There is no one renal diet that is best for all patients at all stages of their illness.
It is important that you have a healthy diet in general terms. It is common to find that when a kidney patient’s illness progresses, they may not eat enough due to lack of appetite and generally feeling tired. It is important to continue to eat proper meals.
Protein helps you maintain muscle and repair tissue. The better nourished you are, the healthier you will be. You will also have greater resistance to infection.
Your body breaks protein down into a waste product called urea. Eating mostly high-quality proteins is important because they produce less waste. High-quality proteins come from meat, fish, poultry, and eggs.
Phosphorus is a mineral found in many foods. Usually, people on dialysis are limited in the amount of food containing phosphorous that they can eat per day. If you have too much phosphorus in your blood, it favours tissue calcification. Phosphorus may make your skin itch and can affect your blood vessels.
Foods like milk and cheese, dried beans, sunflower seed, linseed, colas, nuts, and peanut butter are high in phosphorus. You probably will need to take medication called a phosphate binder to prevent excess dietary phosphate from getting into your blood.
Potassium is present in almost all foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Healthy kidneys keep the right amount of potassium in the blood. For a patient with kidney failure, however, potassium levels may vary a lot. Potassium levels can rise between dialysis sessions and affect your heartbeat. It may even cause death. It is important to carefully follow the advice you are given to control your potassium levels.
Foods which have a high potassium level include almonds, apricot, artichoke, avocado, bananas, dried beans, carrot juice, baked potatoes, chocolate, dried fruit, fruit juice, honey melon, milk, nuts, potato chips, prune juice, raisins, lentils, spinach, tomato juice and tomato sauce and mineral salts.
Salt is naturally present in most foods and is also used to add flavour to meals. You must always check the amount of sodium present in your food.
Sodium controls the fluid balance in your body so it is important to reduce the sensation of thirst and restrict the sodium intake to avoid fluid accumulation.
Ask your clinic team about the diet you should follow.