Is A Plant-Based Diet Good for Dialysis Patients?
Eat more fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. You don’t have to look far to find a headline that recommends following a plant-based diet. But is a plant-based diet right for people on dialysis?
If those headlines caught your attention, good. Lots of research points to following a plant-based diet to:
- Promote health
- Prevent disease
- Lower cholesterol
- Support weight management
- Control blood sugar levels, and more
Following a plant-based diet is good advice for most people. But when you’re on dialysis, you’ve got special dietary needs you need to consider.
Avoid or limit phosphorus
Avoiding processed foods high in phosphorus is a good place to start. But even some plant-based foods contain phosphorus like legumes, processed meats or meat substitutes, and vegetables like spinach, corn, asparagus or broccoli.
What happens if you consume too much phosphorus?
If your kidneys are healthy, they simply filter and remove the excess phosphorus. But if you depend on dialysis, higher levels of phosphorous increase the risk for complications like heart disease, chronic fatigue, and pain in the joints. Here’s the thing. Plant-based foods are good for you, even if you’re on dialysis. And they’re definitely a better option than fast food and high-processed meals.
Even if you’re on dialysis, your diet should include plant-based foods. Read food labels to avoid products high in phosphorus. Ask your doctor about phosphorus binders to help prevent absorption.
You hungry? If you need a little help preparing Dialysis-Friendly meals, just check out the menu of meals made from fresh ingredients. They’re low in phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. Pick your favorites, and store in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, just pop your favorite meal in the microwave and enjoy (which is pretty easy because the food tastes great, and you’ll save time on prepping food, grocery shopping, and clean up.)