Typically Whole Foods are More Expensive, but are they better for CKD Patients?

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People who eat processed foods experience increased levels of mood swings, anxiety, depression and hyperactivity. Such emotional problems can be combated simply by using more whole (unprocessed) foods in your diet.

The kidneys are responsible for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. If you have a kidney disease, you may be unable to maintain this balance, thus requiring you to modify your diet. Renal diet food products should be low in sodium, phosphorus and potassium.

Fruits and Vegetables

Your kidneys are responsible for maintaining normal blood levels of potassium. When your kidneys are not functioning, potassium levels can buildup in the blood and cause an irregular heartbeat, nausea, heart failure and even sudden death. Many fresh fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of potassium. On a renal diet, you should choose low potassium fruit and vegetable products. Choices include fresh apples, apple juice, applesauce, cranberry juice cocktail, pears, tangerines, alfalfa sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, escarole, all varieties of lettuce, peppers, radishes, turnips and watercress.


You may need to limit the amount of meat consumed on a renal diet. High intakes of protein accelerates kidney failure. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about your daily protein needs. Choose fresh meat products on a renal diet in order to limit your sodium intake. Fresh meat products include fresh poultry, fish, beef, pork, lamb, veal and eggs.


Milk contains potassium, phosphorus and protein, which may require you to limit your intake. High blood phosphorus levels can lead to bone demineralization. If you have high blood phosphorus levels, you may need to limit your milk intake to one serving a day. Milk products allowed on a renal diet include milk, yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream and sherbet.


Some starch foods can be high in sodium. High intakes of sodium leads to fluid retention and can increase your blood pressure. A high blood pressure can also accelerate kidney failure. Read food labels and choose foods with less than 140 mg of sodium per serving. Whole grains also contain high amounts of phosphorus; you should choose more refined flour starch products. Starch products you can safely eat on a renal diet include white bread and bread products, refined flour cereals, pasta and noodles, rice, unsalted crackers, unsalted pretzels and plain popcorn.

High-Calorie Products

Many people with kidney disease have poor appetites and need to eat high-calorie food products to help meet their caloric needs. High-calorie food products on a renal diet include kool-aid, fruit ice, popsicle, sorbet, candy corn, marshmallows, chewy fruit snacks, fruit leather, honey, sugar, hard candy, jelly and jelly beans.

Cooking your own meals out of natural ingredients (whole foods) instead of consuming processed food is the best way to take care of your body and mind.

Source: "Renal Diet Food Products." LIVESTRONG.COM.

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Importance of Iron in Kidney Diet