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Beans are in the legume family which includes dried lentils and split peas. Recent research shows the benefits of plant-based foods in the kidney diet. Beans are great for people with kidney disease to enjoy. Beans are affordable and easy to get! Beans are available at very low prices at grocery stores, food pantries, corner stores, dollar stores, and more.

Why are beans a superfood?

Beans are low in fat and have no saturated fat, trans fat, or cholesterol helping protect your heart from heart disease. 

They are also high in:

  • Fiber: helps you stay full longer, so you eat less, lowers bad cholesterol, slows how quickly blood sugar rises after a meal, and feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Protein: provides 6-8 grams of protein in ½ cup and is a great non-animal protein option.
  • Iron: a good source of iron providing almost ⅓ of your recommended iron intake.
  • Potassium and magnesium: two minerals that help heart function and control blood pressure.

Beans and kidney disease

Since beans are a plant-based food, the phosphorus and potassium from beans are not absorbed as well as the phosphorus and potassium from animal sources or phosphate and potassium additives. The amount of potassium and phosphorus you can have each day will depend on your stage of kidney disease or the type of treatment you receive. Learn more.

Chronic kidney disease and transplant recipients

Most people with CKD not on dialysis and post-transplant do not have to limit beans due to potassium or phosphorus. If your laboratory results show higher levels of potassium or phosphorus, talk to a kidney dietitian. Find a kidney dietitian.

Hemodialysis (3 times a week)

Work with your kidney dietitian to create a meal plan that allows you to safely consume beans within your dietary plan. For example, you may be able to use beans in place of meat.

Daily home and nocturnal hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis

These types of dialysis can remove more potassium. Beans can give you the protein and potassium you need. Work with your kidney dietitian to create a meal plan that allows you to safely consume beans within your dietary plan.

Kidney stones

If you have a history of calcium oxalate stones, talk with your doctor or kidney dietitian about the need to limit oxalates. Many beans are high in oxalates. 

Bean nutrition facts

Serving (1/2 cup) cooked Protein (gm) Potassium (mg) Phosphorus (mg)
Black beans 7 305 120
Black-eyed peas 2.5 345 42
Chickpeas 7 238 137
Kidney beans 8 356 178
Lentils 9 365 178
Lima beans/butter beans 6.7 437 96
Navy beans 7 354 131
Pinto beans 7 372 125
White beans 8 414 150


Three beans salad

Makes 16 servings


  • 1 can low sodium green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can low sodium wax beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can low sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, sliced into thin rings
  • ⅔ cup white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp celery seed
  • 2 Tbsp sugar


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Marinate the salad in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before serving.


Nutritional facts per 1/2 cup serving

Calories 71
Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrate 6 g
Sugar 2 g
Potassium 89 mg
Phosphorus 22 mg
Calcium 19 mg

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For more information, contact the National Kidney Foundation

Toll-free help line: 855.NKF.CARES or email:

*This content is provided for informational use only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for the medical advice of a healthcare professional.

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