Foods for after Kidney Transplant

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Food NameProteinCalciumSodium
Milk, human1.03217
Milk3.311741
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole3.211340
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole, low-sodium3.11013
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, whole3.241240
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, 1% fat3.421944
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat3.420452
Milk, cow's, fluid, other than whole ("lowfat")3.311942
Milk, cow's, fluid, 2% fat3.311741
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 1% fat3.411944
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 2% fat3.311741
Milk, cow's, fluid, 1% fat3.411944
Milk, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat, 0.5% or less butterfat3.412542
Milk, cow's, fluid, filled with vegetable oil3.312857
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  • Nutrition data are calculated per 100 g (3.5 oz) of food weight unless otherwise noted.
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  • Check or uncheck the nutrients in list below to choose which nutrition data to display.
  • Abbreviations: g = gram, mg = milligram, mcg = microgram, kcal = kilocalorie, kJ = kilojoule.

















Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant is an operation that places a healthy kidney in your body. The transplanted kidney takes over the work of the two kidneys that failed, so you no longer need dialysis.

Nutrition after Kidney Transplant

information from the National Institutes of Health

  • Calcium
    If you have been ill for a period of time, your body probably lacks the balance of calcium and phosphorus needed for healthy bones, especially if you had kidney disease. Patients taking prednisone after transplant need more calcium.
  • Phosphorus
    As your new kidney begins to function, your body is able to rebuild bone mass that may have been lost during renal failure. While the bones are gaining back strength, your blood phosphorous level could drop quite low. You may need to eat foods high in phosphorous.
  • Magnesium
    Some patients have low levels of magnesium in their blood. These patients often need supplements to raise blood levels of magnesium. In this case, in addition to supplements, you should eat foods rich in magnesium.
  • Potassium
    As long as your transplant is working well, you should be able to take in normal amounts of potassium from your food. However, some transplant medications can increase your blood level of potassium, while other medications you need to take will decrease it. To control your blood potassium level, you will need to monitor the level of potassium intake in your diet.
  • Protein
    Protein is important for building and repairing muscles and tissues and therefore helps you heal after surgery. Your protein intake need to be higher than normal right after your transplant to build up the muscle tissue that will be broken down by the large doses of steroids. Later, you can return to moderate amounts of protein.
  • Sodium
    Most transplant recipients still need to restrict salt (sodium chloride), although it varies with each person. Transplant medications, especially steroids, may cause your body to retain fluid. Salt makes this problem worse, increasing fluid retention and raising blood pressure. Controlling blood pressure is very important to your transplant.
    If fluid retention or high blood pressure are problems for you, a low-sodium diet may need to be followed indefinitely.
  • Sugar
    Avoid high-sugar foods to reduce risk of excessive weight gain. Patients taking glucocorticoids (prednisone) after kidney transplantation often have very large appetites and can feel hungry all day. This can lead to eating larger portions and eating more often than usual, causing weight gain.
  • Weight Gain
    Excessive weight gain is a common problem for many transplant patients. Renal failure may have required many limitations on food choices before transplant. These restrictions may not apply after the transplant surgery. Freedom to indulge and increased hunger due to medications may result in excessive weight gain.
    You may need to limit foods that are high in fat and calories and include more high-fiber foods. Low-fat and high-fiber foods will help you control high cholesterol levels.

What to Eat after Kidney Transplant

Use our web app to select the optimal foods based on your doctor's recommendation. The nutrients important to the after-transplant diet have been compiled to make it convenient for your use.

Turn the checkboxes on or off to display the nutrient data you wish to monitor. Click column headers to sort foods in order you prefer.

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