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Kidney Disease Diet Restrictions

Breakfast Examples 

The following information represents options for changing your breakfast selections. The choices here reflect more natural and healthy alternatives to "traditional" breakfast foods.
Kidney Disease Diet Restrictions


Instead of eating bacon and eggs for breakfast, consider trying an egg white vegetable omelet. Two large organic egg whites have approximately 110 mg of sodium, 110 to 120 mg of potassium, 10 mg of phosphorus, and 3.5 g of protein. Add 1/2 cup of raw, chopped broccoli (15 mg of sodium, 150 mg of potassium, 30 mg of phosphorus, and 1.3 g of protein), and 1/4 cup of chopped raw onion (6 mg of sodium, 55 mg of potassium, 11 mg of phosphorus, and 0.5 g of protein).
Mix and match your portion size and vegetable choice according to your dietary restrictions. The key is substituting the vegetables for bacon, and egg white for egg yolk. Other protein substitutes include tofu (a six-ounce portion of Mori-Nu soft, silken tofu provides 8 mg of sodium, 300 mg of potassium, 105 mg of phosphorus and 8 g of protein) and tempeh.
Instead of high sugar breakfast cereals, consider trying a sprouted whole grain cereal. A brand that I recommend is Ezekiel. 1/2 cup of Ezekiel Golden Flax Organic Cereal provides 190 mg of sodium, 190 mg of potassium, 8 g of protein, and no sugar.

Instead of topping the cereal with cow's milk, consider using soy milk or rice milk. 1/2 cup of soy milk has approximately 15 mg of sodium, 170 mg of potassium, 60 mg of phosphorus, and 6.7 g of protein. Soy milk can have sugar, but there is an unsweetened option made by Organic Valley Farms.

Instead of a bagel, consider trying sprouted bread. One slice of Ezekiel Sesame Sprouted Grain Bread has only 80 mg of sodium, 75 mg of potassium, 4 g of protein, and no sugar. Additionally, it has only 8 percent of the total daily phosphorus requirements, which is low. Gluten-free sprouted bread is also if you have celiac disease.

Lunch Examples
For many of us, we are at work and only have an hour - if that - for lunch. We want something quick and light, yet nutritious. For the examples discussed below, you may choose to increase your portion size at lunch if it is your main meal day of the day. It is important to make dietary choices that work for your lifestyle and schedule.

Instead of salad as an appetizer, consider it as a main course. Raw vegetables are a good source of fiber and nutrition. Your salad should contain at least 1 cup of iceberg lettuce and 1 cup of romaine lettuce. 1 cup of romaine lettuce provides little sodium, 167 mg of potassium, 25 mg of phosphorus, and 1 g of protein. In contrast, 1 cup of iceberg lettuce has about a third less of sodium, and about 50 percent less phosphorus.

You can add almost anything to the lettuce. Consider carrots, either sliced or grated (a 7.5 inch carrot provides 50 mg of sodium, 230 mg of potassium, 25 mg of phosphorus, and a little less than 1 g of protein). Other options include cucumbers, peppers, spinach, and kale (1/2 cup of chopped raw kale provides 15 mg of sodium, 150 mg of potassium, 20 mg of phosphorus, and 2.2 g of protein). Top it off with oil and balsamic vinaigrette and you have a delicious lunch.

Instead of a foot-long hoagie with fries for lunch, consider organic pita bread. A small 4-inch-diameter bread has anywhere from 60 to 120 mg of sodium, 50 mg of potassium, and 3 g of protein, with little or no sugar and fat. The phosphorus content is about 25 to 30 mg for this serving size. You can stuff the pita with any type of vegetable, as discussed in the case of the omelet, to make a vegetable sandwich.

Instead of a meaty cream-based soup, choose a broth-based vegetable soup instead. You can make any type of vegetable into a soup. Simply add vegetables of your choice to some vegetable broth and you are on your way. To find out more, you can check out Kidney Disease Diet Restrictions.

Chronic Kidney Disease Diet Plan

As stated before, advanced kidney disease reflects a state of acidosis, and medications like bicarbonate are prescribed to try to neutralize this acid effect. Often, however, this requires a lot of pills or citrate, a liquid form of the bicarbonate; and these medications are not tolerated well, as they can cause an upset stomach and heartburn.
Chronic Kidney Disease Diet Plan

Luckily, there are some tastier liquid alternatives that may help. Since many of you with CKD are restricted in how much you can drink, though, you need to be smart about it. And after all, shouldn't what you drink be as important as what you eat?
Alkalized Water
Many patients do not tolerate bicarbonate. For those who do, bicarbonate may not always be strong enough to counter the effects of acid buildup in the body. That is where alkalized water can help. Alkalized water is not only filtered, but with a pH of about 9 to 11, it has more of an alkaline pH than normal water, which is about 6.5 to 8.
There is water that is prepared already at this pH and there are ways of making it yourself. For instance, if you are using water that is filtered, the addition of pH drops can make the water more alkaline. Another option to increase the pH of filtered water is to add Iemon or lime. A good guideline is one teaspoon of lemon or lime to one quart of water. Lemon is converted to citrate in the body, which helps neutralize the body's acidity. The amount of potassium in the lemon is very small, but be aware of the potassium content of alkalized water if you choose to buy it.
The Role of Juicing
Juicing is a great way to not only get the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of fresh fruits and vegetables, but also to benefit from the alkaline effect of the fruits and vegetables you put in your drink. Again, it is important to watch the potassium content of the vegetables and fruits you choose.
A great juice drink my mother makes combines an apple (for flavor) with the three C's: cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots. You can vary what you put in the juice drink depending on your potassium restrictions. I would only recommend one fruit per drink, and in most cases, an apple, lemon, or lime should be the fruit added. Many other fruits are more acidic and can have a high glycemic index load, which you need to watch out for if you have diabetes.
Even on the most severe fluid restriction, juices can be enjoyed. For example, a 4 or 8 oz glass of freshly made juice in the morning is perfectly fine. For some, it can even take the place of the breakfast meal. Another option would be to have a 4 or 8 oz glass of alkaline water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. This also provides a great start to the day. If you are not on a severe fluid restriction, you can choose to have a glass with dinner as well

The best advice I can offer you is to be open and willing to change. For example, switching to a vegetable-based diet represents a radical change and is not easy for many; however, it can drastically improve your health. Moreover, most of us were raised to finish everything on our plates. Dinner was meat and potatoes, with maybe a soft drink or some other artificial drink to wash it down. Unhealthy eating behaviors were also instilled in many of us as teenagers, when fried food became our staple. Burgers and fries went hand in hand with zits and rock and roll.

Don't be afraid to kick those habits. The transition doesn't have to be difficult. Food can be tasty and nutritious. You just have to make the decision to change to a healthier lifestyle.

With each progressive stage of CKD, you should discuss dietary choices with your doctor and dietitian. Many of these dietary programs are individualized. A sampling of dietary options is presented below; but again, your particular situation may be somewhat different, so stay flexible. To find out more, you can check out Chronic Kidney Disease Diet Plan.

Chronic Kidney Disease Diet Menu

Diabetes and the Glycemic Index
If you have diabetes, one of the cornerstones of any eating plan is paying attention to the type and amount of carbohydrates you consume. Because of this, it is important to understand the glycemic index, which categorizes the effect that different carbohydrates can have on raising your blood sugar levels.
Chronic Kidney Disease Diet Menu

Eating carbohydrates that are lower on the glycemic index can increase your body's responsiveness to insulin. One of the hallmarks 0f this low-glycemic diet is again its emphasis on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. As before, you will have to watch the type of vegetables and fruits that you eat with regards to their potassium content. This type of diet plan is tremendous and can dramatically improve control of your blood sugars.
That being said, it is important to remember that in kidney disease, insulin can stay in the blood longer than it normally should. This is true for the insulin that your body makes, as well as for the insulin that your doctor may be prescribing for you. With any change in diet - changing the amount and types of carbohydrates that you are eating, for example - you may also need to reduce the amount of insulin that you are taking. If you do not, you will increase your risk of running a low blood sugar. Watch this with other groups of "diabetic medications" that you may be on, as well. An example is a class of diabetes medications called sulfonylureas (sole-fon-il-your-e-as). Your doctor may need to adjust them depending on your kidney function and blood sugar levels.
The Atkins Diet 

The Atkins diet has at its essence a very high-protein, high-fat model with little or no carbohydrates allowed. By putting your body in a state of ketosis (kee-toe-sis), or fatty acid breakdown, it can help with weight loss, blood sugar control, and cholesterol level lowering.

The downside is that the high protein load can be shocking to the kidneys. Forced to eliminate even more protein, the kidneys work harder, which may cause a worsening of kidney function. Therefore, I cannot endorse this diet in the setting of kidney disease.
The Acid-Alkaline Diet
The acid-alkaline diet works on the principle that our bodies, which are geared towards balance, need to be at a neutral pH level. Our blood pH - a measure of the level of the acidity or alkalinity in the blood - normally runs slightly basic; however, many of us who consume Western-based diets are guilty of eating more acid-forming foods, including animal protein, which result in high acid levels in the blood. When the acid levels in the blood rise, it is thought to be a major contributor to illness and other health problems, including a worsening of inflammation. As kidney disease worsens, there is a problem with acid buildup in the blood. In certain diseases like diabetes, people may be even more predisposed to states of acidosis even with mild kidney disease.

Many fruits and vegetables have more of an alkaline bent to maintain total body balance and decrease inflammation. But while they may be more alkaline, they also have a very moderate to high potassium content, and the amounts consumed need to be watched closely. Vegetables may be a better option. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beets, eggplant, green beans, cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, onions, radishes, summer squash, turnips, and water chestnuts have a low-to-moderate potassium content and are more alkaline. I recommend trying to include foods with an alkaline base, but careful attention needs to be paid to the potassium content of what you are eating. This requires a nutritional understanding of each piece of food you eat. To find out more, you can check out Chronic Kidney Disease Diet Menu.

Diet Plan For Kidney Disease


In our fast paced lives, quick and easy have become a priority. Convenience, however, has its consequences. When foods are processed they are changed from their natural states and many healthy nutrients are removed, resulting in foods that are high in saturated fats, transfats, sugar, salt, artificial ingredients, additives, and preservatives. If you have ever read the labeled ingredients of processed foods, I bet you have found that you can't pronounce most of them, let alone have any idea as to what they are. And don't let minimalistic labels fool you, either. Manufacturers are not required to list additives they consider safe, so their labels can read as little as "artificial color and flavor." In addition, the serving sizes of many prepared foods, such as certain frozen dinners, are much more than one person could possibly eat at a sitting.
Diet Plan For Kidney Disease

Whole foods, on the other hand, provide you with numerous natural benefits. The term whole foods includes vegetables, fruits, and grains, all of which are loaded with fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Studies indicate that whole grain foods significantly lower the risk of developing heart disease and strokes, and possibly diabetes and other chronic conditions.

When possible, buy organic fruits and vegetables in season. Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown. To be organic, the crops must be grown in safe soil, have no modifications, and be kept separate from conventional products. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. You may find that organic fruits and vegetables spoil faster because they aren't treated with waxes or preservatives. If fresh is not available, frozen fruits and vegetables are acceptable.

Even with whole foods, it is important to check the labels with regards to potassium and phosphorus content. In advanced stages of CKD, more restrictions may be prescribed and you will have to be more selective in food choices.

When choosing any food or dietary plan, there are a few other things to keep in mind. First, as CKD is a state of inflammation, any diet considered should be anti-inflammatory in nature. A vegetarian based diet is very helpful in this regard. Second, a kidney-based diet should reduce the body's acidity, because the build up of acid in the body affects kidney, bone, and total body health, and worsens inflammation. Foods that contribute to an acidosis, like meat protein, should be eliminated from the diet, and foods that can counter the acid effect on the body should be emphasized. Finally, remember that a vegetarian-based diet is kidney and total-body healthy. In many ways, this is a restating of point number one, but that's how important it is. Vegetables have potent anti-inflammatory properties, and those who are on vegetarian-based diets typically live longer and have a better quality of life.


We are now going to review some of the conditions in the context of which dietary options are best for them.

Hypertension and the DASH Diet
One of the most well-studied diets that has been demonstrated to have a dramatic effect on lowering blood pressure and preserving
kidney function is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet plan. Endorsed by organizations like the American Heart Association, DASH has at its core an emphasis on reducing salt intake and eating fruits, vegetables, and low fat foods. A recent article demonstrated that following the DASH diet reduced the incidence of heart failure.
The DASH diet, with its emphasis on vegetables, also has an emphasis on high potassium intake. If you have stage one or stage two kidney disease, this diet is an excellent option because it has a significant anti-inflammatory effect. You may have to watch your choices with regards to high potassium fruits and vegetables, but this is usually not too much of a problem in early kidney disease. If you have advanced CKD or problems with high potassium, then you need to be more careful in your food choices and make a point to discuss your diet with your doctor.

There are great many recipes and options with this diet. Cookbooks exist that give step-by-step plans regarding how to best utilize DASH. To find out more, you can check out Diet Plan For Kidney Disease.