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)  |  Spanish (Icon - PDF PDF)

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

Got yogurt?

  • Greek yogurt is the best choice for a protein boost
  • Limit to 4 ounces/day to control potassium and phosphorus.
Day 9

Certain whole grains are now accepted in a kidney-friendly diet

  • Good choices are barley, buckwheat, bulgur and wild rice.
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

Day 12

Ask about healthy snack ideas

  • Unsalted popcorn or pretzels and fresh berries are a few to consider.
Day 13

Control thirst

  • Drink only if you are truly thirsty.
  • Eat less sodium.
  • Chew gum.
  • Suck on hard candy or lemon wedges.
  • Rinse 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 protein

  • 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

Add whole grains to your kidney diet

  • It will help increase fiber and micronutrients which can improve cholesterol and constipation.
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.
  • Order DaVita's FluidWise salf-free herb seasoning at www.shopdavita.com
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

  • Menu planning is made easy with DaVita Diet Helper. Get access to 1,000+ free recipes at DaVita.com/DietHelper.
Day 22

To juice or not to juice?

  • Juicing is not a good idea for people with kidney disease; it's too high in potassium and fluid.
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

Be alert of "phos" labels

  • It can be found on processed foods and beverages.
  • Avoid phosphorus additives which are almost 100 percent absorbed.
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.
  • Eating right and being physically active are keys to a healthy lifestyle.
Day 29

Maintain a healthy weight

  • Heart healthy, blood pressure and energy improve with a healthy weight.
  • Monitor food intake, read labels and measure portions to maintain a healthy weight.
Day 30

Watch out for coconut water and milk

 

  • Coconut water and milk are high in phosphorus and potassium.
  • Some coconut beverage milk blends can be used in a kidney-friendly diet.

 

Day 31

Time your binders

  • Eat your binders with meals and snacks as prescribed.
  • Take them within 10 to 15 minutes of eating.

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