A renal failure diet controls the amount of protein and phosphorus in your diet. You may also have to limit calcium, sodium, and potassium. A renal failure diet can help decrease the amount of waste made by your body, which can help your kidneys work better. It may also help to delay total renal failure. Your diet may change over time as your health condition changes. You may also need to make other diet changes if you have other health problems, such as diabetes.
* Look for no or low-salt versions of your favorite foods: tuna packed in water rather than oil, salt-free pretzels, unseasoned popcorn (dress up with chili powder, parmesan cheese, and a little garlic powder), no-salt butter are some examples.
* Collect a good selection of no-sodium seasonings; these can surprise people with spicy, robust taste independent of any salt.
* Keep an eye out for quick and easy low-sodium recipes for your favorite foods, and stock your pantry with the ingredients.
FLUIDS must be restricted. Your physician will set a limit for you, somewhere between four and eight cups maximum per day. Fluid is defined as anything that melts at room temperature, so in addition to water and juices, you must count ice cream, gelatin desserts, sherbet, and watermelon.
POTASSIUM counts, too, and it’s harder to control for several reasons. You can’t taste it, like you can salt, it’s not a required item to be listed in the nutritional contents of packaged food, and it’s in many foods.
Low potassium foods, safest to include frequently in a renal patient’s diet, include applesauce, black berries, grapes, tangerines, canned pears and plums; asparagus, green or waxed beans, corn, cauliflower, cucumbers, water chestnuts, and summer squash. Juices such as apple, cranberry, lemonade, grape, and fruit-flavored drinks are okay; just remember to count them in your fluid total for the day.