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I'm on Dialysis – What Can I Eat?

World Kidney Day

The Dialysis (Renal) Diet can be very overwhelming. The basics of the diet are maintaining a healthy balance of nutrients and keeping portions under control. Your Renal Dietitian is an important teammate in your care and is a great person to talk to in regards to your specific diet – which is based on your labs.

Here are the basics:

  • Make sure you eat enough calories and protein. Calories help keep your energy up. Protein keeps your muscles strong.
  • Sodium – usually a 2gm salt restriction. Too much salt can make you thirsty and consume more fluids. It also helps with blood pressure control.
  • Fluid – usually a 1 liter restriction. Talk to your Renal Dietitian about how much fluid you should consume. Any foods that melt at room temperature are considered a fluid – ice cream, jello, puddings, & water ice.
  • Potassium – helps with muscles and nerves. Too much or too little potassium is not good. Limit high potassium foods such as potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, oranges, & dairy products.
  • Phosphorus – important for bone health. Too much phosphorus in your blood causes your body to pull calcium from your bones. If phosphorus remains high for too long of a time, bones become weak, vessels harden and skin starts itching. Limit high phosphorus foods such as chocolate, dairy products, cola type beverages, nuts, peanut butter, beans and whole grains.
    • Phosphate binders help bind or absorb phosphorus in your diet. It is VERY important to take your binders with every meal. The most optimal time is after a couple of bites of your food.

Work with your Renal Dietitian to find out what is best for you. If you follow the basics, you will live a healthy life on dialysis! For more diet info click here.