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 ( PDF 2.7 MB) | Spanish ( PDF 2.9 MB)
Eat a variety of foods from your allowed food list
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.
Low or high potassium can be trouble
- Eat the right amount of fruits and vegetables to keep your potassium normal.
Take a renal vitamin every day
- There are special vitamins made for people on dialysis.
Limit your fluid intake
- Excess fluid affects your blood pressure, causes your heart to work harder and can cause shortness of breath.
Limit high-phosphorus foods
- Some high-phosphorus foods are dairy products, cola, nuts, peanut butter, dried beans or peas, chocolate and liver.
- Foods high in sodium can make you thirsty.
- Avoid frozen foods and dinners, ham, pickles, salty snacks, etc.
Eat your meat
- Protein is important for overall health.
Dine out with confidence
Enjoy renal diet cookbooks
Some titles include:
Get enough protein
- Choose fish, chicken, turkey and lean red meats.
- Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids.
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.
Ask your personal coach: The registered dietitian
- Ask your registered dietitian when you have questions or concerns about what to eat.
- Albumin is one way your protein is measured and should be at least at 4.0.
Play it safe with food
- Prepare, handle and store food properly to keep it safe.
Time your phosphorus binders
- Always take phosphorus binders when you eat.
- Take them during or immediately after meals.
Stay for your entire dialysis treatment
Enjoy herbs and spices
- Use pepper, garlic or onion powders, basil, dill and other herbs and spices to perk up foods.
Get pre-planned kidney-friendly meals
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.
Plan a home-cooked meal tonight
- Start with fresh meats, vegetables, salads and fruits.
- Get kidney-friendly recipes on DaVita.com/Recipes for inspiration.
Buy fresh meats
- Buy fresh meats, not enhanced or processed ones, to keep sodium intake lower.
Limit calcium-fortified foods
To get the right amount of calcium, don't use calcium-fortified products.
Read food labels carefully.
Tell your doctor or dietitian if you use herbal supplements
Do not use salt substitutes
- Take calcium supplements if prescribed to you by your physician.
Visit the web
- Visit websites for more nutrition information that are good for your kidney diet