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Diet and Nutrition for Dialysis patients

Overview

Your kidneys are small in size but perform many crucial functions of your body, including blood filtration, regulating blood pressure, maintaining electrolyte balance, and producing urine. However, certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, along with your lifestyle and diet, tend to cause damage to your kidneys, thus, reducing their functional abilities. 

And when your kidneys fail to work as supposed, wastes from food, toxic substances, and fluid happen to accumulate in your body. Therefore, people with renal conditions should maintain a healthy diet.

Research says, nearly 10% of the total population of the world has kidney disease. It makes it a common health concern.

Food for Dialysis Patients

 

The restrictions associated with a renal diet (food for kidney patients)  differ from person to person and the extent of kidney damage. In case you have kidney disease, make sure to get in touch with your doctor and discuss the most suitable diet for you. Most renal (kidney) diets focus on eliminating wastes and toxins in the blood. Therefore, while on dialysis, your doctor is likely to recommend limiting the following:

  • Sodium. Sodium is a major constituent of many food items and, of course, table salt. When you have kidney disease, your kidneys are unable to drain out the excess sodium. Therefore, doctors recommend less than 2,000 gm of sodium per day. 
  • Potassium. Although potassium is crucial for your body, people with kidney disease should limit it. Doctors recommend less than 2,000 gm of potassium per day. 
  • Phosphorus. When you have kidney disease, your kidneys are not able to eliminate excess phosphorus from the blood. It is not good for your health. Therefore, doctors recommend less than 800 mg to 100 mg of phosphorus per day. You can eat fruits.
  • Protein food and Fluid

Eating and Nutrition for Hemodialysis

If you are getting started with hemodialysis, you need to make certain changes in your diet and lifestyle. Needless to say, but what you eat in a day is a crucial aspect of your treatment. Therefore, it is highly advisable to get in touch with a renal dietician to plan a special diet for you. 

As far as a standard diet for hemodialysis is concerned, here are some of the vital pointers to consider:

  • Make sure to include high-protein food items in your diet.
  • Make sure to consume foods that contain low levels of sodium and potassium and high levels of phosphorus.
  • Ask your dietician about the quantity of fluid you can have, including water, tea, coffee, and other beverages. 

How Does What I Eat and Drink Affect My Hemodialysis?

When you are on hemodialysis, your food and drink preferences can impact your treatment and how you feel after undergoing it. Between two sessions of your dialysis, wastes and toxins can accumulate in your blood, making you feel sick. However, you can keep this accumulation under control by following a proper renal diet. You can balance your diet with what dialysis tends to remove from your blood and prevent waste and fluid buildup.

Diet Chart for Kidney Patients

Just because you are a CKD patient does not mean your diet would not be enjoyable and tasty. Here is a diet chart especially designed for kidney patients. Let us have a look!

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks
2 Egg White or ½ Cup Substitute of Egg ¾ Cup of Dal Fry 2 Pcs Cutlet (Vegetable) 3 Pcs of Idli Made of Corn
1 Idli (Rice) 2 Pcs. Naan or Roti ½ Cup of Pulao with Cranberry 1 Tbsp of Coriander Chutney
1 Tbsp of Butter (Unsalted) ½ Cup of cauliflower and potato recipe with leached potatoes. ½ Cup of Veggie Stir-Fry (Zucchini) 1 Cup of Cold Water
1 Tbsp of Coriander Chutney ½ Cup of Mixed Fruits (grapes and pineapple) 1 cup of lime soda
⅓ Cup of Sambar ¾ Cup of Salad, including Spinach, Mint, Cucumber, Green Pepper, Lettuce, Cilantro, Lemon, and Olive Oil 1 Pcs. Peach Pie
½ Cup of Tea 1 Cup of Tea with non-dairy creamer
½ Cup Cream of Wheat
½ Tbsp Sugar
¼ Cup of Creamer (Non-dairy)

Foods for Kidney Patients

  • Cauliflower is rich in many nutrients, such as Vitamin C, K, and B. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties. One cup or 124-grams of cauliflower (cooked) comprises 19 mg, 176 mg, and 40 mg of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, respectively. 
  • Blueberries are loaded with multiple nutrients and antioxidants and prevent many health conditions, including diabetes, heart ailments, and cancer. This fruit is an excellent addition to your renal diet because it is low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. One cup of fresh blueberries comprises 1.5 mg, 114 mg, 18 mg of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, respectively. 
  • Sea bass makes a good source of high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, 85-grams of sea bass (cooked) contains 74 mg, 279 mg, and 211 mg of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, respectively. 
  • Egg whites are rich in high-quality proteins and also make a renal-friendly food. Egg whites of 66-grams contain 110 mg, 108 mg, and 10 mg of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, respectively.
  • Garlic is a great alternative to salt and adds a delicious flavor to any food. Plus, it also comes loaded with vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic 9 grams comprises 1.5 mg, 36 mg, and 14 mg of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, respectively. 
  • Chicken (skinless) is low in sodium, phosphorus, and potassium compared to chicken with skin-on. Skinless breast (84-grams) of chicken comprises 63 mg, 216 mg, and 192 mg of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, respectively. 
  • Onions are good taste enhancers, especially when it comes to a renal-diet. Moreover, onions are rich in B vitamins and manganese. Onions 70-grams, contain 3 mg, 102 mg, and 20 mg of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, respectively. 
  • Pineapple is a low potassium fruit and a great addition to a kidney diet. Moreover, it is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, bromelain, and manganese. Pineapple 165-grams comprises 2 mg, 180 mg, and 13 mg of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus, respectively. 

Discuss with Your Dietitian

Everything that you eat and drink directly affects your kidneys. Therefore, you should discuss the food items you should eat and the ones you should avoid. Your dietician will work with you and chalk a plan according to your unique requirements, stage of kidney disease, and any underlying health condition you may have.

More About Minerals and Nutrients 

Fluids

When you are under hemodialysis, you have to restrict the intake of fluids. Apart from water, some fruits and vegetables also have high water content. These include melons, grapes, apples, oranges, etc. Fluids can build up between dialysis sessions, causing swelling and weight gain. The extra fluids affect your blood pressure and can lead to serious heart troubles.

The best way to reduce fluid intake is to reduce thirst caused by the salt you eat. Avoid salty food like chips and take low-sodium products. You can also keep your fluids down by drinking from small cups. Talk to a dietician about how much fluids you can have daily and follow them strictly.

Potassium

Potassium affects how healthy the heart beats. Healthy kidneys keep the right amount of potassium in the blood to keep the heart beating at a steady pace. Potassium levels can rise between dialysis sessions and can affect your heartbeat. Eating too much potassium can be very dangerous to your heart. It may even cause death.

To control potassium levels in your blood, avoid food rich in potassium like milk and dairy products, bananas, dry fruits, etc. Also, eat smaller portions of other potassium food. For example, eat only smaller portions of oranges and melons and other low potassium fruits. You can remove some of the potassium from potatoes by dicing or shredding them and then boiling them in water.

Phosphorus

If you have too much phosphorus in your blood, it pulls calcium from your bones, making your bones weak and likely to break. It also makes your skin itchy. Foods like milk and cheese, dried beans, peas, nuts, and peanut butter are rich in phosphorus. It is recommended to avoid these foods or take them in less quantity.

Depending on your situation, the doctor may advise taking phosphate-binding medications to control your blood’s phosphorus between dialysis sessions. These medications act like sponges soaking up phosphorus and restricting it from entering into blood.

Sodium

Sodium is found in salt and other foods. Most canned and frozen foods contain high amounts of sodium, and too much sodium makes you thirsty. Therefore, this will make your heart work extra harder to pump the fluid throughout the body. Over time, this can cause high blood pressure and heart failure.

Try to eat fresh foods that are naturally low in sodium salts. Avoid salty food like chips.

Proteins

Before being on dialysis, you are advised to follow a low-protein diet. Being on dialysis changes that. Most people on dialysis are encouraged to eat as much high-quality protein food as possible. Protein helps keep muscle healthy and repair tissues. You will also have greater resistance to infections and recover from surgery quickly.

High-quality proteins come from meat, fish, poultry, and eggs (especially egg whites).

By following the diet mentioned above and instructions, improves your hemodialysis results and your overall health.

Consult a nephrologist from Apollo Hospitals online for renal issues. Book an appointment here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What food does a dialysis patient eat for breakfast?

Some of the breakfast ideas for a person undergoing dialysis include the following:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of rice
  • Cream of wheat
  • Dalia with veggies
  • Cornmeal
  1. What foods need to be avoided by a dialysis patient?

Food items dialysis patients avoid include:

  • Dark-colored soda
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Processed food
  • Bananas
  • Dairy products
  • Pickles
  • Tomatoes
  • Ready-to-eat meals
  • Brown rice
  • Avocados
  1. Why do kidney patients need to monitor sodium intake?

When your body has an excess amount of sodium, your kidneys find it hard to eliminate them. So, it accumulates in the bloodstream that eventually leads to hypertension and other health problems. 

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Verified By Dr Paresh Kumar Jena
Senior Consultant - General Medicine & Rheumatologist, Apollo Hospitals Bhubanswar
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