Kidney Diet Tips

About Kidney Diets

Diet Questions

Diet Questions ???

What is a renal diet or a kidney diet? For a person with a newly diagnosed chronic kidney disease, figuring out what to eat is quite confusing. The truth is there are different diets for kidney disease and diet focus changes depending on the stage of CKD.
Early stages of CKD usually focus on low sodium intake to help control blood pressure and carbohydrate balance if you have diabetes and CKD. Controlling blood pressure and blood glucose can help slow progression of kidney failure. You may be told to avoid excess dietary protein to reduce the kidney workload and minimize build-up of protein waste products in the blood. As kidney disease progresses, more focus is placed on phosphorus and potassium, since the kidney loses ability to remove excess amounts from the body.
Once you start dialysis, diet changes again. A low protein diet is replaced with one higher in protein. Emphasis is placed on limiting high phosphorus foods and taking phosphorus binders with each meal. Limits on sodium, fluid and potassium are stressed if you choose traditional in-center hemodialysis. There are fewer restrictions of these elements if you choose daily home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis since dialysis is more frequent.
To avoid confusion about your diet, make it a point to let your doctor and dietitian know what type of diet you follow. Ask if there’s anything you should change. Each time you have lab work, ask if any of the results indicate a need for changes in what you eat.
For people with chronic kidney disease and those on dialysis, the renal diet prescription is an important part of a successful treatment plan.

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit and explore these diet and nutrition resources:

DaVita Food Analyzer

DaVita Dining Out Guides

Today’s Kidney Diet Cookbooks

DaVita Kidney-Friendly Recipes

Diet and Nutrition Articles                                                      

Diet and Nutrition Videos

Kidney Smart® Virtual Classes

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 30 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 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.