Kidney Diet Tips

Kidney Diet Double Ps -Potassium and Phosphorus

SONY DSCPeople on dialysis have heard more than once to watch their phosphorus and potassium consumption on the kidney diet. When it comes to Potassium, Phosphorus and the Dialysis Diet, this may be the biggest challenge for many dialysis patients. First, remembering the difference between the two Ps. In the most general terms, potassium comes from plants and phosphorus comes from animals, while dairy, nuts and seeds, legumes, chocolate and some grains can be high in both. Another source of the two Ps is potassium and phosphate-containing food additives in processed foods.

While our bodies do need some potassium and phosphorus to function properly, people with greatly reduced kidney function are not able to eliminate these minerals and levels can build up to dangerous levels.

So what’s a dialysis patient on the kidney diet to do when it comes to the knowing how to limit potassium and phosphorus in their diet? When it comes to potassium, some fruits and vegetables are higher and can be swapped out for fruits and vegetables that are lower in potassium. For phosphorus, patients can take their phosphorus binders as prescribed by their doctor and dietitian and try to make low-phosphorus food choices. A renal dietitian will be helpful for sharing tips and providing kidney-friendly recipes to limit phosphorus and potassium in a kidney diet.

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.