Nutrition Tips for Kidney Health

What you eat, or don't eat, is important for kidney health.

You've heard the old adage "you are what you eat." Well, eating a nutritious diet is important when it comes to staying healthy. Here are some tips for eating in an effort to help prevent or treat chronic kidney disease including diabetes.

• Start with a general healthy diet. In general, an overall healthy diet is the start of a kidney-friendly diet. Pay attention to portion sizes and read food labels.

• Limit sodium. When kidneys aren't able to process it, too much sodium can cause fluid to build up in your body resulting in swelling, an increase in blood pressure and other health problems. Limit the use of salt when cooking and at the table. Look for low-sodium varieties of soups and sauces, and add flavor to dishes with fresh herbs, citrus juice or salt-free seasonings.

• Limit potassium. When kidneys aren't healthy, too much potassium can pose health problems including putting you at an increased risk of a heart attack. Know that some high-potassium foods are otherwise healthy such as avocados, bananas, orange juice, black beans and peanut butter.

• Limit phosphorus. When kidneys are compromised and can't remove excess phosphorus from the body, it can cause bones to lose calcium. Foods high in phosphorus include beers, colas, milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, bran cereals, whole grain products, nuts and more.

To learn more about chronic kidney disease, read our online Health Information pages. If you have questions or would like to talk to a doctor or registered dietitian about the details of a kidney-friendly diet, use our online Find a Physician service or call us at 1-855-80PLAZA for a physician referral.

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