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What is the ideal diet for kidney disease patients?

Q: I am a 39 years old man, diagnosed with chronic renal failure due to high blood pressure. Now my baseline creatinine level is 3 mg/dl and BUN is about 60 mg/dl. I am following the diet plan as advised by my nephrologist. But, still my potassium level is in a higher range. Please suggest a diet plan appropriate for me? Also, how much water should I consume in a day?

A:Diet for chronic kidney disease should include daily calories of 2000-2200. It should include daily protein intake of 45-50 gram, have low potassium content (essentially avoiding most of the fruit juices, dry fruits, (chocolates etc), low saturated fat and be rich in complex carbohydrates unless one is diabetic. Amount of daily fluid restriction needs to be accompanied with salt restriction as well, since it would result in controlling blood pressure as well as excessive fluid accumulation in the body as obvious by increased swelling over the body parts in the advanced stages of kidney disease. Usual daily fluid intake should not be more than 1.2 litres along with restricted daily salt intake of <2-3 grams especially in the presence of poorly controlled blood pressure and increased swelling. Below are some practical tips to cut down on the daily potassium intake:

  1. Cook, rinse and drain the frozen fruits and vegetables in water before eating. Food articles rich in potassium like leafy green vegetables and potatoes should be peeled/ cut, soaked in water for several hours and drained/ rinsed before cooking. All these measures are intended to significantly reduce the potassium amount in these food articles.
  2. Avoid salt substitutes since many of these contain potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride.
  3. Always check the labels in canned/packaged foods for potassium content. Also avoid some of the artificial sweeteners since they may contain potassium.
You should consult a nutritionist who could help you to tailor your dietary content and needs based on the stage of your kidney disease.

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