Renal Diet for Chronic Kidney Disease

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Food NameCarbProteinFatPhosphorusPotassiumWater 
Milk, human6.91.04.4145188
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole4.53.23.39114388
Milk, cow's, fluid, whole, low-sodium4.53.13.58625388
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, whole4.53.23.29114388
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, 1% fat5.03.41.09515090
Milk, calcium fortified, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat4.93.40.210116691
Milk, cow's, fluid, other than whole ("lowfat")
Milk, cow's, fluid, 2% fat4.73.32.09415089
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 1% fat5.03.41.09515090
Milk, cow's, fluid, acidophilus, 2% fat4.73.32.09415089
Milk, cow's, fluid, 1% fat5.03.41.09515090
Milk, cow's, fluid, skim or nonfat, 0.5% or less butterfat5.03.40.110115691
Milk, cow's, fluid, filled with vegetable oil4.73.33.49713988

Usage Note

  • Carbohydrate, protein, fat and water values are in grams and calculated per 100g of food weight. Phosphorus and potassium values are in milligrams.
  • Click on column header to sort foods by name or by nutrient content.
  • Pie chart shows relative contributions to total calories from carbohydrate, protein and fat (and alcohol, if exists).
  • The mineral and vitamin charts show the relative contents of minerals and vitamins of each food. The higher the bubble, the higher mineral or vitamin content a food has relative to other foods. The larger the bubble, the greater the mineral or vitamin content relative to the Recommended Daily Allowances.

RENAL DIET for Chronic Kidney Disease

information from the National Institutes of Health

When you have chronic kidney disease, you need to make changes in your diet, including:

  • Limiting fluids
  • Eating a low-protein diet (this may be recommended)
  • Restricting salt, potassium, phosphorus, and other electrolytes
  • Getting enough calories if you are losing weight

Your recommended diet may change over time if your kidney disease gets worse, or if you need dialysis.

Purpose of the RENAL DIET

information from the National Institutes of Health

The purpose of this diet is to maintain a balance of electrolytes, minerals, and fluid in patients who are on dialysis. The special diet is important because dialysis alone does not effectively remove ALL waste products. These waste products can also build up between dialysis treatments.

Most dialysis patients urinate very little or not at all. Therefore, fluid restriction between treatments is very important. Without urination, fluid will build up in the body and lead to excess fluid in the heart, lungs, and ankles.

RENAL DIET Recommendations

from the National Institutes of Health

If you are overweight or have diabetes, you may need to limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Otherwise, carbohydrates are a good source of energy for your body. If your health care provider has recommended a low-protein diet, you may replace the calories from protein with:
•Fruits, breads, grains, and vegetables. These foods provide energy, as well as fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
•Hard candies, sugar, honey, and jelly.
If needed, you can even eat high-calorie desserts such as pies, cakes, or cookies, as long as you limit desserts made with dairy, chocolate, nuts, or bananas.

Online database: Carbohydrate Content of Foods

Fats can be a good source of calories. Make sure to use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil) to help protect your arteries. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or dietitian about fats and cholesterol that may increase your risk for heart problems.

Low-protein diets may be helpful before dialysis. Your doctor or dietitian may recommend a moderate-protein diet (1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day).

Once you start dialysis, you will need more protein. In fact, a high-protein diet with fish, poultry, pork, or eggs at every meal may be recommended. This will help you replace muscles and other tissues that you lose.

People on dialysis should eat 8 - 10 ounces of high-protein foods each day. Your doctor, dietitian, or nurse may suggest adding egg whites, egg white powder, or protein powder.

Online database: Protein Content of Foods

Calcium and phosphorus, two other important minerals in the body, are also monitored closely. Even in the early stages of chronic kidney disease, phosphorus levels in the blood can become too high. This can cause:

•Low calcium (this causes the body to pull calcium from your bones, which can make your bones weaker and more likely to break)


You will need to limit the amount of dairy foods that you eat. This includes milk, yogurt, and cheese. Some dairy foods are lower in phosphorus, including tub margarine, butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, ricotta cheese, brie cheese, sherbet, and nondairy whipped toppings.

Fruits and vegetables contain only small amounts of phosphorus.

You may need to take calcium supplements to prevent bone disease, and vitamin D to control the balance of calcium and phosphorus in your body. Ask your doctor, nurse, or dietititan.

If dietary measures to lower phosphorus are not enough, your doctor may recommend "phosphorus binders."

Online database: Calcium Content of Foods

Online database: Phosphorus Content of Foods

In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, you do not need to limit how much fluid you drink. As your kidney disease becomes worse or when you are on dialysis, you will need to watch how much you drink. In between dialysis sessions, fluid can build up in the body.

Your doctor and dialysis nurse will let you know how much you should drink every day. Do not eat too much of foods that contain a lot of water, such as soups, Jell-O, popsicles, ice cream, grapes, melons, lettuce, tomatoes, and celery.

Use smaller cups or glasses and turn over your cup after you have finished it.

Tips to keep from becoming thirsty include:

•Avoid salty foods

•Freeze some juice in an ice cube tray and eat it like a popsicle (you must count these ice cubes in your daily amount of fluids)

•Stay cool on hot days

Reducing sodium in your diet helps you control high blood pressure, keeps you from being thirsty, and prevents your body from holding onto extra fluid. A low-salt diet is usually needed.

Look for these words on food labels:


•No salt added


•Sodium reduced


Check all labels to see how much salt or sodium foods contain per serving. Also, avoid foods that list salt near the beginning of the ingredients. Look for products with less than 100 mg of salt per serving.

Do not use salt when cooking and take the salt shaker away from the table. Most other herbs are safe, and you can use them to flavor your food instead of salt.

DO NOT use salt substitutes because they contain potassium. People with chronic kidney disease also need to limit their potassium.

Online database: Sodium Content of Foods

Normal blood levels of potassium help keep your heart beating steadily. However, too much potassium can build up when the kidneys no longer function well. Dangerous heart rhythms may result.

Potassium is found in many food groups, including fruits and vegetables. Choosing the right item from each food group can help control your potassium levels.

When eating fruits:

•Choose peaches, grapes, pears, cherries, apples, berries, pineapple, plums, tangerines, and watermelon

•Limit or avoid oranges and orange juice, nectarines, Kiwis, raisins or other dried fruit, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, prunes, and nectarines

When eating vegetables:

•Choose broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green and wax beans, lettuce, onion, peppers, watercress, zucchini, and yellow squash

•Limit or avoid asparagus, avocado, potatoes, tomatoes or tomato sauce, winter squash, pumpkin, avocado, and cooked spinach

Online database: Potassium Content of Foods


Patients with advanced kidney failure usually need extra iron.

Many foods contain extra iron (liver, beef, pork, chicken, lima and kidney beans, iron-fortified cereals).

Online database: Iron Content of Foods

High-Potassium AND High-Phosphorus Foods

List of 100 foods high in BOTH phosphorus and potassium. Phosphorus and potassium contents are in milligrams per 100 grams of food weight.

High-Phosphorus and High-Potassium Foods Phosphorus Potassium

Spices, coriander leaf, dried 481 4466

Soy flour, full-fat, roasted 476 2041

Soy flour, full-fat, roasted, crude protein basis (N x 6.25) 476 2041

Cereals ready-to-eat, KASHI GOLEAN 475 926

Nuts, pistachio nuts, dry roasted, without salt added 469 1007

Nuts, pistachio nuts, dry roasted, with salt added 469 1007

Coffee and cocoa (mocha) powder, with whitener and low calorie sweetener, 451 1856

Coffee and cocoa (mocha) powder, with whitener and low calorie sweetener 451 1856

Winged beans, mature seeds, raw 451 977

Lentils, raw 451 955

Spices, chervil, dried 450 4740

Beans, great northern, mature seeds, raw 447 1387

Beans, small white, mature seeds, raw 445 1542

Cheese, gjetost 444 1409

Beans, black turtle soup, mature seeds, raw 440 1500

Spices, anise seed 440 1441

Lupins, mature seeds, raw 440 1013

Cowpeas, catjang, mature seeds, raw 438 1375

Spices, parsley, dried 436 2683

Beverage, instant breakfast powder, chocolate, not reconstituted 427 947

Cowpeas, common (blackeyes, crowder, southern), mature seeds, raw 424 1112

Broadbeans (fava beans), mature seeds, raw 421 1062

Cereals ready-to-eat, NATURE'S PATH, OPTIMUM SLIM 420 956

Leavening agents, baking powder, low-sodium 6869 10100

Seeds, cottonseed meal, partially defatted (glandless) 1684 1869

Rice bran, crude 1677 1485

Puddings, chocolate flavor, low calorie, instant, dry mix 1660 1279

Cocoa mix, with aspartame, low calorie, powder, with added calcium phosphorus, 1630 2702

without added sodium or vitamin A

High-Phosphorus and High-Potassium Foods Phosphorus Potassium

Seeds, cottonseed flour, partially defatted (glandless) 1597 1772

Seeds, cottonseed flour, low fat (glandless) 1587 1761

Smelt, dried (Alaska Native) 1400 1000

Whey, acid, dried 1349 2289

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, KRETSCHMER Toasted Wheat Bran 1314 1284

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN Original 1150 1020

Cereals ready-to-eat, wheat germ, toasted, plain 1146 947

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, KRETSCHMER Wheat Germ, Regular 1130 1097

Fish, whitefish, dried (Alaska Native) 1040 1080

Wheat bran, crude 1013 1182

Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, KRETSCHMER Honey Crunch Wheat Germ 1011 964

Milk, dry, nonfat, instant, with added vitamin A and vitamin D 985 1705

Milk, dry, nonfat, instant, without added vitamin A and vitamin D 985 1705

Steelhead trout, dried, flesh (Shoshone Bannock) 976 1720

Milk, dry, nonfat, regular, with added vitamin A and vitamin D 968 1794

Milk, dry, nonfat, regular, without added vitamin A and vitamin D 968 1794

Fish, cod, Atlantic, dried and salted 950 1458

Milk, buttermilk, dried 933 1592

Whey, sweet, dried 932 2080

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN WITH EXTRA FIBER 900 1050

Cocoa mix, no sugar added, powder 893 2702

Dairy drink mix, chocolate, reduced calorie, with low-calorie sweeteners, powder 893 2240

Soy protein concentrate, produced by alcohol extraction 839 2202

Cereals ready-to-eat, POST, 100% Bran Cereal 813 947

Soy protein isolate, PROTEIN TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, ProPlus 800 1600

Seeds, cottonseed kernels, roasted (glandless) 800 1350

Soy protein isolate, potassium type, crude protein basis 776 1590

Soy protein isolate, potassium type 776 1590

Milk, dry, whole, with added vitamin D 776 1330

Milk, dry, whole, without added vitamin D 776 1330

Peanut flour, defatted 760 1290

Phosphorus-Rich AND Potassium-Rich Foods Phosphorus Potassium

Cocoa, dry powder, hi-fat or breakfast, processed with alkali 758 2509

Cocoa, dry powder, hi-fat or breakfast, plain 758 1574

Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened 734 1524

Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened, processed with alkali 728 2509

Soybeans, mature seeds, raw 704 1797

Soy meal, defatted, raw 701 2490

Soy meal, defatted, raw, crude protein basis (N x 6.25) 701 2490

Soy flour, defatted, crude protein basis (N x 6.25) 675 2090

Soy flour, low-fat 675 2090

Soy flour, defatted 674 2384

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG'S, SPECIAL K Protein Plus 671 1111

Salmon, red (sockeye), filets with skin, smoked (Alaska Native) 650 960

Fish, salmon, chum, dried (Alaska Native) 650 910

Soybeans, mature seeds, dry roasted 649 1364

Protein supplement, milk based, Muscle Milk, powder 643 1129

Meat extender 639 1902

Leavening agents, yeast, baker's, active dry 637 955

Orange-flavor drink, breakfast type, low calorie, powder 629 3132

Seeds, lotus seeds, dried 626 1368

Soy flour, low-fat, crude protein basis (N x 6.25) 593 2570

Coffee substitute, cereal grain beverage, powder 580 2443

Spices, caraway seed 568 1351

Yardlong beans, mature seeds, raw 559 1157

Parsley, freeze-dried 548 6300

Spices, celery seed 547 1400

Spices, dill weed, dried 543 3308

Babyfood, cereal, high protein, with apple and orange, dry 539 1330

Incaparina, dry mix (corn and soy flours), unprepared 530 1030

Chives, freeze-dried 518 2960

Seal, bearded (Oogruk), meat, partially dried (Alaska Native) 510 960

Peanut flour, low fat 508 1358

Phosphorus-Rich AND Potassium-Rich Foods Phosphorus Potassium

Beverage, instant breakfast powder, chocolate, sugar-free, not reconstituted 500 1705

Cereals ready-to-eat, KELLOGG, KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN BRAN BUDS 500 1000

Spices, cumin seed 499 1788

Soy flour, full-fat, raw 494 2515

Soy flour, full-fat, raw, crude protein basis (N x 6.25) 494 2515

Fruit-flavored drink, powder, with high vitamin C with other added vitamins, low calorie 493 2518

Nuts, pistachio nuts, raw 490 1025

Mothbeans, mature seeds, raw 489 1191

Beans, yellow, mature seeds, raw 488 1042

Spices, fennel seed 487 1694

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