Kidney Healthy Diet

The best thing to do is maintain a normal BMI. An individual’s waist should be smaller in circumference than one’s hips. The opposite puts one at risk for metabolic syndrome and/or insulin resistance.   

Click here for more information on how the kidney is affected by certain foods and supplements.

1. Limit sodium. Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association at has some good information regarding blood pressure, salt, and heart health in general.

2. Monitor soft drink consumption.

Some ingredients, particularly in colas, have been linked to kidney stone formation. Kidney stones can cause not only discomfort, but damage to the structure of your remaining kidney.

recent study of 9358 subjects found an association between sugar-sweetened soda and albuminuria, a marker of early kidney damage. 

3. Use alcohol sparingly.

Beer contains high levels of phosphorus. Also, in excess, it can cause dehydration. Dehydration has been indicated as a potential link to kidney stone formation.    

4. Drink plenty of water 

It will hydrate, flush impurities and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.   

5. Monitor potassium consumption.

Potassium levels are one indicator of kidney function or dysfunction for those with end-stage renal disease, and potassium may be linked to hypertension. Foods high in potassium include meats, soy products, broccoli, peas,  citrus fruits, etc.

6. Phosphorus Consumption.

Having one kidney may inhibit your body’s ability to filter phosphorus. High levels of phosphorus may cause a loss of calcium, resulting in brittle and weakened bones.

Phosphorus is found in dairy products, dried beans and peas, nuts, cocoa, beer and cola soft drinks.

7. Monitor protein consumption.

High levels of protein have been known to damage glomerules (the tiny filters of the nephron) over an extended period of time (190). Reducing protein intake in people with chronic kidney disease reduces the occurrence of renal death by 31% as compared with higher or unrestricted protein intake (191).

Even small amounts of protein in the urine is seen as a sign or glomular damage and a predictor of future serious kidney problems. (See Proteinuria for more)

8. Fruits and Vegetables.

The addition of fruits such as apples, apricots, oranges, peaches, pears, raisins, and strawberries, and vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini has been shown to mitigate glomeruler damage from acidic foods and help preserve kidney function in those with Stage 2 Chronic Kidney Disease (GFR 60-89). (212)

In fact…

9. Do not engage in fad dietsAtkins or other high protein style diets should be avoided due to the imbalance they cause in kidney function. Excess protein consumption may cause a problem in persons with compromised kidney function. Discuss with your doctor the amount of protein you should or should not be eating.

Eat a well balanced, healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. provides valuable nutrition and dietary information. The National Kidney Foundation has information on kidney-healthy diets as well.

Please see our Facts and Risks page for more potential long-term issues related to living kidney or liver donation, such as pregnancy, life and health insurance, PWW, obesity and more.  

More to come….

Last Updated February 2, 2012