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What is the diet for a dialysis patient?

Friday, 09 February 2007
Answered by: Ms. Neesha Bukht Choksy
Consultant Nutritionist

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Q. What should be the diet of a kidney dialysis patient? Please suggest a diet that is low in potassium and phosphorus.

A.  For those undergoing haemodialysis, daily consumption of sodium, phosphorus, and potassium is restricted. Patients with kidney failure cannot get rid of potassium in the urine so it builds up in the blood. This can be dangerous for the heart. High potassium can cause irregular heart beats. The heart can stop if the potassium level gets too high. However, low potassium levels could also be dangerous. Hence appropriate adjustments have to be made in the diet. As a general rule, all fruits and vegetables are high in potassium. Salads, soups and fruit juices are thus considered taboo items. However, the potassium content of vegetables may be reduced by leaching (boiling in extra water and then discarding the water). These Fruits/Vegetables are high in Potassium: Bananas, Avocado, Oranges, Orange Juice, Prunes, Prune Juice, Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Tomato Sauce, Tomato Puree, Melon, Nuts, Papaya, Chocolate, Milk, Black beans, Lentils, Split peas, Baked beans, Potatoes, Black-eyed peas, Salt substitute, Dried fruits. Bread and cereals allowed: White bread, white rolls, porridge, cornflakes, plain biscuits, arrowroot biscuits, wafer biscuits, rice, pasta. Avoid: Whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat rolls, wheat biscuits, muesli, tinned noodles Avoid: Salad vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, onion, olives, tomato, baked beans, red kidney beans, mushrooms, potato more than twice per day (this includes potato salad). Fruits allowed are apples, cherries, lychees, mandarin, mango, pears, pineapple, raspberries, watermelon, blackberries, grapefruit, melon, plums, strawberries, tinned peaches, and juices of apples, oranges and pineapples. Avoid: Apricots, bananas, currants, custard apples, dates, figs, grapes, kiwi fruit, fresh peaches. Meat allowed: mutton, lamb, pork, chicken, fish, tuna Eggs allowed: Boiled, poached, scrambled and fried egg; Avoid: More than one egg a day Milk allowed: Milk - full cream, skimmed, cheese and cottage cheese Avoid: Too much milk, cheese and yoghurt Fats allowed: Ghee, salt free margarine, butter, oil, cream Avoid all soups Spreads allowed: Jam, honey Miscellaneous allowed: Artificial sweeteners Avoid: Chocolate, nuts, cocoa.

A.  For those undergoing haemodialysis, daily consumption of sodium, phosphorus, and potassium is restricted. Patients with kidney failure cannot get rid of potassium in the urine so it builds up in the blood. This can be dangerous for the heart. High potassium can cause irregular heart beats. The heart can stop if the potassium level gets too high. However, low potassium levels could also be dangerous. Hence appropriate adjustments have to be made in the diet. As a general rule, all fruits and vegetables are high in potassium. Salads, soups and fruit juices are thus considered taboo items. However, the potassium content of vegetables may be reduced by leaching (boiling in extra water and then discarding the water). These Fruits/Vegetables are high in Potassium: Bananas, Avocado, Oranges, Orange Juice, Prunes, Prune Juice, Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Tomato Sauce, Tomato Puree, Melon, Nuts, Papaya, Chocolate, Milk, Black beans, Lentils, Split peas, Baked beans, Potatoes, Black-eyed peas, Salt substitute, Dried fruits. Bread and cereals allowed: White bread, white rolls, porridge, cornflakes, plain biscuits, arrowroot biscuits, wafer biscuits, rice, pasta. Avoid: Whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat rolls, wheat biscuits, muesli, tinned noodles Avoid: Salad vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, onion, olives, tomato, baked beans, red kidney beans, mushrooms, potato more than twice per day (this includes potato salad). Fruits allowed are apples, cherries, lychees, mandarin, mango, pears, pineapple, raspberries, watermelon, blackberries, grapefruit, melon, plums, strawberries, tinned peaches, and juices of apples, oranges and pineapples. Avoid: Apricots, bananas, currants, custard apples, dates, figs, grapes, kiwi fruit, fresh peaches. Meat allowed: mutton, lamb, pork, chicken, fish, tuna Eggs allowed: Boiled, poached, scrambled and fried egg; Avoid: More than one egg a day Milk allowed: Milk - full cream, skimmed, cheese and cottage cheese Avoid: Too much milk, cheese and yoghurt Fats allowed: Ghee, salt free margarine, butter, oil, cream Avoid all soups Spreads allowed: Jam, honey Miscellaneous allowed: Artificial sweeteners Avoid: Chocolate, nuts, cocoa.

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