Kidney-Healthy Diet Dos and Don’ts

As they say, we are what we eat, and for those with kidney disease, it is essential that an appropriate dietary plan is followed to decrease symptoms such as an upset stomach, pain, swelling and more. Plus, sticking to a kidney-healthy diet may even delay the advancement of the disease.

What Dietary Considerations Are There for Someone With Kidney Disease?

If you are providing care for someone you love with kidney disease, it is imperative to know the best and worst nutritional choices, such as:


High levels of salt in the diet can contribute to fluid retention and high blood pressure, and can make the heart work harder. Salt should be restricted to no more than 2 grams per day for those with kidney disease. One way to assist is to stay away from serving foods with large quantities of salt, such as:

  • Pickled foods
  • Condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup, and barbecue sauce
  • Canned foods
  • Processed or smoked meats
  • Chips, pretzels, and crackers
  • Nuts

NOTE: Pay attention to salt substitutes and “reduced sodium” foods, which in many instances are high in potassium.


Potassium is a mineral, and is found in practically all types of foods. Our bodies require potassium to keep our muscles working, but when someone is receiving dialysis, potassium levels have to be examined very closely. Getting too much or too little potassium can result in muscle cramps, erratic heartbeat and muscle weakness. The physician or nutritionist can determine how much potassium is ideal for the specific person.


Despite the fact that protein is a vital nutrient, when the kidneys are not performing efficiently, excessive protein can accumulate in the blood. Individuals with kidney disease ought to consume no more protein than what is needed by the body. When treatment begins early, a diet low in protein combined with essential amino acids at appropriate amounts during each meal is known to prevent the need for, or at least push back the need for dialysis, and in fact could possibly even reverse some kidney problems.

Vitamins and Minerals

People with kidney disease might require additional supplements of vitamins to minimize some of the common side effects of kidney failure, such as bone disease or anemia, but they should only be taken if directed by the doctor.

For more resources on maintaining a kidney-healthy diet or caring for someone you love with kidney disease, or to discover how a professional in-home caregiver can improve health and quality of life, contact Carolina Hearts Home Care at 1-855-277-2005. We’ll be happy to arrange a free in-home meeting at your convenience to answer all of your questions and provide you with the information you need.