Kidney Diet Tips

G is for Grapes and Grape Juice—Healthy kidney friendly foods

Red and White GrapesA handful of grapes make a healthy snack for a kidney friendly diet—tasty, convenient and full of phytochemicals—amazing plant components that provide health benefits.  Anthocyanins are a polyphenol antioxidant that gives the red to purple color to grapes, grape juice and red wine.  Resveratrol is another polyphenol antioxidant found in grapes.

These and other phytochemicals in grapes protect against heart disease by keeping blood vessels relaxed, preventing inflammation and oxidation of free radicals.  This may be a benefit to anyone with kidney disease because cardiovascular disease and inflammation risks are greater in kidney patients as compared to the general public.  Phytochemicals have also been linked to cancer prevention and protection against nerve degeneration that occurs with aging.

Nutrients in Grapes

1/2 cup grapes contains 1 mg sodium, 88 mg potassium, 4 mg phosphorus
4 fluid ounces grape juice contains 4 mg sodium, 167 mg potassium, 14 mg phosphorus
4 fluid ounces red wine contains 5 mg sodium, 149 mg potassium, 27 mg phosphorus

What about raisins?  Raisins are dried grapes but caution–it’s easy to consume too much potassium from this or any dried fruit.  A snack-sized box of raisins (1.5 ounces or 1/4 cup) contains 315 mg potassium.  Stick with the miniature size box if you are on a low potassium diet (0.5 ounce or 1-1/2 tablespoons)—potassium 100 mg .

Serving Grapes

Grapes taste great frozen—and also help quench thirst for those on a fluid restriction.  In addition to eating grapes for a snack, try incorporating them into a meal.

DaVita.com has several recipes that include grapes or grape juice:
Fruited Curry Chicken Salad
Lemon Curry Chicken Salad
Chicken Fruit Salad
Purple Punch

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara Colman, RD, CDE

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 20 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is currently the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.