Trying to do everything you can to help your kidneys and get healthier, but wondering about what you will eat on a healthy kidney diet – and what you might have to give up?
Here are the troublesome foods your kidneys are having difficulty breaking down and you must now avoid, if you have kidney stones or other signs of early kidney disease:
- Anything with added sodium, or table salt.
- MSG, a food preservative, often found in convenience foods, packaged foods and Chinese food.
- Protein. On a kidney diet, you are limited to one small serving of about 5 to 7 ounces of a protein, such as eggs or red meat.
- Deli style meats – they are loaded with sodium, as are salty snacks.
- Fluids – most people with kidney disease don’t get enough fluids, particularly water. Yet drinking too much also puts too much of a burden on your kidneys. The daily limit is 48 ounces, and this includes foods that are mostly liquid such as grapes, lettuce, tomatoes and oranges.
- No beer, cola drinks, cocoa, chocolate and you will need to limit coffee and other foods or drinks with caffeine, such as energy drinks.
Here are the ‘good’ foods you will be able to eat and enjoy. Fortunately, it is a generous list – and this isn’t all the ‘healthies’ you can have on healthy kidney diet:
- Almost any herbs (to add flavour, in place of salt) and also pepper.
- Rice and pasta
- Wheat, bran and soybeans (tofu)
- Unsalted versions of snack foods such as popcorn and pretzels
- Seafood such as shrimp, imitation crab (Pollock) and many types of fish
- Chicken and turkey
- Most vegetables and fruits, including juice
- Non-dairy creamer, rice and corn cereals, lemon-lime drinks including pop (soda), root beer, iced tea, lemonade
There are also differences in a healthy kidney diet depending on your stage of kidney disease, if you have kidney stones and the type of stones you have, or if you have other conditions along with kidney disease such as gout or diabetes.
Adopting a healthy kidney diet and healthy kidney lifestyle can not only slow or even halt the disease, it may help your kidneys to partially recover.
The good news is that you may be able to prevent your kidneys becoming weaker.
Even in a later stage of the disease, it is not too late to make this choice, start to feel better, possibly avoid dialysis and get your life back.
It is a mistake doctors say they see frequently – that people with kidney disease feel hopeless to do anything to manage their condition and feel healthier.