In fact dietary restrictions vary premised on the stage of kidney disease.
For example, people with early stages of chronic kidney disease will have different dietary restrictions than those with end stage renal disease, or kidney failure.
Others with end stage renal disease who require dialysis will also have varying dietary restrictions.
Dialysis is a type of treatment that removes extra water and filters waste.
The majority of those with late or end stage kidney disease will need to follow a kidney-friendly diet to avoid a buildup of certain chemicals or nutrients in the blood.
In those with chronic kidney disease, the kidneys can’t adequately remove excess sodium, potassium, or phosphorus.
As a result, they are at a higher risk of elevated blood levels of these minerals.
A kidney-friendly diet, or renal diet, usually limits sodium to under 2,300 mg per day, as well as your potassium and phosphorus intake.
Here are 17 foods that you should likely avoid on a renal diet.
1. Dark-colored soda:
In addition to the calories and sugar that sodas provide, they harbor additives that contain phosphorus, especially dark-colored sodas.
Many food and beverage manufacturers add phosphorus during processing to enhance flavor, prolong shelf life, and prevent discoloration.
Your body absorbs this added phosphorus to a greater extent than natural, animal-based, or plant-based phosphorus (6Trusted Source).
Unlike natural phosphorus, phosphorus in the form of additives is not bound to protein. Rather, it’s found in the form of salt and highly absorbable by the intestinal tract (7Trusted Source).
Additive phosphorus can typically be found in a product’s ingredient list. However, food manufacturers are not required to list the exact amount of additive phosphorus on the food label.
While additive phosphorus content varies depending on the type of soda, most dark-colored sodas are believed to contain 50–100 mg in a 200-mL serving (8Trusted Source).
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food database, a 12-ounce cola contains 33.5 mg of phosphorus (9Trusted Source).
As a result, sodas, especially those that are dark, should be avoided on a renal diet.
Avocados are often touted for their many nutritious qualities, including their heart-healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants.
While avocados are usually a healthy addition to the diet, those with kidney disease may need to avoid them.
This is because avocados are a very rich source of potassium.
One average-sized avocado provides a whopping 690 mg of potassium (10Trusted Source).
By reducing the portion size to one-fourth of an avocado, people with kidney disease can still include this food in their diets while also limiting potassium, if needed.
Avocados, including guacamole, should be limited or avoided on a renal diet if you have been told to watch your potassium intake. However, remember that different individuals have different needs, and your overall diet and health goals are the most important thing to consider.
3. Canned foods:
Canned foods such as soups, vegetables, and beans are often purchased because of their low cost and convenience.
However, most canned foods contain high amounts of sodium, as salt is added as a preservative to increase its shelf life.
Due to the amount of sodium found in canned goods, it is often recommended that people with kidney disease avoid or limit their consumption.
Choosing lower sodium varieties or those labeled “no salt added” is typically best.
Additionally, draining and rinsing canned foods, such as canned beans and tuna, can decrease the sodium content by 33–80%, depending on the product.
4. Whole wheat bread:
Choosing the right bread can be confusing for individuals with kidney disease.
Often for healthy individuals, whole wheat bread is usually recommended over refined, white flour bread.
Whole wheat bread may be a more nutritious choice, mostly due to its higher fiber content. However, white bread is usually recommended over whole wheat varieties for individuals with kidney disease.
This is because of its phosphorus and potassium content. The more bran and whole grains in the bread, the higher the phosphorus and potassium contents.
For example, a 1-ounce (30-gram) serving of whole wheat bread contains about 57 mg of phosphorus and 69 mg of potassium. In comparison, white bread contains only 28 mg of both phosphorus and potassium (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
Consuming one slice of whole wheat bread instead of two can help lower your potassium and phosphorus intake without having to give up whole wheat bread entirely.
Note that most bread and bread products, regardless of whether they are white or whole wheat, also contain relatively high amounts of sodium.
It’s best to compare the nutrition labels of various types of bread, choose a lower sodium option, if possible, and monitor your portion sizes.
5. Brown rice:
Like whole wheat bread, brown rice is a whole grain that has a higher potassium and phosphorus content than its white rice counterpart.
One cup of cooked brown rice contains 150 mg of phosphorus and 154 mg of potassium, while 1 cup of cooked white rice contains only 69 mg of phosphorus and 54 mg of potassium (16, 17).
You may be able to fit brown rice into a renal diet, but only if the portion is controlled and balanced with other foods to avoid an excessive daily intake of potassium and phosphorus.
Bulgur, buckwheat, pearled barley, and couscous are nutritious, lower phosphorus grains that can make a good substitute for brown rice.
Bananas are known for their high potassium content.
While they are naturally low in sodium, 1 medium banana provides 422 mg of potassium (18).
If you have been instructed to limit your potassium intake, it may be difficult to do so if a banana is a daily staple.
Unfortunately, many other tropical fruits have high potassium contents as well.
However, pineapples contain substantially less potassium than other tropical fruits and can be a more suitable yet tasty alternative .
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