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Use this brochure as a guide until your dietitian prepares a personalized meal plan for you. You will need to:
People on dialysis need to eat more protein. Protein can help maintain blood protein levels and improve health. Eat a high protein food (meat, fish, poultry, fresh pork, or eggs) at every meal, or about 8-10 ounces of high protein foods everyday.
3 ounce = the size of a deck of cards, a medium pork chop, a ¼ pound hamburger patty, ½ chicken breast, a medium fish fillet.
1 ounce = 1 egg or ¼-cup egg substitute, ¼-cup tuna, ¼-cup ricotta cheese, 1 slice of low sodium lunchmeat.
Note : Even though peanut butter, nuts, seeds, dried beans, peas, and lentils have protein, these foods are generally not recommended because they are high in both potassium and phosphorus.
Unless you need to limit your calorie intake for weight loss and/or manage carbohydrate intake for blood sugar control, you may eat, as you desire from this food group. Grains, cereals, and breads are a good source of calories. Most people need 6 -11 servings from this group each day.
Avoid “whole grain” and “high fiber” foods (like whole wheat bread, bran cereal and brown rice) to help you limit your intake of phosphorus. By limiting dairy–based foods you protect your bones and blood vessels.
Limit your intake of milk, yogurt, and cheese to ½-cup milk or ½-cup yogurt or 1-ounce cheese per day. Most dairy foods are very high in phosphorus.
The phosphorus content is the same for all types of milk – skim, low fat, and whole! If you do eat any high-phosphorus foods, take a phosphate binder with that meal.
If you have or are at risk for heart disease, some of the high fat foods listed above may not be good choices for you.
Certain brands of non-dairy creams and “milk” (such as rice milk) are low in phosphorus and potassium. Ask your dietitian for details.
All fruits have some potassium, but certain fruits have more than others and should be limited or totally avoided. Limiting potassium protects your heart.
Always AVOID star fruit (carambola).
Eat 2-3 servings of low potassium fruits each day.
One serving = ½-cup or 1 small fruit or 4 ounces of juice.
All vegetables have some potassium, but certain vegetables have more than others and should be limited or totally avoided. Limiting potassium intake protects your heart.
Eat 2-3 servings of low-potassium vegetables each day. One serving = ½-cup.
Depending on your calorie needs, your dietitian may recommend high-calorie deserts. Pies, cookies, sherbet, and cakes are good choices (but limit dairy-based desserts and those made with chocolate, nuts, and bananas). If you are a diabetic, discuss low carbohydrate dessert choices with your dietitian.
Cranberry Juice, 4 ounces
Eggs (2) or ½-cup egg substitute
Toasted white bread, 2 slices, with Butter or tub margarine or fruit spread
Coffee, 6 ounces
Tuna salad sandwich made with 3 ounces tuna on a hard roll with lettuce and mayonnaise.
(Other good choices for sandwiches include egg and chicken salad, lean roast beef, low salt ham and turkey breast.)
Pretzels (low salt)
Canned and drained peaches, ½-cup
Ginger Ale, 8 ounces
(Cola drinks are high in phosphorus. Choose ginger ale or lemon-lime beverages instead.)
Hamburger patty, 4 ounces on a bun with 1-2 teaspoons ketchup
Salad (1 cup): lettuce, cucumber, radishes, peppers, with olive oil and vinegar dressing
Lemonade, 8 ounces
Aim for at least 2-3 “fish” meals each week. Many fish are rich in heart-healthy “omega-3” fats. Tuna and salmon (rinsed or canned without salt) and shellfish are excellent heart healthy protein choices.
Milk, 4 ounces
Slice of apple pie
This meal plan provides 2150 Calories, 91 grams protein, 2300 mg sodium, 1800 mg (46 mEq) potassium, 950 mg phosphorus. 38 ounces of oral fluid.
Reference: ESHA “Food Processor” nutrition software, version 8.5.0
The National Kidney Foundation would like to thank the Council on Renal Nutrition for the development of this fact sheet.
If you would like more information, please contact us.
©2013 National Kidney Foundation. All rights reserved. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. No one associated with the National Kidney Foundation will answer medical questions via e-mail. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.