Kidney Diet Tips

Kidney Diet Tips for Better Health in 2011

Following a kidney diet is a challenge, but many people faced with chronic kidney disease, dialysis or transplant find ways to make changes in their kidney diets for better health.  You can make a positive impact on your health in 2011 by making the best food choices possible.

Try new recipes modified for a kidney diet from sources like recipes, kidney cookbooks and newsletters. Keep the ones you and your family like and work them into your weekly groceries and meal menus.

Add a food-related social networking as a support system. DaVita offers the new My DaVita tool to help find friends in the kidney community. The DaVita Discussion Forums are invaluable when it comes to getting questions answered, sharing information, stories, recipes and more. The Lifestyle sub forum contains hundreds of kidney diet tips from members living with kidney diet challenges.

Explore more kidney-friendly foods that are nutrient-heavy. For example, most berries are low potassium and practically free of sodium and phosphorus, but loaded with antioxidants plus provide a good source of vitamin C.  Fresh albacore tuna, trout and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, an anti-inflammatory fat that helps keep down the bad LDL cholesterol and raise the good HDL cholesterol, plus fish provides high quality protein. Egg whites, another great high quality protein source, is very low in phosphorus and quick to make for a meal or snack. Cabbage and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables that contribute vitamin C, folate and fiber, yet are not too high in potassium. For more healthy food tips read “The top 15 healthy foods for people with kidney disease” and read past blog posts on “What to eat”.

Reinvent your own favorite meals and recipes to fit your kidney diet goals. Reduce the amounts of ‘limit’ foods like cheese, tomato sauce, beans, nuts, high sodium seasonings and flavorings and work in lower phosphorus, potassium and sodium substitutes like unenriched rice milk, double-boiled potatoes, herb-based seasonings, flavored oils and vinegars, and foods from the ‘best choice’ list.

Work in food cravings instead of depriving yourself. Even foods that are high in sodium, potassium and phosphorus can be planned into your meals in small amounts and occasionally. If you really crave an item you have restricted, allow yourself to eat a small portion. This may take away your focus on certain foods you are missing. Your renal dietitian, who knows your individual nutrient status, can give more specific guidelines on working foods into your plan.

Reach out to a nutrition experts for help. provides expert answers from experienced renal dietitians as well as other kidney health professionals. has a database of dietitians, including their specialties like renal and diabetes, plus you can search by zip code to find someone in your area. Look for similar services on other health websites.

As you enter 2011 make food choices that empower you to be as healthy as possible!

Happy New Year from your Kidney Diet Tips dietitian, DaVita Dietitian Sara.

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.