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What food is best for kidney disease: recommendations from a nutritionist
What food is best for kidney disease: recommendations from a nutritionist

Kidney disease leads to metabolic disorders. Proper nutrition can help the body.

Kidney function is extremely important to your health and survival. The main tasks of the kidneys are to remove waste products from the blood and maintain a balance of salt and water levels in the body. This is why following the best kidney disease diet should be your top priority when these important organs are faced with problems.

There are two main types of kidney disease.

  1. Acute kidney disease occurs when you have had surgery, infection, or acute kidney toxicity.
  2. Chronic kidney disease refers to bacterial, cystic, or autoimmune kidney disease.

Whatever type of kidney disease you encounter, you must eat a diet that provides all the nutrients that your kidneys need to function. You will also need to identify which foods may be aggravating your symptoms in order to eliminate them from your diet.

It can take some time to adjust to this new power system. But these dietary changes are more than worth it.

Diet recommendations for kidney disease in clear and simple terms.

Limit Protein

To better support your kidneys, you need to limit your protein intake.

With the rise in popularity of low-carb diets, we constantly hear about how important it is to consume a lot of protein. Indeed, protein plays an important role in your physical health.

But proteins also put a lot of stress on your kidneys. When your body metabolizes protein, it creates metabolic products such as ammonia and urea. Then your kidneys must filter this waste. Too much protein overloads an organ that is already struggling.

A balanced diet for kidney disease protects these organs by including enough protein to maintain muscle mass.

the girl has kidney pain
the girl has kidney pain

Diet for kidney disease should be low in phosphorus

Phosphorus is an essential mineral for building strong bones, but too much phosphorus can harm the body and lead to weakened bones, poor wound healing, and chronic pain. Since kidney disease makes it difficult to excrete phosphorus by the kidneys, it is recommended to control the amount of phosphorus consumed.

Too much phosphorus prevents your body from using other minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Eliminate foods high in phosphorus, such as:

  • Alcohol;
  • Cocoa;
  • Dairy products;
  • Beans and Lentils.

Monitor potassium levels

Potassium is a mineral found in many foods. The body needs potassium for muscle function, but too much potassium can be dangerous. If the kidneys are not working well, they can no longer balance the minerals in your blood. This can lead to accumulation of potassium and phosphorus in the blood. High or low potassium levels affect how your muscles work.

The main sources of potassium are potatoes, tomatoes, melons, oranges and orange juice, bananas, and dairy products. Try to limit or avoid these high sources of potassium if it is high in the blood.

Get enough calcium to support kidney function

The best thing you can do to maintain healthy kidney function is to consume a lot of calcium. The recommended daily intake of calcium to support normal kidney function in humans is: 1000 mg for women from 19 to 50 years old and men from 19 to 70 years old, 1200 mg for women over 51 years old, for men over 71 years old.

Remember, you also need to limit your phosphorus intake, which means avoiding dairy products. In other words, you should not get your calcium from milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Non-dairy sources of calcium include:

  • Spinach and kale;
  • Tofu;
  • Almond;
  • Sesame;
  • Seeds;
  • Fig.

You can also add calcium as a supplement if needed.

girl in the store
girl in the store

Stick to a low carb meal plan

A low-carb diet is a good diet for kidney disease. Excess carbohydrates cause inflammation of the nephrons. They can also cause weight gain, especially if you consume a lot of processed carbs and refined sugars. This, in turn, can put additional stress on the kidneys.

However, remember that "low carbohydrate" is not the same as "high protein." You still need to limit your protein intake.

Choose spices, not salt

Kidney disease sometimes causes hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure. In this case, you need to limit your sodium chloride intake.

Sodium chloride is table salt. When you have hypertension, you cannot metabolize this salt properly. To even slightly smooth out the lack of salt, you can use spices: coriander, herbs, cumin, etc.

Balance vitamins and minerals

People with kidney disease often consume certain nutrients in portions without realizing that productive function depends on the balance of all essential vitamins and minerals. These elements work together and depend on each other.

For example, you need enough vitamin D3 to properly absorb calcium.

Iodine is also needed to remove waste products from cells. This is especially important when it comes to chronic kidney disease caused by cysts.

A healthy kidney diet isn't so much about cutting out a ton of foods altogether, but about controlling portions and finding the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to ensure you're getting enough calories and nutrients.


Eating a kidney-friendly diet can seem overwhelming and a little restrictive at times. However, avoiding or restricting certain foods can help reduce the buildup of waste products in the blood, improve kidney function, and prevent further damage.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the best ways to help manage your condition and prevent its progression.

Kidney disease or not, what you eat and drink affects your health. Maintaining a healthy weight and balanced diet is the key to controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels. High blood pressure and diabetes are the two main causes of kidney disease, as well as many other conditions, including heart disease.

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