Kidney Diet and Nutrition

Kidney Diet
and Nutrition

Kidney Diet
and Nutrition

Kidney Diet and Nutrition

A kidney diet helps make the kidney’s job of filtering waste easier. Each person’s kidney diet may differ depending on their stage of kidney disease, dialysis treatment option, body type, nutritional status and blood test results.

Four Key Nutrients to Know

Nutrition Facts on food labels don't always provide information on the key nutrients for a kidney diet. Just because a nutrient isn't listed on the food label, doesn't mean it's not in the food. Talking to a dietitian may help you learn more about making healthy food choices. Keep an eye on these four key nutrients when following a kidney diet.

Phosphorus

Forms strong bones and helps the body make and store energy.
Plus sign
The typical daily target for a low-phosphorus kidney diet is 750 mg to 1,000 mg of phosphorus.1 
  • Breakfast 200-300 mg
  • Lunch 200-300 mg
  • Dinner 300 mg 
  • Snacks 50-100 mg
Minus sign

Sodium

Regulates blood pressure and volume and maintains fluids.
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The typical daily target for a low-sodium kidney diet is 1,500 mg to 2,300 mg.2
  • Breakfast 500-700 mg
  • Lunch 500-700 mg
  • Dinner 500-700 mg
  • Snacks 0-200 mg
Minus sign

Protein

Helps the body build and repair tissues.
Plus sign
During stages 1 and 2 of kidney disease, it is usually not necessary to limit protein. However, in stages 3 and 4 a low-protein diet may be prescribed by the dietitian or doctor. Patients on dialysis or who are otherwise in stage 5 typically require a high-protein diet.2
Minus sign

Potassium

Controls nerve and muscle function to help keep your heart beat normal.
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The typical daily target for a low-potassium kidney diet is 2,000 mg to 3,000 mg.2
  • Breakfast 600-800 mg
  • Lunch 600-800 mg
  • Dinner 700-1,000 mg
  • Snacks 100-400 mg

Food Analyzer

The Food Analyzer—a feature on DaVita Diet Helper™—allows you to find specific nutrition information for almost any food item. See how it works for potassium and phosphorus below, or go to the full version of the Food Analyzer.

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Amount

Unit

Nutrition Facts

Potassium
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Phosphorus
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DaVita Diet Helper™

Start managing your kidney diet with DaVita Diet Helper™. With this tool, you can customize a diet, plan meals, create a shopping list and look up specific nutrition information on the Food Analyzer.

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Get Cookin'!

Get Cookin!

Get Cookin'!

Download Today’s Kidney Diet cookbook to find hundreds of recipes that are kidney-friendly and packed with flavor.
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Kidney Diet Per Stage

Consult with your dietitian or physician to get the best recommendations for your specific needs and to plan a diet that works for you. Use the guidelines below for a general rule of thumb on following a kidney diet.3

KEY:
Green bullet point
Eat more
Magenta bullet point
Eat less
Gold bullet point
Eat rarely/none
Eat more
Eat less
apple
Eat rarely/none
  • STAGES 1-2
  • STAGES 3-4
  • STAGE 5, end stage renal disease, dialysis
Stages 1-2
Eat More Less Rarely or none
Non-fat and low-fat dairy Green bullet point
Poultry, seafood, lean red meat, eggs, meatless protein sources Green bullet point
Grains, pasta and rice Green bullet point
Fruit and vegetables Green bullet point
Legumes Green bullet point
Seeds and nuts Green bullet point
Healthy fats (vegetable, canola, flax, olive oil, omega-3 fatty acids) Green bullet point
Herbs and spices Green bullet point
Saturated fat Magenta bullet point
Salt, salty seasonings and condiments Magenta bullet point
Sugary foods and drinks Magenta bullet point
Trans fats Gold bullet point
Foods with phosphate additives Gold bullet point
Stages 3-4
Eat More Less Rarely or none
Non-fat and low-fat dairy Magenta bullet point
Poultry, seafood, lean red meat, eggs, meatless protein sources Green bullet point
Grains, pasta and rice Green bullet point
Fruit and vegetables Green bullet point
Legumes Green bullet point
Seeds and nuts Green bullet point
Healthy fats (vegetable, canola, flax, olive oil, omega-3 fatty acids) Green bullet point
Herbs and spices Green bullet point
Saturated fat Magenta bullet point
Salt, salty seasonings and condiments Magenta bullet point
Sugary foods and drinks Magenta bullet point
Trans fats Gold bullet point
Foods with phosphate additives Gold bullet point

*daily amount depends on blood test results

Stage 5, end stage renal disease, dialysis
Eat More Less Rarely or none
Non-fat and low-fat dairy Magenta bullet point
Poultry, seafood, lean red meat, eggs, meatless protein sources Green bullet point
Grains, pasta and rice Green bullet point
Fruit and vegetables* Green bullet point
Legumes* Magenta bullet point
Seeds and nuts* Magenta bullet point
Healthy fats (vegetable, canola, flax, olive oil, omega-3 fatty acids) Green bullet point
Herbs and spices Green bullet point
Saturated fat Magenta bullet point
Salt, salty seasonings and condiments Magenta bullet point
Sugary foods and drinks Magenta bullet point
Trans fats Gold bullet point
Foods with phosphate additives Gold bullet point

*daily amount depends on blood test results

In-Center Nocturnal Dialysis
In-center nocturnal dialysis allows you to dialyze in-center overnight three times per week, for 6-8 hours while you sleep. It also includes potential benefits such as:
  • No interference with daytime schedule
  • An improved appetite5
  • Better blood pressure control6

1,000+ Kidney-Friendly Recipes

1,000+
Kidney-Friendly Recipes

1,000+
Kidney-Friendly Recipes

Whether you're searching for a quick snack or a holiday dinner, DaVita's recipe collections have a kidney-friendly dish that's right for your diet needs.
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TEST YOUR KIDNEY DIET KNOWLEDGE

Incorrect. You can still eat meat and dairy as long as you monitor your intake of protein, phosphorus, potassium and sodium per your dietitian’s recommendations.

Next Question

Correct. You can still eat meat and dairy as long as you monitor your intake of protein, phosphorus, potassium and sodium per your dietitian’s recommendations.

Next Question
TEST YOUR KIDNEY DIET KNOWLEDGE

Incorrect. If you have kidney disease (any stage), your body may have a hard time filtering phosphorus from your blood. Stay away from foods with phosphate additives as much as possible to keep phosphorus at a healthy level that is right for you.

Next Question

Correct. If you have kidney disease (any stage), your body may have a hard time filtering phosphorus from your blood. Stay away from foods with phosphate additives as much as possible to keep phosphorus at a healthy level that is right for you.

Next Question
TEST YOUR KIDNEY DIET KNOWLEDGE

Incorrect. Following a diet specifically for diabetes, kidney disease and your individual needs is vital to overall health.

Next Question

Correct. Following a diet specifically for diabetes, kidney disease and your individual needs is vital to overall health.

Next Question
TEST YOUR KIDNEY DIET KNOWLEDGE

Incorrect. Following a kidney diet, and especially limiting your sodium intake, along with taking prescribed blood pressure medicines can help manage your blood pressure.

Next Question

Correct. Following a kidney diet, and especially limiting your sodium intake, along with taking prescribed blood pressure medicines can help manage your blood pressure.

Next Question
TEST YOUR KIDNEY DIET KNOWLEDGE

Incorrect. Talk to your dietitian before making any changes to your diet. They can give you the best recommendations based on your body’s specific needs.

Start Over

Correct. Talk to your dietitian before making any changes to your diet. They can give you the best recommendations based on your body’s specific needs.

Start Over