Diet for Kidney Patients The diet for patients with kidney failure will depend on their height, weight, blood tests, and dialysis choice. The diet may change as the disease progresses. So, it is necessary to seek the advice of a health care provider or a renal dietician for diet guidance. There are, however, certain foods you must avoid if you are suffering from kidney failure.
Avoid Foods with High Sodium Content Too much sodium in the diet can cause fluid retention and raise your blood pressure. Seasonings like soy sauce, canned foods, packaged foods, processed meats (ham, bacon, sausage), snack foods, pizza, hot dogs, pickles, papad, vathal, cheese, dried fish and even frozen vegetables with sauce are high in sodium - hence avoid them. Avoid salted chips, nuts, popcorn, salted biscuits. Avoid baking powder, sodium bicarbonate containing products. Avoid proprietary drinks, chocolate, chocolate drinks, cocoa products.
Reduce Salt Intake The best way to cut back on sodium is to avoid excess intake of salt. Fresh food contains only 10% of sodium, and the rest comes from the salt used in cooking! Do not use salt substitutes since most of them contain a high amount of potassium, which is again a bad choice for kidney failure patients. Keep your daily sodium intake less than 1500mg that is salt less than 4g. One pinch of salt is 0.5g.
Cut Back on Potassium Depending on the stage of your kidney failure, you may need to reduce the potassium intake in your diet. Avoid vegetables such as green leafy vegetables like drumstick leaves, spinach, coriander leaves, and potato, sweet potato, yam, drumstick, plantain green, plantain stem, and plantain flower. These vegetables have more than 350mg of potassium in 100g and can lead to an increase in the potassium level in your blood.
Restrict Milk and Milk Products Intake Milk is high in potassium and phosphorus content. Avoid or limit milk or milk products and consume a maximum of half a pint per day (about 250ml) if you are on dialysis, and your serum phosphorus is more than 5.5mg. Half a pint can include coffee, tea, buttermilk, curds & paneer. If your phosphorus is not high, you can take a maximum of 500ml of milk in a day.
Eliminate High Phosphorus Foods Phosphorus is present in almost all foods rich in protein. Control of phosphorus is challenging in patients with kidney failure because phosphorus levels increase in the blood as the kidneys cannot remove it. Elevated phosphorus levels decrease the level of calcium in the blood leading to bone loss.
Food rich in phosphorus include meat, dairy products, nuts, dried beans, cola, chocolate, whole grain cereals & egg yolk.
Fast Foods and Processed Foods are a Strict No-No Many studies have found that phosphorus-containing additives are increasingly being added to processed and fast foods. These have harmful consequences for kidney failure patients. Keep your blood levels of phosphorus between 3.5 to 5.5mg if you are on dialysis. If indicated, your doctor might prescribe phosphate binders to reduce it.
Protein Consumption in Kidney Failure If you are on Dialysis for Kidney failure, consume 1 - 1.2 g protein per kg Body Weight. Intake of Protein for a 70kg Person is 70-85g per day. 50% should come from 'High Biological Value Protein.' This includes skimmed/toned milk and milk products, chicken or fish or egg whites.
Stay Away from Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA) and Trans-Fatty Acids Fats which have SFA predominantly are butter, ghee, coconut oil, and palm oil. Trans-fatty acids are found in commercial baked goods, French fries, doughnuts, and all hydrogenated vegetable oils. About 7% of your total calories can come from SFA. Use a mixture of plant oils such as those with PUFA (sunflower oil and corn oil), and MUFA (olive, canola, peanut and gingelly oil) are advisable. Bad fats can raise your LDL cholesterol levels and cause heart disease.
Limit Fluids To prevent fluid and waste from building up in the body, it is necessary to restrict fluids as one of the main functions of the kidney is to get rid of excess fluid. Excess water in the body, termed as fluid overload, causes high blood pressure. Drink 500 ml plus your daily urine output if you are on dialysis. On a hot day, a fluid restriction can be difficult, so, sucking on an ice cube or chewing gum can keep thirst under control.
Say No to Alcohol Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration. If you have the urge to drink have a small drink. Do not have more than 150ml wine or 360ml beer or 45ml distilled spirits like whiskey, gin, rum or vodka.
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