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Diet for kidney failure

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The kidneys are responsible for cleaning the blood by purifying the body of excess fluid, waste and minerals, while producing hormones to keep bones strong and blood healthy. However, when there is kidney failure or failure , the kidneys do not function normally, toxic substances accumulate in the body that can be harmful to health, the production of red blood cells decreases, blood pressure increases and fluid retention occurs.

Kidney failure or kidney failure requires treatment to replace the function that the kidneys normally do. Although treatment is essential to recover kidney function, people with this pathology must make important changes in their lifestyle , including the type of diet. For this reason, at FastlyHealwe provide you with a diet for kidney failure that will help you improve your quality of life and live actively with this condition.

Why is diet important in people with kidney failure?

When a person is diagnosed with kidney failure, they should be aware that they will have to modify their diet to help improve this condition and most of the symptoms through meals. Why is it important to change eating habits? Because through diet we seek to maintain a balance in the levels of electrolytes, minerals and fluids during dialysis or kidney disease.

It is important to note that people on dialysis need a special diet to avoid the accumulation of toxins and waste in the body. The importance of limiting fluid intake is because people on dialysis or with kidney disease urinate less frequently, and it is important to avoid fluid build-up or excess fluid that travels to the heart, ankles, or lower legs. lungs.

For this reason, once kidney failure is diagnosed, it is essential that the person make an appointment with a nutritionist, preferably specialized in kidney diet, to offer a guide to the foods allowed and those not allowed during the care of kidney failure, as well as a model menu so that the person can orient himself on how he should learn to eat in this new stage of his life.

Steps for a correct diet for kidney failure

1. Low sodium foods

Choosing foods low in salt is the first step in a kidney failure diet. Eating low in sodium helps maintain optimal blood pressure levels. Ideally, a person with kidney failure should not consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, some tips to eat low in sodium that should be taken into account are:

  • Fresh foods have less sodium than packaged foods.
  • All canned foods must be washed very well because they tend to have a greater amount of salt.
  • Use herbs or spices to season and substitute the salt. Never use anything to cook that contains potassium.
  • Check the nutrition label of foods and discard those that say they provide 20% sodium daily.
  • He prefers all versions of foods that are low in salt.
  • Go for all those foods whose labels say: “no added salt”, “low sodium”, “no salt”, “sodium free”, “little sodium”, “little added salt”, and so on.

2. Choose the right proteins

This is one of the most difficult habits to change for people with kidney disease. It is important to reduce the size of the proteins that you are going to consume and ask the nutritionist to recommend an ideal combination of proteins for your diet.

3. Eat with your heart health in mind

To prevent fats from accumulating in the blood vessels, in the heart or in the kidneys, take into account the following recommendations:

  • Cook food on the grill or in the oven, avoid frying with a lot of oil.
  • Use cooking spray or vegetable oil instead of margarine or butter.
  • Cut the fat from all the foods that you are going to consume.
  • He prefers lean cuts and low-fat dairy.

4. Consume less phosphorus

This will allow you to protect your blood vessels and keep your bones healthy. Phosphorus is abundant in packaged foods and to find it you will have to look among the ingredients or in the nutritional table for the initials “FOS” or “PHOF”. Also, when buying cold cuts or proteins such as beef and chicken, ask the butcher for those that are free of added phosphorus.

5. Eat foods with little potassium

In the diet for kidney failure it is important not to eat too much or too little potassium, so that the nerves and muscles are properly preserved. For this it is important to check the labels and discard any product that has added potassium instead of salt. Also, wash all canned fruits and vegetables well before consuming them,

Recommended foods if you have kidney failure

  • Lean meats such as fish, chicken, turkey, and duck without skin.
  • Low-fat and skim milk, yogurt, and cheeses.
  • Beans, beans, and kidney beans are good for the heart.
  • Vegetables, as they contain little potassium and phosphorus.
  • Corn and rice cereals.
  • Non-whole carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice and corn tortillas are a good source of energy to replace the energy intake of proteins.
  • Apples and peach or peach.
  • Carrot, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, onion, bell pepper, watercress, and zucchini are the best vegetables because they contain little potassium, sodium, and phosphorus.

Foods to avoid if you have kidney failure

Due to its high phosphorus content :

  • Red meat and pork.
  • Bran and oat cereals.
  • Milk, yogurt and very fatty and salty cheeses.
  • Dark-colored carbonated drinks or with cola.
  • Lentils, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and peanuts.

Due to its high potassium content :

  • Orange and banana.
  • Potato, asparagus, avocado, pumpkin, cooked spinach and tomato.
  • Brown rice or wild rice.
  • Bran cereals.
  • Dairy with a lot of fat or salt.
  • Pasta, tortillas or whole grain breads.

Breakfast options

  • Omelette with mushrooms and zucchini.
  • Eggs prepared to taste.
  • French toast made with skim milk.
  • Muffins simples o medialunas.
  • Pancakes or wafles.
  • A plate of apple and peach salad.
  • Cereal with skim milk.
  • Donuts, buns, sweet buns.
  • Coffee or vanilla cake.
  • It can be used to complement sugar, cinnamon, jelly, honey and syrup for breakfast.

Lunch options


  • Steamed fish or shellfish.
  • Seafood, chicken, or lean meat skewers (lean beef, turkey).
  • Fajitas or chicken tacos without tomato and without cheese.
  • Turkey, chicken, duck, meat, egg and seafood sandwich.

Garnish or side dishes

  • Pasta with pesto.
  • Shrimp salad.
  • Boiled rice or rice with peas.
  • Unsalted bread or buns.
  • Noodles or macaroni without cheese.
  • Vegetable dish such as cabbage, carrot, broccoli, asparagus, corn, eggplant, peas, onion, lettuce.


  • Apple cake or lemon cake.
  • Cookies with sugar, vanilla wafers, lemon cream or butter cookies.
  • Fruit ice cream or sorbet.
  • Lemon meringue, blueberry cake, jelly.

Dining options

  • Carrot, zucchini or celery cream.
  • Shrimp salad.
  • A cup of beans.
  • Chicken Caesar Salad.
  • Steamed fish with pasta.
  • Crab salad.
  • Green salad with chicken or fish.

Drink options

  • Lemonade or apple juice.
  • Cocktails with sparkling water, tonic or light-colored soda.
  • Soda without cola.
  • Water.
  • Coffee without milk and iced tea.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Diet for kidney failure , we recommend that you enter our Kidneys and urinary system category .

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