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What are some dietary recommendations for patients with chronic kidney disease?

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Quick Answer

Some general dietary recommendations for chronic kidney disease patients include eating a low-protein diet, limiting fluid intake and moderating consumption of certain electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium and phosphorous, notes MedlinePlus. The specific nutritional needs of each patient vary based on body size, activity, the stage of kidney disease and other health concerns, explains American Kidney Fund.

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Full Answer

A low-protein diet can slow down the loss of kidney function by reducing the kidneys' workload, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Doctors recommend portions of about 0.7 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for CKD patients, states Cleveland Clinic. CKD patients should replace calories lost in a low-protein diet with carbohydrates, such fruits, breads, grains and vegetables, recommends MedlinePlus. High-calorie deserts, namely pies, cakes or cookies, can sometimes also make up for the caloric deficit.

Patients on dialysis or those with advanced CKD should avoid foods, such as soups, ice cream, melons, lettuce and celery, that contain a lot of water, advises MedlinePlus. Reduced kidney function can cause fluid buildup in the body leading to high blood pressure, swelling and heart failure, says American Kidney Fund. Rinsing the mouth or sucking on a piece of ice or hard candy prevents thirst.

Limiting sodium intake also contributes to preventing thirst and fluid buildup. It is best to choose foods that have less than 100 milligrams of sodium per serving and those with indicators such as "unsalted" and "sodium-free" on the label. CKD patients should avoid using salt substitutes since they contain potassium, which CKD patients must also moderate, notes MedlinePlus. Herbs, lemon juice and other salt-free spices offer food flavoring instead.

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