choices

When you have a hankering for something in between mealtimes, reach for a healthy and kidney-friendly snack to hold you over.

  • Chilled or frozen grapes
  • Fiesta Roll-Ups
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Lemon cookies
  • Low-sodium crackers or crisp bread
  • Shrimp spread with crackers
  • Strawberries

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