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What is the recommended diet plan for kidney patients?

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Quick Answer

The recommended diet plan for patients with kidney disease focuses on limiting consumption of potassium, phosphorus and fluids to prevent the accumulation of waste and fluids, which leads to other health issues, according to the American Kidney Fund. Moreover, it is essential to limit protein, saturated fat and sodium intake.

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Full Answer

The amounts of potassium, phosphorus and fluids a kidney patient can include in his meals depend on his stage of kidney disease, notes the American Kidney Fund. During the early stages, some patients may not need restrictions on foods and beverages. However, the progression of kidney disease over time calls for a strict meal plan with portion control.

Irregular potassium levels are bad for kidney disease patients because they can lead to fast heartbeat, muscle weakness or muscle cramps, states the American Kidney Fund. Instead of high-potassium foods, such as artichokes, avocados, kale, bran products and beans, patients should choose low-potassium foods, especially white rice, chicken, beef, lettuce and cauliflower. Strawberries, pineapples, grapes, cranberries and apples also have low potassium content.

Excessive phosphorus in kidney disease patients causes weak, brittle bones, while too much fluid leads to swelling, high blood pressure or heart failure, explains the American Kidney Fund. Rice cereals, corn and unsalted popcorn are low-phosphorus foods and good alternatives to oatmeal, bran cereals, nuts and whole-grain bread.

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