List of Foods to Avoid If You Have Kidney Disease

Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs that carry out many crucial functions. They’re in charge of filtering blood, eliminating waste through urine, producing hormones, stabilizing minerals, and maintaining fluid balance. There are numerous threat factors for kidney disease. The most common are unmanaged diabetes and high blood pressure. Alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, hepatitis C, and HIV are likewise reason for kidney disease. When the kidneys become damaged and are not able to operate appropriately, fluid can develop in the body and waste can accumulate in the blood. However, avoiding or limiting specific foods in your diet may help decrease the accumulation of waste items in the blood, improve kidney function, and prevent more damage.

Diet and Kidney Disease

Dietary restrictions differ depending on the stage of kidney disease.

For instance, people with early stages of persistent kidney disease will have various dietary restrictions than those with end phase renal disease, or kidney failure.

Those with end phase renal disease who require dialysis will likewise have differing dietary restrictions. Dialysis is a kind of treatment that eliminates extra water and filters waste.

Most of those with late or end stage kidney disease will require to follow a kidney-friendly diet to prevent a buildup of specific chemicals or nutrients in the blood.

In those with chronic kidney disease, the kidneys can not effectively eliminate excess sodium, potassium, or phosphorus. As a result, they’re at a higher risk of raised blood levels of these minerals.

A kidney-friendly diet, or renal diet, typically limits sodium to under 2,300 mg daily, as well as your potassium and phosphorus consumption.

The National Kidney Foundation’s most recent Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) standards don’t set specific limits on potassium or phosphorus.

Potassium and phosphorus are still a concern for individuals with kidney disease, however they must work closely with their physician or dietitian to determine their personal limitations for these nutrients, which are typically based on lab results.

Harmed kidneys may likewise have trouble filtering the waste products of protein metabolism. Therefore, individuals with persistent kidney disease of all phases, particularly stages 3– 5, must limit the quantity of protein in their diets unless they’re on dialysis.

Nevertheless, those with end phase renal disease undergoing dialysis have an increased protein requirement.

Here are 17 foods that you ought to likely prevent on a renal diet.

1. Dark-Colored Soda

In addition to the calories and sugar that sodas supply, they harbor ingredients which contain phosphorus, particularly dark-colored sodas.

Lots of food and beverage producers include phosphorus during processing to enhance taste, lengthen shelf life, and prevent discoloration.

Your body absorbs this included phosphorus to a greater degree than natural, animal-based, or plant-based phosphorus.

Unlike natural phosphorus, phosphorus in the form of ingredients is not bound to protein. Rather, it’s found in the form of salt and highly absorbable by the digestive system.

Additive phosphorus can typically be discovered in a product’s component list. Nevertheless, food makers are not needed to list the precise amount of additive phosphorus on the food label.

While additive phosphorus content varies depending on the type of soda, a lot of dark-colored sodas are believed to consist of 50– 100 mg in a 200-mL serving.

According to the United States Department of Farming (USDA) food database, a 12-ounce soda consists of 33.5 mg of phosphorus.

As a result, sodas, especially those that are dark, need to be avoided on a renal diet.

2. Avocados

Avocados are typically touted for their numerous healthy qualities, including their heart-healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants.

While avocados are generally a healthy addition to the diet, those with kidney disease may require to prevent them.

This is since avocados are a very rich source of potassium. One average-sized avocado provides a tremendous 690 mg of potassium.

By reducing the portion size to one-fourth of an avocado, individuals with kidney disease can still include this food in their diets while likewise restricting potassium, if required.

Avocados, consisting of guacamole, ought to be restricted or prevented on a renal diet if you have actually been told to watch your potassium intake. However, bear in mind that various individuals have different needs, and your overall diet and health goals are the most important thing to think about.

3. Canned Foods

Canned foods such as soups, vegetables, and beans are typically purchased because of their low cost and benefit.

However, a lot of canned foods consist of high amounts of sodium, as salt is added as a preservative to increase its shelf life.

Due to the quantity of sodium found in canned goods, it’s typically advised that people with kidney disease prevent or limit their usage.

Choosing lower sodium ranges or those labeled “no salt included” is normally best.

Additionally, draining and rinsing junk foods, such as canned beans and tuna, can decrease the sodium material by 33 — 80%, depending on the item.

4. Whole Wheat Bread

Choosing the right bread can be puzzling for individuals with kidney disease.

Often for healthy individuals, entire wheat bread is typically suggested over fine-tuned, white flour bread.

Entire wheat bread might be a more healthy option, mostly due to its higher fiber material. Nevertheless, white bread is normally advised over entire wheat varieties for individuals with kidney disease.

This is because of its phosphorus and potassium content. The more bran and entire grains in the bread, the higher the phosphorus and potassium contents.

For example, a 1-ounce (30-gram) serving of entire wheat bread contains about 57 mg of phosphorus and 69 mg of potassium. In contrast, white bread consists of just 28 mg of both phosphorus and potassium.

Eating one piece of entire wheat bread instead of 2 can assist lower your potassium and phosphorus consumption without needing to give up entire wheat bread totally.

Note that a lot of bread and bread products, despite whether they’re white or entire wheat, likewise include reasonably high quantities of sodium.

It’s finest to compare the nutrition labels of different kinds of bread, select a lower sodium option, if possible, and monitor your part sizes.

5. Brown Rice

Like entire wheat bread, brown rice is an entire grain that has a higher potassium and phosphorus content than its white rice counterpart.

One cup of cooked brown rice consists of 150 mg of phosphorus and 154 mg of potassium, while 1 cup of cooked white rice consists of only 69 mg of phosphorus and 54 mg of potassium.

You may have the ability to fit brown rice into a renal diet, but only if the portion is controlled and balanced with other foods to prevent an extreme daily intake of potassium and phosphorus.

Bulgur, buckwheat, pearled barley, and couscous are nutritious, lower phosphorus grains that can make an excellent alternative to brown rice.

6. Bananas

Bananas are understood for their high potassium content.

While they’re naturally low in sodium, 1 medium banana supplies 422 mg of potassium.

If you have been instructed to restrict your potassium consumption, it may be hard to do so if a banana is an everyday staple.

Unfortunately, numerous other tropical fruits have high potassium contents too.

Nevertheless, pineapples consist of significantly less potassium than other tropical fruits and can be a more suitable yet tasty option.

7. Dairy

Dairy items are abundant in various vitamins and nutrients.

They’re also a natural source of phosphorus and potassium and an excellent source of protein.

For example, 1 cup (240 mL) of whole milk supplies 222 mg of phosphorus and 349 mg of potassium.

Yet, consuming too much dairy, in conjunction with other phosphorus-rich foods, can be detrimental to bone health in those with kidney disease.

This may sound unexpected, as milk and dairy are frequently suggested for strong bones and muscle health.

Nevertheless, when the kidneys are damaged, excessive phosphorus intake can cause an accumulation of phosphorus in the blood, which can pull calcium from your bones. This can make your bones thin and weak gradually and increase your threat of bone damage or fracture.

Dairy products are also high in protein. One cup (240 mL) of whole milk supplies about 8 grams of protein.

It might be necessary to restrict dairy consumption to avoid the buildup of protein waste in the blood.

Dairy options like unenriched rice milk and almond milk are much lower in potassium, phosphorus, and protein than cow’s milk, making them a good alternative to milk while on a renal diet.

8. Oranges and Orange Juice

While oranges and orange juice are perhaps most well known for their vitamin C content, they’re also abundant sources of potassium.

One large orange (184 grams) offers 333 mg of potassium. Additionally, there are 473 mg of potassium in 1 cup (240 mL) of orange juice.

Offered their potassium content, oranges and orange juice most likely requirement to be prevented or limited on a renal diet.

Grapes, apples, and cranberries, in addition to their respective juices, are all excellent substitutes for oranges and orange juice, as they have lower potassium contents.

9. Processed Meats

Processed meats have long been connected with persistent diseases and are usually thought about unhealthy due to their preservative contents.

Processed meats are meats that have been salted, dried, treated, or canned.

Some examples consist of hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, jerky, and sausage.

Processed meats normally include large quantities of salt, mostly to enhance their taste and maintain flavor.

For that reason, it might be difficult to keep your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg if processed meats are plentiful in your diet.

Furthermore, processed meats are high in protein.

If you have actually been told to monitor your protein consumption, it’s important to limit processed meats for this reason as well.

10. Pickles, Olives, and Relish

Pickles, processed olives, and relish are all examples of cured or marinaded foods.

Normally, large amounts of salt are added throughout the curing or pickling process.

For instance, one pickle spear can contain more than 300 mg of sodium. Also, there are 244 mg of sodium in 2 tablespoons of sweet pickle relish.

Processed olives likewise tend to be salty, as they’re treated and fermented to taste less bitter. Five green pickled olives offer about 195 mg of sodium, which is a significant part of the daily amount in only a little serving.

Lots of grocery stores stock minimized sodium varieties of pickles, olives, and relish, which contain less sodium than their conventional equivalents.

Nevertheless, even lowered sodium choices can still be high in sodium, so you will still wish to see your portions.

11. Apricots

Apricots are abundant in vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber.

They’re also high in potassium. One cup of fresh apricots provides 427 mg of potassium.

Moreover, the potassium content is even more focused in dried apricots.

One cup of dried apricots provides over 1,500 mg of potassium.

This means that just 1 cup of dried apricots supplies 75% of the 2,000-mg low potassium restriction.

It’s finest to prevent apricots, and most importantly dried apricots, on a renal diet.

12. Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are potassium-rich vegetables.

Just one medium-sized baked potato (156 grams) consists of 610 mg of potassium, whereas one average-sized baked sweet potato (114 grams) includes 541 mg of potassium.

Luckily, some high potassium foods, consisting of potatoes and sweet potatoes, can be soaked or seeped to minimize their potassium contents.

Cutting potatoes into small, slices and boiling them for at least 10 minutes can decrease the potassium content by about 50%.

Potatoes that are taken in water for a minimum of 4 hours before cooking are proven to have an even lower potassium material than those not soaked prior to cooking.

This approach is called potassium leaching or the double-cook method.

Although double cooking potatoes reduces the potassium content, it is very important to bear in mind that their potassium material isn’t eliminated by this method.

Substantial quantities of potassium can still exist in double-cooked potatoes, so it’s best to practice portion control to keep potassium levels in check.

13. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another high potassium fruit that may not fit the guidelines of a renal diet.

They can be served raw or stewed and are often used to make sauces.

Simply 1 cup of tomato sauce can include upwards of 900 mg of potassium.

Regrettably for those on a renal diet, tomatoes are commonly used in numerous meals.

Selecting an option with lower potassium content depends mostly on your taste choices. Nevertheless, switching tomato sauce for a roasted red pepper sauce can be equally scrumptious and offer less potassium per serving.

14. Packaged, Instant, and Premade Meals

Processed foods can be a major element of sodium in the diet.

Among these foods, packaged, instant, and premade meals are usually the most greatly processed and therefore consist of the most sodium.

Examples consist of frozen pizza, microwaveable meals, and immediate noodles.

Keeping sodium intake to 2,300 mg each day might be hard if you’re eating extremely processed foods frequently.

Greatly processed foods not only include a large amount of sodium but likewise typically lack nutrients.

15. Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Beet Greens

Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens are leafy green vegetables which contain high amounts of different nutrients and minerals, consisting of potassium.

When served raw, the amount of potassium varies between 140 — 290 mg per cup.

While leafy vegetables shrink to a smaller serving size when cooked, the potassium material stays the same.

For example, half cup of raw spinach will shrink to about 1 tablespoon when cooked. Therefore, eating one-half cup of cooked spinach will consist of a much higher amount of potassium than one-half cup of raw spinach.

Raw Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens are more effective to cooked greens to avoid too much potassium.

However, moderate your intake of these foods, as they’re likewise high in oxalates. Amongst delicate individuals, oxalates can increase the danger of kidney stones.

Kidney stones may further damage renal tissue and decrease kidney function.

16. Dates, Raisins, and Prunes

Dates, raisins, and prunes are common dried fruits.

When fruits are dried, all of their nutrients are concentrated, consisting of potassium.

For example, 1 cup of prunes supplies 1,274 mg of potassium, which is almost 5 times the amount of potassium discovered in 1 cup of plums, its raw counterpart.

Moreover, simply 4 dates supply 668 mg of potassium.

Offered the high amount of potassium in these common dried fruits, it’s finest to go without them while on a renal diet to guarantee your potassium levels remain beneficial.

17. Pretzels, Chips, and Crackers

Ready-to-eat snack foods like pretzels, chips, and crackers tend to be lacking in nutrients and reasonably high in salt.

Also, it’s easy to consume more than the suggested part size of these foods, typically causing even higher salt intake than meant.

What’s more, if chips are made from potatoes, they’ll include a substantial amount of potassium as well.

The Bottom Line

If you have kidney disease, lowering your potassium, phosphorus, and sodium consumption can be an important aspect of managing the disease.

The high sodium, high potassium, and high phosphorus foods noted above are likely best restricted or avoided.

Dietary constraints and nutrient consumption suggestions will differ based on the seriousness of your kidney damage.

Following a renal diet can seem overwhelming and a bit limiting sometimes. Nevertheless, dealing with a healthcare professional and renal dietitian can assist you develop a renal diet particular to your private requirements.

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