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Healthy Food Swaps for a Kidney Diet

Disclaimer:This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician.

You have many healthy food options when you’re on a kidney-friendly diet. We’ve gathered the top sodium, phosphorus and potassium food substitutes so you can create a menu that’s right for you.

Sodium swaps

Choose low-sodium substitutes

Limit high-sodium options

Fresh vegetables

Canned or processed vegetables

Frozen vegetables (use low-sodium seasonings)

Frozen vegetables in cheese, butter or garlic sauce

Homemade marinades or dressings

Commercially prepared marinades or dressings

Reduced-sodium condiments or snacks

High-sodium condiments or snacks

Phosphorus swaps

Choose low-phosphorus substitutes

Limit high-phosphorus options

Nondairy creamers, rice milk (unenriched), sour cream without phosphate additives

Milk or cheese

Lemon-lime soda, homemade iced tea, root beer, apple cider or spiced cranberry juice

Dark cola, bottled and canned beverages with phosphate additives or hot cocoa

Jam, jelly, honey, margarine or butter

Peanut butter or other nut butter spreads

White rice, pasta, macaroni, grits or couscous

Brown rice or wild rice

Fresh or fresh frozen meats, fish or poultry

Processed or enhanced meats, fish and poultry

Potassium swaps

Choose low-potassium substitutes

Limit high-potassium options

Apples, berries, grapes, peaches or pineapple

Bananas, oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe or honeydew

Mashed potatoes or hash browns (soak and boil to reduce potassium)

Baked potato or french fries

Onion, bell peppers, mushrooms or garlic

Tomatoes, tomato sauce or chili sauce

Vanilla- or lemon-flavored desserts

Chocolate desserts

Eating foods for a kidney diet can still be flavorful. Start using the suggested substituted ingredients today, many of which are found in the kidney-friendly recipes on DaVita.com.

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