Five Steps to Eating Well With Kidney Disease

What you eat and drink can help slow down chronic kidney disease. Some foods are better for your kidneys than others. Cooking and preparing your food from scratch can help you eat healthier. These tips will help you eat right as you manage your CKD. The first steps to eating right are important for all people with CKD. The next steps to eating right may become important as your kidneys slow down. Work with your dietitian to choose the right foods for you.


Choose and prepare foods with less salt and sodium. Why? To help control your blood pressure. Your diet should contain less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day.

  • Buy fresh food more often. Sodium (a part of salt) is added to many packaged foods.
  • Use spices, herbs, and sodium-free seasonings in place of salt.
  • Check the Nutrition Facts label on food packages for sodium. A Daily Value of 20% or more means the food is high in sodium.
  • Try lower-sodium versions of frozen dinners and other convenience foods.
  • Rinse canned vegetables, beans, meats, and wsh with water before eating.


Eat the right amount and the right types of protein. Why? To help protect your kidneys.

  • Eat small portions of protein foods.
  • Protein is found in foods from plants and animals. Talk to your dietitian about how to choose the right combination for you.


Choose foods that are healthy for your heart. Why? To help keep fat from building up in your blood vessels, heart, and kidneys.

  • Grill, broil, bake, roast, or stir-fry foods, instead of deep frying.
  • Cook with nonstick cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil instead of butter.
  • Trim fat from meat and remove skin from poultry before eating.


Choose foods with less phosphorus. Why? To help protect your bones and blood vessels.

  • Many packaged foods have added phosphorus. Look for phosphorus—or for words with "PHOS" —on ingredient labels.
  • Deli meats and some fresh meat and poultry can have added phosphorus. Ask the butcher to help you pick fresh meats without added phosphorus.


Choose foods that have the right amount of potassium. Why? To help your nerves and muscles work the right way.

  • Salt substitutes can be very high in potassium. Read the ingredient label. Check with your provider about using salt substitutes.
  • Drain canned fruits and vegetables before eating.

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