March 1, 2023
March is National Kidney Month, we are going to be posting blogs throughout the month educating on the importance of kidney health, diet & lifestyle, and care tips on how to manage life after being diagnosed with kidney disease.

Why should I worry about good nutrition after being diagnosed with kidney disease?

Eating healthy is important to everyone, but it is even more important to practice health food choices when you have kidney disease (CKD). A kidney-friendly meal plan will help manage your kidney disease and help slow down the damage to your kidneys. When you have kidney disease, your kidneys cannot remove waste products as well as they should, and with a well-managed diet it can help prevent certain minerals from building up in your body.
By preparing a kidney friendly meal plan it can also help prevent other serious health problems as well as help with high blood pressure and diabetes.

It can also help with:
-Providing energy to do your daily tasks.
-Prevention of infection
-Help build muscle, preventing muscle/mass loss
-Help maintain a healthy weight
-Slow down the progression of kidney disease.

How do I follow or prepare a kidney-friendly meal plan?

You will need to control the amount of:


                Protein is important because it helps build muscle, repair tissue, and fight infections. However, having too much protein can do more harm than good because it can make your kidneys work harder and cause more damage. The amount of protein your body needs is dependent on your weight, how far along you are in the stages of kidney disease, and activity level. Your doctor or dietician will be able to assist you in finding out the appropriate amount of protein that your body will require.


                Healthy kidneys can control how much sodium is in your body. However, if your kidney function is poor, too much sodium can cause fluid buildup, swelling, high blood pressure, and can have strain on your heart too. A good rule of thumb is to have less than 2,300MG of sodium each day. You will want to avoid eating packaged foods and adding additional salt to your food. Instead of adding salt, try using herbs and spices for flavor instead. And try opting for fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned. Canned vegetables tend to have a higher salt content. And of course, discussing with your dietician will help in finding foods are that are low in sodium.


                Eating too many carbohydrates can lead to weight gain. You will want to lean more towards choosing whole grains and health carb options such as fruit and vegetables. Unhealthy carbs include sugar, honey, hard candies, soft drinks, and other sugary drinks.

Control Your Portion Sizes

Believe it or not, even eating too much healthy foods can be a problem. A big part of healthy eating is portion control, or monitoring how much you eat. Start monitoring your kidney diet by recognizing and eating standard-sized portions.

                To help control your portion sizes:
  • 3oz of meat is equal to a deck of cards, 1oz of cooked meat is similar in size to three dice.
  • ¼ cup is about the size of a golf ball or ping pong ball, 1 cup is about the size of a tennis or baseball.
  • A medium apple or peach is about the size of a tennis ball.
  • A small bagel is the size of a hockey puck.

Always consult with your doctor and dietician before altering any of your meal plans, medications, or plan of care.
These tips have been pulled from the PKD Foundation, American Kidney Fund, and The National Kidney Foundation