What Type of Foods Should Dialysis Patients Avoid?


Quick Answer

Patients who are on dialysis should avoid foods that are high in phosphorous, salt and potassium, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Instead, they may want to focus on foods that are high in protein, while gaining calories through grain-based products that are low in dairy.

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Full Answer

As dairy is high in phosphorous, dialysis patients should limit their intake, the National Kidney Foundation states. Patients can eat around 1/2 a cup of yogurt or milk per day, and should be mindful of the fact that low-fat and semi-skimmed products are still high in phosphorous. Those who wish to experience the benefits or taste of dairy without harming their diet can try eating brie, ricotta cheese, butter or heavy cream. To limit their potassium intake, patients should avoid certain fruits and juices. This includes orange juice, kiwis, nectarines, prunes and raisins. Patients who want to flavor their foods should substitute salt for herbs and spices.

People who are on dialysis are encouraged to increase their protein intake, the National Kidney Foundation claims. Around 8 to 10 grams per day are recommended, but patients should discuss this with their healthcare team first. For referencing purposes, 1 ounce is usually around the same as an egg or a 1/4 cup of tuna. Patients should also eat 6 to 11 servings of grains, cereals and breads per day, while avoiding those that are high in whole grains and dairy.

Dialysis diets typically do not limit grain, bread and cereal consumption, notes the National Kidney Foundation. Avoiding foods that are labeled whole wheat or high fiber is advised because they have a higher phosphorus content. Good fruit and vegetable choices for a dialysis diet include apples, grapes, broccoli, lettuce and peppers.

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