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Kidney Disease Foods: The 10 Best Foods For People With Kidney Disease

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If you have kidney disease, you may need to follow a special diet, usually low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. This may not heal your kidneys, but it can help make them healthier.

Kidney Disease Foods, When your kidneys aren’t working properly, waste builds up in the blood, including waste products from food. People with kidney disease can benefit from following a special diet known as a renal diet.

Here, we look at 10 of the best foods for people with kidney disease.

Diet And Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease Foods, Dietary restrictions vary depending on the level of kidney damage. People with later-stage kidney disease will have different restrictions from those with early kidney disease.

At any stage, the diet will need to boost kidney function while lowering the risk of further damage.

Kidney Disease Foods, While dietary restrictions vary, people with kidney disease typically need to restrict the following nutrients. The kidneys may have difficulty removing or processing these nutrients, and high levels can cause damage to the body.

Nutrient Amount

Kidney Disease Foods, Sodium, the key ingredient in salt under 2 grams per day

Potassium  restrictions will depend on stage of kidney disease

Phosphorus  800–1,000 mg per day

Kidney Disease Foods, Protein restrictions will depend on stage of kidney disease

Since kidney disease has close links with heart disease, it’s best to combine these choices with a heart-healthy diet — one that contains plenty of fresh, plant-based foods and is low in saturated fats.

Kidney Disease Foods, Everyone’s experience of kidney disease varies, so it’s important to talk with a doctor about your individual dietary needs.

What Foods Help Kidneys Repair?

Here are 10 foods that may improve kidney health or prevent it from worsening:

1. Cauliflower

Kidney Disease Foods

Kidney Disease People Foods, Cauliflower provides many nutrients, including vitamin K, folate, and fiber. It also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Try mashed cauliflower in place of potato for a low potassium side dish.

One-half cup or about 62 grams (g) of boiled cauliflower without salt contains:

Sodium: 9.3 milligrams (mg)

Potassium: 88 mg

Phosphorus: 20 mg

Protein: 1 g

2. Blueberries

Kidney Disease Foods

Kidney Disease People Foods, Blueberries are rich in nutrients and antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which may protect against heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.

They’re also low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium.

One cup (148 g) of fresh blueberries contains:

Sodium: 1.5 mg

Potassium: 114 mg

Phosphorus: 18 mg

Protein: 1 g

3. Sea Bass

Kidney Disease Foods

Kidney Disease People Foods, Sea bass is a fish option that provides high quality protein. It also contains healthy fats called omega-3s. Omega-3s may help prevent a range of diseases and boost the health of those living with long-term conditions.

Three ounces (85 g) of cooked sea bass contains:

Sodium: 74 mg

Potassium: 279 mg

Phosphorus: 211 mg

Protein: 20 g

Kidney Disease People Foods, However, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends eating small portions of meat or fish, as high protein levels can make the kidneys work harder.

One portion is 2–3 ounces of chicken, fish, or meat, or a piece around the size of a deck of cards.

4. Red Grapes

Red Grapes

Kidney Disease People Foods, Red grapes are a good source of antioxidants called flavonoids, which may help reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.

One half-cup (75 g) of red grapes contains:

Sodium: 1.5 mg

Potassium: 144 mg

Phosphorus: 15 mg

Protein: 0.5 g

5. Egg Whites

Egg Whites

Kidney Disease People Foods, Egg whites provide a high quality, kidney-friendly source of protein that is low in phosphorus.

Kidney Disease People Foods, Egg whites may be a better choice than whole eggs for people on a renal diet, as egg yolks can be high in phosphorus.

Two large, raw egg whites (66 g) contain:

Sodium: 110 mg

Potassium: 108 mg

Phosphorus: 10 mg

Protein: 7 g

6. Garlic


Kidney Disease People Foods, Garlic provides a tasty alternative to salt, adding flavor to dishes while also providing nutritional benefits.

Kidney Disease People Foods, It’s a good source of manganese and vitamin B6. It also contains sulfur compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.

Three cloves (9 g) of garlic contain:

Sodium: 1.5 mg

Potassium: 36 mg

Phosphorus: 14 mg

Protein: 0.5 g

7. Buckwheat


Kidney Disease People Foods, Buckwheat is a whole grain that’s low in potassium. It also contains B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and fiber.

It’s also gluten-free, making it suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance

A half cup (85 g) of buckwheat contains:

Sodium: 0.8 mg

Potassium: 391 mg

Phosphorus: 295 mg

Protein: 11 g

8. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Kidney Disease People Foods, Olive oil is a healthy source of vitamin E and mostly unsaturated fat. It’s also phosphorus-free, making it a suitable option for people with kidney disease.

Most of the fat in olive oil is oleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Kidney Disease People Foods, What’s more, monounsaturated fats are stable at high temperatures, making olive oil a healthy choice for cooking.

One tablespoon (14 g) of olive oil contains:

Sodium: 0.3 mg

Potassium: 0.1 mg

Phosphorus: 0 mg

Protein: 0 g

9. Bulgur


Kidney Disease People Foods, Bulgur is a whole grain wheat product and a kidney-friendly alternative to other whole grains that are higher in potassium and phosphorus.

Bulgur provides B vitamins, magnesium, and iron, as well as plant-based protein and fiber, which is important for digestive health.

A half-cup (70 g) serving of cooked bulgur contains:

Sodium: 154 mg

Potassium: 48 mg

Phosphorus: 28 mg

Protein: 2 g

10. Cabbage


Kidney Disease People Foods, Cabbage belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family and provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds.

The authors of a 2021 study note that white, green, and red cabbage can help:

Manage blood sugar

Reduce the risk of kidney and liver damage

Prevent oxidative stress and obesity

A cup (70 g) of shredded savoy cabbage contains:

Sodium: 20 mg

Potassium: 161 mg

Phosphorus: 29 mg

Protein: 1.4 g

Also Read:

Kidney Stone Diet: The Foods To Eat And Avoid And Recipes

Top 18 Best Foods For Kidney Disease

The 10 Best Home Remedies For Stomach Pain

The Best 6 Healthy Sources Of Fats For Vegetarians

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