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What are good menu options for kidney patients?

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Quick Answer

Kidney patients taking hemodialysis need to consume a diet of high-protein foods, as well as foods low in salt, phosphorus and potassium, states the National Kidney Foundation. It is important to consult a physician to determine the proper amount of fluids to consume, including coffee, tea and water.

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Full Answer

Dialysis patients should eat more proteins, such as meat, eggs, fish, poultry and fresh pork, for maintaining health and blood protein levels. The National Kidney Foundation recommends eating 8 to 10 ounces of these foods daily, with at least one serving per meal. Although foods such as peanut butter, dried beans and lentils have a high protein content, they are also high in phosphorus and potassium, and are not recommended.

Eating a low-sodium diet helps control blood pressure and weight between dialysis visits, notes the National Kidney Foundation. Other flavoring options include herbs, spices and low-salt flavor enhancers to use instead of salt. When choosing a salt substitute, make sure it does not contain high levels of potassium.

Low-phosphorus dairy foods, such as cream cheese, butter, whipping cream and sherbet are good options, explains the National Kidney Foundation. However, it is important to limit the amount of foods high in fat content when at risk for developing heart disease or if previously diagnosed with the disease. Low-potassium foods include fruits and fruit juices. Considering that all fruits are sources of some level of potassium, kidney patients must limit eating oranges, raisins, kiwi, bananas and starfruit, as well as some others. Keeping potassium levels low helps protect the heart.

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