Kidney Diet Tips


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New Year’s Resolutions for Healthy Eating

The New Year is a great time to reflect on ways to improve health. So often New Year’s resolutions include a vow to lose weight or start a new exercise regimen. However, for someone with chronic kidney disease (CKD) additional health concerns may arise. Perhaps you are thinking about strategies to control your fluid intake better. Or you may want to limit your dietary sodium more consistently. With a renewed focus on health in 2019, empower yourself to achieve your unique health goal following these simple strategies.

Select a Health Goal for the New Year

First, select a new year health goal. What is the primary goal that will benefit your health in 2019? Many people with CKD find sticking to a sodium restriction a challenge. Foods high in sodium can contribute to increased thirst which leads to an excessive fluid intake for those on a fluid limit. Excess fluid that builds up in the body affects your blood pressure, causes shortness of breath and swollen ankles, as well as, makes your heart work harder. The National Kidney Foundation recommends no more than 1,500 to 2,000 mg of sodium a day for CKD patients. Remember that putting some effort in reducing sodium in your diet may improve your health.

Explore the Resources

Now that you have set your personal new year goal, like limiting sodium in the diet, how will you achieve this goal? Explore the resources available. If you have access to a computer, investigate the nutrition resources  on This site provides an abundance of low sodium recipes, as well as an opportunity to sign up for DaVita Diet Helper. DaVita Diet Helper provides guidance on meal planning and assists you in tracking your sodium intake. You will find other helpful resources here also. You can also set up an account with the National Kidney Foundation Food Coach. This site provides you with personalized information and recipes based on your nutritional needs and goals.

Check out the article “Healthy New Year’s Checklist for People with kidney Disease“.

Finally, if you are going to a DaVita clinic, your registered dietitian routinely provides educational material on reading food labels for sodium content, low sodium food lists and seasoning ideas to help reduce the sodium in your diet.

Engage Support

Now that you have established your goal and investigated resources, who will you engage to cheer you on your way? A supportive spouse, a best friend or your children can provide ongoing encouragement. Additionally, the register dietitian at your dialysis center can lend a lot of support. The clinic’s dietitian will readily provide encouragement, tips and advice if you request it.

Transplant Goal for 2019

For dialysis patients on the transplant list, one New Year’s goal may be preparing for a new kidney. Keeping potassium, phosphorus and fluids in range may be at the top of the list. Weight loss and improving muscle strength may be included as a goal. Checkout this testimonial from Hank, a transplant patient:

The New Year is a great time to evaluate health goals. It gives you an opportunity to reevaluate where you are and plan steps to move toward better health. Establish your own health goal. Think about the smaller steps necessary to achieve your health goal, as well creating a support system. Involve your registered dietitian in your plan. All these strategies can facilitate the ultimate achievement of your health goal and the benefits you will gain. Make 2019 a year of health you can celebrate!



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.

Lori Steinmeyer MS, RD, LDN

Lori Steinmeyer MS, RD, LDN

Lori has been a registered dietitian with DaVita for more than 12 years and currently she is working in Tampa, Florida. She loves educating and motivating individuals to improve their health with healthy diet and lifestyle changes. She also has a passion for writing about nutrition and health. Lori has co-authored several books, as well as, published many articles on nutrition. In her free time Lori loves to garden, hike and cook new recipes with garden fresh vegetables.