Kidney Diet Tips

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Eating Well on Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)

The dialysis diet is intended to help reduce fluid and waste buildup in your body to help you feel better. But sometimes it can be complicated to keep track of all the limitations. The peritoneal dialysis (PD) diet is less restrictive than a hemodialysis diet, as dialysis treatments are more frequent. (Read Comparing Kidney Diets: Peritoneal Dialysis vs. Hemodialysis to learn more.)

To help incorporate the foods you love into your PD diet, talk with your dietitian and keep the following guidelines in mind.

Protein

Your protein needs are higher on PD because some protein is removed during treatments.

  • Include a high-protein food with every meal and snack.
  • Protein-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
  • Plant-based protein sources include lentils and tofu, to name a few. Download the free Plant-based Eating cookbook from DaVita.com.

Phosphorus

Similar to the hemodialysis diet, phosphorus needs are low.

Potassium

Your potassium needs may vary on PD. Too much or too little can cause heart and muscle problems.

Quite often, the PD diet is liberal with potassium as potassium is removed through frequent treatments.

  • Potassium is found in fruits, vegetables, dairy products, nuts and seeds.
  • Browse the recipes on DaVita.com for ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. You can also download the free Veggie Lovers cookbook.

Sodium

Eating too much salt (sodium) may lead to high blood pressure, swelling and difficulty breathing. Both PD and hemodialysis diets limit sodium intake.

  • Salt is found in fast food, convenience foods, canned foods, salty snacks and sauces.
  • Use herb and spices instead of salt to flavor foods. Here are some great recipes from DaVita.com:

Basic Meat Coating Mix

Herb Sauce Mix

Meat Marinade

Basic Salad Dressing

Talk with your dietitian about how to incorporate your favorite foods into your specific PD diet.

Additional Kidney Diet Resources

Visit DaVita.com 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.

Carisa Ishimaru, RD, LDN

Carisa Ishimaru, RD, LDN

Carisa has been a registered dietitian for over 20 years. She is currently a Renal Dietitian for a Home Program which allows patients to do their dialysis at home via Peritoneal Dialysis or Home Hemodialysis. She is passionate about providing research-based information in a practical, easy to use format. Carisa enjoys cooking and baking healthful foods for her family and friends.