Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid or Limit When Living With Kidney Disease

Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid or Limit When Living With Kidney Disease

Food forms the basis for the survival of all individuals. Besides being the fuel that drives our bodies, the food we eat can also define how we are, how our body operates, and what disorders or conditions develop or are likely to develop. Thus, it is safe to say that our food defines how healthy or unhealthy we are. Foods can also help change how we feel or improve the body’s condition in case of a disease or disorder. For instance, having food that is low in fat content and has less sugar helps improve blood sugar levels and keeps diabetes in check.

The same is the case for chronic kidney disease. Patients suffering from kidney disease can feel better, prevent further damage, and even ease some of the symptoms by consuming kidney-friendly food. Living with kidney disease can be challenging, but the right diet plan and nutrients can reduce some signs and prevent further damage. We will discuss the foods that are kidney-friendly and those that kidney disease patients should avoid.

The Importance of a Meal Plan and Nutrients

Having planned meals that include all the required nutrients is crucial for the well-being of the body in general and especially for kidney disease patients. Proteins, carbohydrates, calorie content, and fats are all essential components that must be included in the diet in the right quantities. It is also important to read food labels to understand the nutrition facts, including ingredients and sodium content.

  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Calorie content


The right kind of foods, along with optimum portions, are needed to ensure essential nutrients are provided to the body in the correct quantities. Reading the food labels is also necessary to learn the “nutrition facts” to understand the ingredients and amount in the food, even the sodium content.


Proteins are essential for our bodies to remain healthy, grow, and heal, but it is important for those with kidney disease to consume proteins in moderation. A high-protein diet exerts greater pressure on the kidneys, further damaging them.

Foods low in protein include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread

While high-protein foods are:

  • Poultry
  • Red meat
  • Eggs
  • Fish


Carbohydrates are essential ingredients that provide energy to the body. However, specific sources of carbohydrates might be high in phosphorus and potassium content, which is not recommended for kidney disease patients. Foods that are low in potassium include:

  • Cranberries, strawberries, grapes, apples, and pineapple
  • White bread, tortillas, and pita
  • White rice, chicken, beef
  • Peppers, cauliflower, lettuce, radishes, onions, and summer squash

Foods high in potassium to avoid are melons, bananas, oranges, prunes, avocados, raisins, spinach, artichokes, potatoes, plantains, tomatoes, brown rice, beans, granola, and bran products.

Phosphorus is another ingredient that, though required by the body, can accumulate in the blood and cause weak bones in kidney patients. Foods to eat include rice cereals, corn, and cream of wheat, sourdough, Italian and French bread, lemonade or light-colored soda, popcorn (unsalted.) Avoid oatmeal, bran cereals, sunflower seeds, nuts, whole-grain bread, and dark-colored sodas.


For kidney disease patients, too much water can take a toll on the kidneys as they cannot remove extra fluids efficiently. Thus, foods rich in water content must be avoided. Also, sodium must be cut down to reduce thirst, and water must be taken in sips.


Vitamins, such as iron, folic acid, and vitamin D, must be supplemented via pills to help combat anemia and related weaknesses due to kidney disease. These must be consumed in consultation with doctors as too many specific vitamins can have ill effects.

Turn to Salerno Medical Associates in the Nirvana Healthcare Network for Help

For those with kidney disease, it is important to follow a strict diet plan that includes low protein and low potassium foods while monitoring water intake and sodium levels. Supplementation with vitamins and minerals must be done in consultation with a trusted primary care service in East Orange, NJ. If you have any questions or concerns about managing your diet with kidney disease, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Salerno Medical Associates within the Nirvana Healthcare Network. Our team of experts is always available to help you in your journey towards better health.