11 Shopping Tips for Renal-Friendly Foods

meals

Take a look at the food you’ve got in your refrigerator, your pantry, your cupboards, and your freezer. Got enough food in there to whip up a Renal-Friendly meal? You know, a healthy meal that’s low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorous...not just snacks.

If you’re not sure you could pull it off without a quick trip to the store, it’s time to do a little planning to create a Renal-Friendly kitchen. Take a look at this selection of Renal-Friendly meals, pick your favorites, or follow the tips below.

  1. Read food labels. Some foods contain higher amounts of sodium and potassium than others. 
  2. Choose low sodium. If there’s a low-sodium option for broths, condiments, or other foods, stock up.
  3. Eat more vegetables. Fresh is best. But frozen or canned vegetables with no added salt or sodium is a good option, too. If canned vegetables is all you can do, rinse first to remove sodium.
  4. Cut tomato sauce in half. Making a recipe that calls for tomato sauce? Use ¼ of what the recipe recommends. Tomato sauce is high in potassium and sodium.
  5. Rinse canned tuna or chicken. Canned meats, fish, and poultry are high in sodium. Rinsing before eating removes some of the sodium. Avoiding canned meats is a better option if possible.
  6. Skip pre-made pancake mixes. Why? They’re high in sodium. You can make your own with little to no sodium. Or you can enjoy a Renal-Friendly breakfast.
  7. Pick the perfect pickle. Here’s a hint, it’s not dill pickles. Those are typically canned with high amounts of sodium. Sweet pickles are a better option.
  8. Pay attention to cereal. Some cereals contain higher amounts of sodium and phosphorus, which you want to limit when you have Renal disease. If you are going to eat cereal or oatmeal, stick with a whole-grain variety, and limit it to just a few times a week.
  9. Steer clear of store-bought sauces and gravies. Why? They’re high in calories and often contain ingredients that may cause complications when you have renal disease. You can actually make your own healthier sauces. Here’s how.
  10. Make your own soup. There’s a simple reason. Most store-bought soup is high in sodium, which is something you need to avoid to protect the remaining healthy of your kidneys.
  11.  Limit nuts, seeds, and chocolate because they’re high in potassium and phosphorus...two more things you need to avoid when you have Renal disease.

Hungry for a simpler way to follow a Renal-Friendly diet? Cooking at home can be good, but it’s not for everyone. Or sometimes you want a break. It’s easier than you might think. Here’s how: Check out the Renal-Friendly menu with meals developed by a registered dietitian using fresh ingredients.