Your Kidneys and Diet

Lifestyle and diet can affect kidney health. Eating well and staying hydrated is important to help keep your kidneys healthy. A health professional may have advised you to change what you eat due to kidney disease.

The following information explains how we can help you to achieve a suitable, enjoyable diet. Always seek advice from your GP if you are concerned about your health.

How does diet effect CKD?

CKD develops in stages and you may have to make adjustments to your diet depending on the stage of the disease. People who need to restrict certain foods will be referred to a renal specialist dietitian at the hospital. Each person’s body and CKD is different, so your dietitian will tailor your diet to suit your needs.

Below are some of the nutrients that are important in CKD, and how we can cater for your dietary needs with our meals. Not everyone with CKD needs to worry about these nutrients, so please talk to your renal specialist dietitian for advice if you are concerned.

Potassium
Phosphate
Protein
Fluid
Salt


Potassium

Potassium is important for heart health. Your blood potassium levels may get high. Your dietitian may then tell you to limit your intake of potassium rich foods. If you need to be on a low potassium diet, please let us know. Almost all our lunch meals are classed as low in potassium.

Please get in touch for a list of our suitable dishes. All our puddings are also low in potassium. If you have any concerns please get in touch with us. You may also wish to show the menu to your renal specialist dietitian to help you chose meals which are right for you.

Phosphate

Phosphate is important for bone health. Too much phosphate in the blood can lead to damage to our bones. It can also create unwanted calcium deposits around the body. Show our menu to your renal specialist dietitian. They should be able to advise which meals or ingredients you may want to avoid. We can then tailor your menu to meet your needs.

Protein

Some people may need to adjust the amount of protein in their diet. Protein is important for growth, maintenance and repair of all your body cells. This includes your bones, muscles, and skin. We can provide a list of dishes that are high or low in protein. We base this on guidance from the British Dietetic Association. You may wish to show this to your renal specialist dietitian to make appropriate choices.

Fluid

Have you been told to limit your fluid intake? Please speak to your GP, consultant or renal specialist dietitian. They can tell you about fluid allowance for food and drink. If necessary, we can also provide information on the portion sizes of drinks and fluid rich foods e.g. jelly.

Salt

Having lots of salt can increase your blood pressure and make you feel thirsty. This can be unpleasant if you are on a fluid restriction. The Heart Healthy meals on our menu, marked ‘HH’, are low in saturated fat and lower in salt. If you have been advised to follow a strict low salt diet due to your health, we have a range of low salt meals available. Please get in touch with the Nutrition & Wellbeing team for a list of suitable dishes. Ask your GP or renal specialist dietitian if you are unsure about which options to choose.


What if I am losing weight?

You may be struggling to maintain your weight or are losing weight. Get in touch with our Nutrition & Wellbeing Team and we can provide further information. You may also want to contact your GP for further advice.


Your Kidneys and Diet (PDF)

This resource has been compiled using available current evidence and has been approved by a team of dietitians and nutritionists. The information is for general use and should not replace individual tailored advice given by a healthcare professional.

For further information, please contact your local Support Team or contact our Nutrition & Wellbeing Team directly here.

If you are a health or social care professional and require leaflets for your team or clients, then please contact us