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- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Eat Right to Feel Right on Hemodialysis
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The kidneys are vital organs in the human body controlling the excretion of wastes and even helping to regulate your blood pressure. People with chronic kidney disease or acute kidney failure may have their kidney function deteriorate to the point of needing dialysis. Dialysis removes waste and chemicals from the blood. Along with dialysis, you must adhere to a diet that will not cause extra complications with your kidney function 1.
Vegetables and Fruit
Low potassium foods like lettuce, cucumber and eggplant are excellent vegetable choices for a dialysis diet 1. Potassium is essential for your heart to beat properly but too much can be lethal in kidney disease says the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Do not add salt to the vegetables you prepare. Salty foods increase your thirst and you may reach your fluid restriction too soon. Grapes, applesauce and blueberries are low in potassium.
Meat and Protein
Dialysis treatments can leave you feeling weak, and protein will help to increase energy and fight infection. You can consume lean beef, chicken, turkey and fish freshly prepared using herbs and spices instead of salt. Include meat with every meal to obtain necessary amounts of protein. For breakfast have an egg, or one serving of egg substitute. If you enjoy canned tuna, choose a brand with low sodium.
Fluids are vey important on a dialysis diet 1. Your doctor or dialysis nurse will restrict fluid intake based on your urinary output and weight before and after dialysis. Side effects of too much fluid are swelling and difficulty breathing. You should chose drinks that are tasty since you are limited. Have your coffee with nondairy creamer or half-and-half. You are allowed most juices and should have ones that are low in potassium like grape and cranberry juice. Limit your dairy intake to avoid an overload of phosphorus. The National Kidney Foundation recommends one serving daily of milk 2.
A variety of choices can be found among breads and cereals, as they are primarily low in potassium with the exception of whole grains. You may have snacks like plain popcorn and unsalted crackers. At breakfast, you could try a bagel with cream cheese and have pasta for lunch or dinner. Cooked rice is a beneficial complement for your lean meat dish. Your dietitian or doctor will help determine a serving size appropriate for you.
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