Kidney Diet Tips

Is it ok to add sugar or fat to a kidney diet?

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 Lots of people with kidney disease have other health problems–like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. They may have been on a fat restricted or low sugar diet prior to being diagnosed with kidney disease.
When a person starts on hemodialysis, their body needs more calories than before starting dialysis. Appetite may be decreased or nonexistant for some end stage kidney disease patients.

In some cases, the dietitian instructs them to add extra sweets or fats to help boost calories. Why? Because foods that contain sugars and fats have more calories than low sugar, low fat foods. By easing up, it’s easier to eat enough calories. This helps stop unwanted weight loss and muscle breakdown related to not getting enough calories.

For people with diabetes, they still need to monitor blood sugars and keep carbohydrates in balance, even if higher sugar foods are added.

Peritoneal dialysis patients receive extra calories from glucose in the dialysis solution, so they may not need to increase calorie intake from extra fat or sugar.

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.