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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

Eating Right for Kidney Health: Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease (Fact Sheet)

What you eat and drink can help slow down chronic kidney disease. Some foods are better for your kidneys than others. Cooking and preparing your food from scratch can help you eat healthier.

These tips will help you eat right as you manage your CKD. The First Steps to Eating Right are important for all people with CKD. The Next Steps to Eating Right may become important as your kidneys slow down.

Work with your dietitian to choose the right foods for you.

The First Steps to Eating Right

Step 1: Choose and prepare foods with less salt and sodium.

Why? To help control your blood pressure. Your diet should contain less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day.

Look for food labels that say:

Step 2: Eat the right amount and the right types of protein.

Why? To help protect your kidneys.

Animal-protein Foods:

Plant-protein Foods:

Step 3: Choose foods that are healthy for your heart.

Why? To help keep fat from building up in your blood vessels, heart, and kidneys.

Heart-healthy Foods:

The Next Steps to Eating Right

As your kidneys slow down, you may need to eat foods that are lower in phosphorus and potassium. Your health care provider will use lab tests to watch your levels.

Step 4: Choose foods with less phosphorus.

Why? To help protect your bones and blood vessels.

Foods Lower in Phosphorus:

Foods Higher in Phosphorus:

Step 5: Choose foods that have the right amount of potassium.

Why? To help your nerves and muscles work the right way.

Foods Lower in Potassium:

Foods Higher in Potassium

Eating Right for Kidney Health: Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease (Fact Sheet)

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Page last updated: November 20, 2013