• Dining Out Guides

    Enjoy eating at your favorite restaurants while following a kidney-friendly diet.

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From Mexican to Italian cuisine, it can be tough to know what or how to order. Use our cuisine-specific guides to help make smart food and drink choices.

Quick Tips for Dining Out

No matter where you eat, keep some general guidelines in mind. These may vary based on your stage of kidney disease, lab values, treatments and individual requirements.

Restaurant portion sizes are usually large. Ask your server to bring only half of your meal, and put the rest in a to-go container.

When watching your fluid intake, remember that anything that is liquid at room temperature is considered a fluid.

Ask your server not to top off your drink. Be mindful of unlimited refills and large bottle or cup sizes.

Soup, gravy, sauces, salad dressing, soy sauce and processed meats tend to be higher in sodium and may increase thirst.

Ask for meal items to be prepared without added salt when possible and request sauces and condiments on the side.

Ask about ingredients in drinks like cocktails and specialty coffee drinks. Stick with lower-potassium options. Check with your doctor about whether alcohol is safe for you to consume.

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If you have diabetes, keep carbohydrates in check.

Know your carbohydrate goal and options. Carbs can be found in bread, croutons, starchy vegetables and grains, fruit and desserts. It’s also a good idea to limit fruit juice and sweetened beverages. Water, unsweetened tea and diet soda are better choices—you can always add a lemon slice for flavor.

Always check with your doctor or dietitian before using these guides.