A good kidney diet comprises foods that do not contain minerals such as sodium, potassium, and phosphorous which are processed by the kidneys. This is to prevent a buildup of these minerals in the blood of people with CKD.
Despite the fact that people with CKD need to eliminate or have less of foods with these minerals, they still have to eat foods that provide their bodies with other nutrients.
Here are some of the foods people living with CKD should include in their diet:
- Cabbage: This leafy vegetable is a good option for people with CKD as it is low in potassium and very low in sodium, yet it has necessary vitamins for the body like vitamin B, C and K. Like other vegetables, cabbage also provides the body with the necessary fibre which is important for promoting regular bowel movements.
- Cauliflower: It is a good source of vitamin C, Vitamin K and Vitamin B folate. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and an excellent fibre source.
- Berries: They are a great addition to a kidney-friendly diet as they are low in sodium, phosphorus and potassium. Berries also contain antioxidants (anthocyanins) which protect against heart disease, diabetes, cognitive decline and certain cancers. Examples include cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, cherries and raspberries.
- Egg Whites: Egg whites are a good source of protein; however, yolks are high in phosphorus and they are not advisable for people with CKD.
- Garlic: People with CKD are required to reduce their amount of sodium and that includes salt. Garlic, which can be an alternative to salt, does not only add flavour to food but is also a good source of vitamin C and B6, manganese and sulfur compounds that contain anti-inflammatory properties.
- Onions: While you need to reduce salt intake, onions can be a good alternative that adds flavour without compromising your kidney health.
- Red Bell Peppers: They contain a good amount of nutrients but are low in potassium unlike many other vegetables. Bell peppers also contain antioxidants which may protect cells from damage.
- Olive Oil: It is a phosphorus-free source of healthy fat which can help people with CKD keep their weight which can be difficult for them. The majority of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated which has anti-inflammatory properties that are important for people with CKD.
These are just a few examples of the foods that people living with CKD should consider adding to their diet.
If you or your loved one has CKD, talk to your doctor or dietitian or nutritionist about which foods you should eat and which ones you need to avoid. You can still live a healthy life even if you have Chronic Kidney Disease.