What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Kidney Disease?

People with kidney disease are advised to avoid foods that are high in sodium, potassium and phosphorus, according to MedlinePlus. Any foods that list sodium in the beginning of the ingredient list should be avoided. Examples of foods that are high in potassium include oranges, bananas, kiwis, potatoes, tomatoes and cooked spinach. Dairy products such as eggs, milk and cheese have high amounts of phosphorus.

Reducing the amount of sodium in the diet helps control high blood pressure and dehydration, advises MedlinePlus. When shopping for packaged or processed foods, people with kidney disease should look for labels that say things like “no salt added” or “sodium-free.” It is also suggested to not use salt while cooking at home.

People with kidney disease need to limit potassium intake because too much potassium may cause irregular heart rhythms that have the potential to lead to death, says MedlinePlus. Other foods that are high in potassium include pumpkin, asparagus, nectarines and cantaloupe. Fruits and vegetables that are safe for people with kidney disease to eat include watermelon, peaches, grapes, broccoli, cabbage and carrots.

Too much phosphorus in a person with kidney disease may cause itching and a calcium deficiency, according to MedlinePlus. Examples of dairy foods that are lower in phosphorus and safer to eat include butter, cream cheese, ricotta cheese and sherbet.