Your Kidney Diet Prescription

The kidney diet (also known as a renal diet) is an important part of treatment for chronic kidney disease (CKD). In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, studies have shown that limiting protein and phosphorus in a kidney-friendly diet can be beneficial to help prolong kidney function. Keeping blood pressure and blood sugar in control are also important to help delay kidney failure. In the late stage of kidney disease, patients work with their doctor and renal dietitian to make sure they get enough protein in their renal diet as well as limit phosphorus, potassium and sodium. A patient with kidney disease is generally given a diet prescription to ensure his or her nutritional needs are met. DaVita offers an online meal planner, the DaVita Diet Helper™, to help people in the later stages of kidney disease. If a person has their diet prescription they can use this tool to help them plan their kidney diet.

The DaVita Diet Helper is an online meal planning tool that helps people in stage 4 and stage 5 chronic kidney disease plan their daily meals. The kidney diet helps control protein, potassium, sodium and phosphorus intake. By providing information about their diet prescription—including protein grams and potassium milligrams—patients receive a meal plan, including menus and recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that meet their dietary requirements on the kidney diet. The DaVita Diet Helper helps answer the question kidney patients often ask: “What can I eat on the kidney diet?”

The diet prescription is provided by a person's doctor or renal dietitian. The healthcare professional will determine the necessary:

  • Grams of protein based on the patient’s size
  • Milligrams of potassium based on the patient’s serum potassium level
  • Milligrams of phosphorus based on the patient’s phosphorus level
  • Milligrams of sodium

To use the DaVita Diet Helper, a patient will need to know his or her recommended protein grams and potassium milligrams. If the patient has been prescribed 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100 grams of protein per day, he or she will be able to use DaVita Diet Helper. The potassium milligrams choices are 2,000 or 4,000. Sodium milligrams are capped at 2,000 milligrams per day. Meals will range from 800 to 1,200 mg phosphorus depending on protein level selection. That is, 50-gram protein meals are closer to 800 milligrams phosphorus per day, while 100-gram protein meals are closer to 1,200 mg phosphorus per day.

Who should use DaVita Diet Helper?

The kidney diet helps control protein, potassium, sodium and phosphorus intake. If you are not in the later stages of chronic kidney disease and your doctor or dietitian has not suggested you be on a kidney diet, the DaVita Diet Helper may not be suitable for you. If you do not know your stage of kidney disease or whether you should be on a kidney diet, ask your doctor or dietitian. If the DaVita Diet Helper meal planner is appropriate for you, your doctor or renal dietitian can write you a kidney diet prescription.

Related kidney disease education articles on DaVita.com


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