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What are some diet recommendations for chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

If you have chronic kidney disease it is important to limit how much salt (sodium) that you eat every day. The average American eats more that four times the recommended daily salt intake. It is very important to read labels, as most processed and prepackaged foods contain very high quantities of salt. Most low-salt diets recommend limiting salt intake to 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day.

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), your phosphorus levels may be too high and you may need to avoid high-phosphorous foods. Talk to your dietitian and doctor about making changes to your diet and ask about a phosphate binder prescription.

Below is a list of foods high in phosphorus that you should either limit or avoid.

  • Some beverages, including ale, beer, chocolate drinks, cocoa drinks made with milk, canned iced teas and dark colas
  • Dairy products, including cheese, cottage cheese, custard, ice cream, milk pudding, cream soups and yogurt
  • Some proteins, including carp, crayfish, beef, liver, chicken liver, fish roe, organ meats, oysters and sardines
  • Dried beans and peas, including baked beans, black beans, chick peas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, northern beans, pork and beans, split pea and soy beans
  • Some other foods include: bran cereals, brewer’s yeast, caramels, nuts, seeds, wheat germ and whole grain products

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you should avoid the following high-phosphorus foods:

  • Dried beans: black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, red beans, refried beans, soybeans, white beans
  • Starch items: biscuits, bran cereals, bran muffins, granola bars, oat bran, oatmeal, wheat germ
  • Dairy items: cheeses, cottage cheese, dried milk, fluid milk (whole, 2%, skim, butter, goat), yogurts
  • Main meal items: cheese enchiladas, casseroles, lasagna, pot pies, salmon, sardines, TV dinners
  • Miscellaneous: cola, sodas, chocolate, nuts, raisins, seeds (sunflower, pumpkin)

If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) your diet is very important. When you have CKD, eating right can help you feel better. Eating the kinds of foods that are good for your kidneys can help prevent or slow down problems from CKD. For example, your doctor might tell you to avoid junk food, but there are options. Your hospital team will talk to you and your family about healthy alternatives that taste just as good.

Melissa Stinson, NP
Nephrologist

If you have hypertension or chronic kidney disease (CKD), eating the right kind of food is an important part of living a healthy life. Indeed, a change to a low-sodium diet can slow the progression of kidney disease. To help you reach this goal, doctors recommend reducing the amount of sodium in your diet to 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.