National Nutrition Month

Daily kidney diet tips

In observance of National Nutrition Month, the DaVita® dietitian team has compiled an education calendar of daily diet tips. These tips are displayed in DaVita dialysis centers across the nation to help people following a kidney diet enjoy a healthier life.

Print all tips:   English (Icon - PDF PDF 2.7 MB) | Spanish   (Icon - PDF PDF 2.9 MB)

Day 1

Eat a variety of foods from your allowed food list

  • Include a source of protein at each meal, such as eggs, meat, fish and poultry.
Day 2

Remember to take your binders

  • Too much phosphorus can harm your heart and make your bones weak.
  • Binders help keep phosphorus out of your blood.
Day 3

Low or high potassium can be trouble

  • Eat the right amount of fruits and vegetables to keep your potassium normal.
Day 4

Take a renal vitamin every day

  • There are special vitamins made for people on dialysis.
Day 5

Limit your fluid intake

  • Excess fluid affects your blood pressure, causes your heart to work harder and can cause shortness of breath.
Day 6

Limit high-phosphorus foods

  • Some high-phosphorus foods are dairy products, cola, nuts, peanut butter, dried beans or peas, chocolate and liver.
Day 7

Reduce sodium

  • Foods high in sodium can make you thirsty.
  • Avoid frozen foods and dinners, ham, pickles, salty snacks, etc.
Day 8

Control thirst

  • Chewing gum, sucking on hard candy or on lemon wedges can relieve a dry mouth.
Day 9

Eat your meat

  • Protein is important for overall health.
Day 10

Dine out with confidence

  • Choose a restaurant where food is "made to order"; look over the menu and ask how food is prepared.
  • Request "no salt."
  • Share or take home large portions.
Day 11

Enjoy renal diet cookbooks

Some titles include:

Day 12

Get enough protein

  • Choose fish, chicken, turkey and lean red meats.
  • Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Day 13

Hints for fluid control

  • Drink only if you are truly thirsty.
  • Eat less sodium.
  • Chew gum.
  • Spray your mouth with cold mouthwash.
  • Avoid activities that cause you to become overheated or extra thirsty.
Day 14

Ask your personal coach: The registered dietitian

  • Ask your registered dietitian when you have questions or concerns about what to eat.
Day 15

Measure albumin

  • Albumin is one way your protein is measured and should be at least at 4.0.
Day 16

Play it safe with food

  • Prepare, handle and store food properly to keep it safe.
Day 17

Time your phosphorus binders

  • Always take phosphorus binders when you eat.
  • Take them during or immediately after meals.
Day 18

Stay for your entire dialysis treatment

  • Stay for all of the dialysis that your doctor has prescribed. If you skip treatments, poisons can build up in your body.
Day 19

Enjoy herbs and spices

  • Use pepper, garlic or onion powders, basil, dill and other herbs and spices to perk up foods.
Day 20

Avoid starfruit

  • Do not eat starfruit. It is dangerous for dialysis patients and can cause bad symptoms and even death.
Day 21

Get pre-planned kidney-friendly meals

Day 22

Know your dry weight

  • Dry weight is the weight a person is when free of excess fluid.
  • At dry weight, your blood pressure should be within normal range.
Day 23

Plan a home-cooked meal tonight

  • Start with fresh meats, vegetables, salads and fruits.
  • Get kidney-friendly recipes on DaVita.com/Recipes for inspiration.
Day 24

Buy fresh meats

  • Buy fresh meats, not enhanced or processed ones, to keep sodium intake lower.
Day 25

Limit calcium-fortified foods

  • To get the right amount of calcium, don't use calcium-fortified products.
  • Read food labels carefully.
Day 26

Tell your doctor or dietitian if you use herbal supplements

  • Let your doctor or dietitian know if you use health foods or herbal supplements; some can be unsafe for you.
Day 27

Do not use salt substitutes

  • Most substitutes contain potassium.
  • Season your foods with garlic, lemon juice or herbs and spices.
Day 28

Exercise regularly

  • Be as active as possible.
Day 29

Eat healthy snacks

  • Ask your dietitian about healthy snack ideas.
  • Vanilla wafers and unsalted popcorn or pretzels are a few options to consider.
Day 30

Get calcium

  • Take calcium supplements if prescribed to you by your physician.
Day 31

Visit the web


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The DaVita dietitian team

DaVita employs more than 1,700 registered renal dietitians. DaVita registered renal dietitians educate and coach dialysis patients about the dialysis diet. The dialysis diet restricts foods that are high in phosphorus, potassium and sodium, in addition to restricting fluid. Because of the many restrictions, the dialysis diet it is one of the most difficult to follow. Therefore, renal dietitians provide their patients with meal plans, review their monthly lab results to make diet adjustments as well as motivate their patients to keep them on track.

About National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month is a campaign created by the American Dietetic Association to promote nutrition education and information.

National Nutrition Month is a registered service mark of the American Dietetic Association.

Learn more about Diet And Nutrition

Make your resolution for National Kidney Month

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