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Renal Diet Menu Ideas

Renal diets are varied depending on the type and stage of renal disease 12. Diets are individualized and are usually lower, although sometimes higher, in sodium, potassium, phosphorus, fluid, protein and energy. Kidney conditions requiring a modified diet can include acute or chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, diabetic nephropathy, peritoneal or hemodialysis.

Lower Sodium Meal Ideas

Frequently, renal diets are lower in salt. To enhance the flavor of food without adding salt, try unsalted herbs and spices, lemon, vinegar and salt-free flavoring versus salt substitutes. However, salt-free substitutes can also be high in potassium, which is controlled for certain renal diets. Choose fresh or frozen foods more often and always check the sodium content on labels of packaged foods. A Daily Value percentage of 5 percent or less is low, and a daily value percentage of 20 or more is considered high in sodium.

Potassium, Phosphorus and Fluids

Recommended Food for Kidney Dialysis Patients

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Many patients are instructed to lower phosphorous levels. Foods higher in phosphorus include:

  • whole grains
  • dairy
  • legumes
  • shellfish
  • bran
  • chocolate
  • soft drinks
  • beer

Check with a dietitian to see if these foods can be consumed in limited amounts.

Renal Cookbooks

Specialized renal cookbooks are a great way to increase menu and diet variety. "Food Power- A Nutrition Book for Kids with Kidney Disease" by Charlotte Stall, a registered dietitian, features kid friendly recipes with nutrient analysis. It also has answers to child nutrition questions, such as cooking for picky eaters and what to serve overweight children. Another renal cookbook is "Magic Menus- Menu Style Cookbook for Renal Patients" by the National Kidney Foundation of North Texas. This cookbook has a variety of recipes and three weeks of sample menus. Another cookbook specifically for renal diets is "The Renal Gourmet." Written by Mardy Peters, a kidney patient, it includes over 200 no-salt recipes with herbs, spices and vinegars.

The Wrap Up
  • Renal diets are varied depending on the type and stage of renal disease2.
  • However, salt-free substitutes can also be high in potassium, which is controlled for certain renal diets.
  • Food Power- A Nutrition Book for Kids with Kidney Disease" by Charlotte Stall, a registered dietitian, features kid friendly recipes with nutrient analysis.
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