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) | Spanish ( PDF)
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.
Certain whole grains are now accepted in a kidney-friendly diet
- Good choices are barley, buckwheat, bulgur and wild rice.
Dine out with confidence
Enjoy renal diet cookbooks
Ask about healthy snack ideas
- Unsalted popcorn or pretzels and fresh berries are a few to consider.
- 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.
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.
Add whole grains to your kidney diet
- It will help increase fiber and micronutrients which can improve cholesterol and constipation.
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.
- Order DaVita's FluidWise salf-free herb seasoning at www.shopdavita.com
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
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.
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.
Be alert of "phos" labels
Tell your doctor or dietitian if you use herbal supplements
Do not use salt substitutes
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.
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.
Time your binders
- Eat your binders with meals and snacks as prescribed.
- Take them within 10 to 15 minutes of eating.