The Importance of a Renal Diet for Chronic Kidney Disease Patients


Feb 14, 2023

The Importance of a Renal Diet for Chronic Kidney Disease Patients

Significance of a Renal Diet for Individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition that affects the kidneys' ability to filter waste products from the body. As a result, a diet that helps manage the build-up of waste products while preserving kidney function is necessary, commonly known as a renal diet.

What is a Renal Diet?

A kidney-friendly diet, also called a renal diet, can help protect the kidneys by including foods that provide the right nutrients in the right amounts, such as protein, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. In addition to managing waste buildup, a renal diet can also help manage other conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. The old renal diet used to be about bland foods, white bread, potatoes, and limiting all the nutritious foods. But several main eating patterns have been shown to be beneficial in managing CKD and other conditions.

What Foods to Include?

Three main diet patterns that have been proven to have beneficial effects on CKD are plant-based eating, Mediterranean diet, and DASH diet. Each of these eating patterns has the basics of the plate method, making it easier to incorporate them into every meal. It is essential to include half your plate in vegetables, choose low potassium if needed, a quarter plate in protein, choose plant-based more often, and a quarter plate in carbohydrates or starches, choose whole grains more often. Some other crucial nutrition recommendations include having fruit as a snack, making water your beverage of choice, and seasoning with herbs and spices to reduce sodium.

Renal Diet Food List

Here are some of the best foods to include in a renal diet:

  1. Apples - a great source of fiber that can help with constipation and lowering cholesterol.
  2. Barley - a low potassium and phosphorus whole grain that is packed with fiber and can help control blood sugar levels.
  3. Cauliflower - a cruciferous vegetable loaded with antioxidants that can be added to any dish.
  4. Kale - a great low potassium leafy green that is also a great source of iron.
  5. Lentils - a great plant-based protein that can be used as a meat substitute in many dishes.
  6. Olive Oil - a great source of heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory unsaturated fats that can be used as a salad dressing.
  7. Peas - a great source of fiber that can help fight constipation.
  8. Raspberries - a low glycemic index berry loaded with antioxidants.
  9. String Beans - a versatile source of vitamin C, A, and fiber that can be enjoyed in many ways.
  10. Walnuts - a great plant-based protein that is low in potassium and packed with cholesterol-lowering properties.

A renal dietitian can help you personalize your renal diet according to your needs and preferences. With the help of a renal dietitian, you can incorporate these foods into your meals to ensure a balanced and healthy diet that supports your kidney health.


This blog was based on a post written by Emily Campbell and published here with her permission. The original post can be found here.

Related Article

What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

What Do Your Kidneys Do?

Protein and the Renal Hemodialysis Diet

Sodium and the Renal Hemodialysis Diet

Phosphorus and the Renal Hemodialysis Diet

Potassium and the Renal Hemodialysis Diet

About Emily Campbell

Emily Campbell is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with a Master of Science in Food and Nutrition who lives in Toronto, ON. Over the years, she has experience working with individuals with a variety of kidney conditions to help them improve their eating; and preserve their kidney function through her career in hospitals as well as her private practice Kidney Nutrition. Not only does she have experience as a renal dietitian with patients, but she also has family members living with kidney disease so she understand the stress and complexities mealtime and celebrations can present. She has been practicing as a renal dietitian for over six years and am also is a two-time cookbook author of The Complete Renal Diet Cookbook and Renal Diet Cookbook for Caregivers.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

KidneyLuv Logo