10 Tips for a Dialysis-Friendly Diet


Making sure you get regular dialysis treatments is critical to your health when you have chronic kidney disease. But it's not the only thing that's going to protect your health and quality of life. Your diet is just as important to maintaining your health as dialysis.

Want to know what you can do to improve your diet when you're on dialysis? Here are 10 tips for a dialysis-friendly diet:

1. Protein, please.

Every meal should include a healthy protein source like fish, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or eggs. Eating these foods helps maintain blood protein levels for better health.


Check out the Dialysis-Friendly menu, and you’ll find meals like Salmon & Vegetable Linguini, Honey BBQ Chicken Breast Patty with Broccoli and Sweet Potatoes, and Roast Pork with Ginger Glaze, Rice Pilaf and Mushrooms with Vegetables.

2. Avoid these minerals

Sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. Read food labels and get nutrition facts to make sure the food you eat contains less than:

  • 700 mg of sodium

  • 700 mg of potassium

  • 350 mg of phosphorus

3. Foods to avoid.

You might think some foods higher in protein, like nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and legumes, are safe to eat. But you want to avoid these foods when you’re on dialysis, because they contain higher levels of potassium and phosphorus.

4. Avoid or limit salty foods.

It’s one way to help you keep your blood pressure in check and prevent weight gain when you’re on dialysis. Plus a low-sodium diet is good for heart health.

5. Spice things up

By seasoning your food with herbs and spices, which can be a great way to flavor your food when salt is off the table.

6. Forget about salt substitutes.

A salt substitute is low in sodium, but they’re typically high in potassium instead. And that’s a mineral you don’t want to get too much of in your diet.

7. Skip fiber-rich foods.

This includes things like whole-grain breads, cereals, and brown rice. Foods high in fiber contain higher levels of phosphorous.

8. Don’t do dairy.

A little is OK, but milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream isn’t part of a Dialysis-Friendly diet. Dairy products are high in phosphorus.

9. Just a little fruit.

If you are going to eat fruit, pick fruits and berries low in potassium like apples, blueberries, cherries,  grapes, and plums. Some fruits contain higher levels of potassium than others.

10. Choose low-potassium veggies.

Try cabbage, kale, peppers, squash, and broccoli.

Follow these Dialysis-Friendly diet tips, and you’ll feel better, be healthier, and enjoy some great food.