Kidney care begins with Kidney Smart®

Kidney smart educator

Learn more and get your questions answered in a no-cost kidney education class.

A Kidney-Friendly Diet High in Alkaline

Your kidneys help regulate your blood pH level (acid concentration) by removing excess substances that can make your blood more acidic or alkaline. Blood that has a low pH level is considered acidic and can cause life-threatening health issues. When you have kidney disease, it's more difficult for your kidneys to remove acid from your blood. Because of that, a high-alkaline diet, one that is low in acidic foods, may help people with kidney disease balance their pH levels. In some cases your doctor may order medications to help with this balance.

Acidic vs. Alkaline

The foods you eat may influence the amount of acid in your blood. Acid-contributing foods have a pH level of 0-7, while alkaline foods have a pH of 7-14. To increase alkaline in your diet, eat only the amounts of these acidic foods recommended by your dietitian or doctor:

Acidic Foods

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolk
  • Peanuts
  • Grains and grain products
  • Carbonated drinks, especially cola

And include these alkaline foods in the amounts recommended by your dietitian or doctor:

Alkaline Foods

  • Fruits (lower-potassium choices if you are on a low-potassium diet)
  • Legumes
  • Textured soy protein
  • Egg whites
  • Vegetables (lower-potassium choices if you are on a low-potassium diet)

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!

A high-alkaline diet with more fruits and veggies may be a great way to help balance your pH levels. Typically, people in early-stage kidney disease do not need to limit potassium, so including more fruits and vegetables in their diet is not a concern. However, people in late-stage kidney disease oftentimes need to limit their potassium intake. For that reason, including low-potassium fruits and vegetables is best for balancing pH levels and keeping potassium levels down.

Get Cookin'

Try these kidney-friendly recipes to include more high-alkaline foods in your diet.

Talk to a Dietitian

Every body is different. Before you make any changes to your diet, consult with your kidney care team and your dietitian to make sure you're getting the right nutrients for your body.

* This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.


Download a Cookbook

Get a free recipe collection from the DaVita kitchen.

Get the Cookbooks

405,847 Enjoyed So Far!

Kidney Care Begins with Kidney Smart®

Learn more and get your questions answered in a no-cost kidney education class.

Find a Class Near Me

Find a Dialysis Center

Advanced Search

Call 1-800-424-6589 now to talk to one of our placement specialists.

New to Dialysis?

Learn which DaVita service may best fit your lifestyle.

Explore Options

Kidney Diet Basics

Back to Top

Patients whose dialysis is impacted by Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma should call 1-800-400-8331.

DaVita dialysis centers and hospital locations in impacted areas continue to receive and treat patients. Find an open center here: