Foods containing a large amount of sodium or phosphorus can be damaging to people who only have one kidney, according to the National Kidney Disease Education Program. Solitary kidney patients with reduced kidney function may be advised to make dietary changes to slow the progression of kidney disease.
While not all patients living with a solitary kidney are required to eat a special diet, kidney disease can be slowed down with proper dietary and lifestyle changes. Choosing and preparing foods with less sodium is essential, with a daily sodium intake of 2,300 milligrams or less, recommends the NKDEP. Fresh herbs, spices and seasonings without sodium can be used for flavoring foods. Fresh foods are preferable to processed foods to keep sodium intake to a minimum.
Foods with less phosphorus are also recommended by the NKDEP. Foods with high phosphorus levels include meat, dairy, beans, nuts, lentils and colas. Foods low in phosphorus include fresh vegetables, fruits, breads, rice, pasta and corn.
People living with one kidney are affected by what they drink. Soda, if consumed, should be limited to light-colored varieties, and consumption of grape, apple and orange juices should be limited. Cranberry juice can be substituted for these juices. Many solitary kidney patients are instructed to avoid alcohol altogether, while others may be able to drink a small amount, according to the NKDEP.