A Common Sense Kidney Diet Plan

What's in a Healthy Kidney Diet?

A healthy kidney diet plan will help you whether you already have a kidney problem or kidney disease, or you just want to make sure you avoid kidney trouble in the future. It's important to know kidney friendly foods from those that are not. 

The information on a healthy kidney diet below will also provide some useful guidelines if you cook for someone who has a form of kidney disease, kidney failure, or kidney stones.

A healthy kidney diet plays a big role in managing kidney problems. Choosing kidney friendly foods depends on a number of health factors, including

  • the current health of your kidneys and their present level of function,
  • your overall state of health, including any ongoing conditions or disorders, and
  • your BMI, or body mass index or BMI (the kidneys of obese people have to work harder).

There are five food categories that influence kidney health in a big way. They should all be considered when you're working with your doctor to build a healthy kidney diet plan. This plan also works as a kidney disease diet plan for those who already have impaired kidney function.


kidney diet planYour body needs sodium, or salt, to function. Sodium plays a role in controlling muscle contractions, balancing fluids, and keeping your blood pressure in a normal range.

But many people consume way too much of it, and it can be especially harmful you want to stay on a healthy kidney diet.

Part of normal kidney function is to filter out sodium. Kidneys that aren't working well will allow sodium to accumulate. This, in turn, causes fluids to accumulate. Swelling and bloating follow, especially in the face and joints.

There are certain foods to avoid with kidney problems

  • table salt
  • processed dinner mixes
  • potato chips
  • nuts
  • cold Cuts
  • cheese
  • canned, dehydrated, or instant soup
  • canned vegetables
  • bouillon cubes
  • bacon

Kidney diet and protein

Protein is another one of those substances we need, but it's important to keep consumption within certain limits. Protein promotes strong muscles, helps us fight off infection, and plays an important role in repairing tissues.

But eating a diet that includes a large amount of protein is bad for your kidneys. It causes excess waste and increases the risk of kidney disease. So it's important to work with your doctor to find a balance in the form of low protein diets.

Meat and poultry products, including eggs, contain a lot of protein. So someone on a healthy kidney diet would want to be careful when eating these foods.

Low protein foods include many kinds of grains and vegetables.


Potassium is important to the health of nerves and muscles. Too much potassium in your diet, however, can lead to an irregular heartbeat.

Almost all foods contain potassium. So even if you're eating something that has only a little, you can trigger problems by eating a huge portion. In other words, moderation is especially important where potassium is concerned.

Meanwhile some foods have high levels of potassium, so you should make sure to limit your consumption. These high potassium foods include apricots, bananas, beets, bran & bran products, broccoli, cantaloupe, chocolate, coffee, collard, mushrooms, mustard, oranges, potatoes, prunes, raisins, salt substitute, and tomatoes.


Like potassium, phosphorus helps maintain normal nerve and muscle performance. It combines with calcium to build strong bones and teeth.

Kidney problems will sometimes alter your phosphorus balances - and not in a good way. Calcium levels become lower, and your body compensates by robbing calcium from the bones.

Too much phosphorus causes itchy skin, joint pain, and brittle bones.

These are the foods that contain a lot of phosphorus: caramel, cheese, chicken livers, beef liver, many kinds of nuts, and peanut butter.

Some fluids contain a lot of phosphorus too, including beer and cola drinks.


One of the most important functions your kidneys perform is filtering fluids. Someone with a kidney problem has challenges in this area. So, it's important to watch your fluid intake carefully as part of a healthy kidney diet.

Excess fluid consumption will trigger swelling, high blood pressure and shortness of breath.

Your doctor will advise you on how much fluid intake is okay. Keep in mind that fluids don't just come from things you drink: fluids also come from other sources, especially foods that melt into liquid once you've eaten them. Ice cream leads the list here.

A healthy kidney diet plan and kidney friendly foods are critical to anyone with a serious kidney problem.

As kidney function declines, kidney dialysis becomes more and more of a possibility. Dialysis is likely to cause some major changes to your lifestyle. Maintaining a diet that's healthy for your kidneys will help you avoid dialysis, or even - someday - a kidney transplant. 

Learn more about how your diet affects kidney health by clicking on

Kidney Diet Secrets


kidney diet secrets