What Is The Recommended Diet For A Person On Dialysis?

Kidneys play a vital role in eliminating toxic waste and fluids from the body. When the kidneys fail to function properly, toxicity accumulates in the blood, causing dialysis to become necessary.

Dialysis goes with a range of symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, and anemia. You will have to follow a dialysis diet that does not affect with your treatment and that helps ease these symptoms. Balancing the consumption of protein, sodium, fats, phosphorus, and potassium in your diet will aid you stay healthy.

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A renal dietitian will be able to help you plan your diet and include the right foods in the right quantity. He or she will also keep a close watch on your blood examination, including the serum creatinine and albumin levels. A person undergoing dialysis is usually placed on a vegetarian diet.

Main Nutritional Elements During Dialysis


Fluid intake is essential for people on dialysis, however you need to watch it because excessive fluid consumption may lead to edema and may affect your blood pressure. This includes soups, ice cream, fruits, and vegetables with high water content. All these foods can increase your fluid levels. Stick to the quantity of fluid prescribed by your clinician. This will depend on weight. Ensure you sip fluids slowly over an extended period of time. If you want to control thirst, go slow on the salt and sodium.

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Lipid lowering foods

These foods are recommended because dialysis can raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Most clinicians advise a daily cholesterol consumption of < 300 mg daily. Your dietitian will suggest foods like soluble high-fiber foods like (avocado, apples, pears and barley), oatmeal, oat bran, and barley. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish (mackerel, herring, salmon, and trout) is to be incorporated in the diet.


High-protein diets are to be avoided as it can further damage the nephrons (kidney cells) and lead to renal insufficiency. A balanced protein diet can help lower lipid levels too. Your protein requirement will also depend on your weight. Safe sources of proteins include cottage cheese, legumes, and small quantity of nuts like walnuts and almonds.


Sodium, found in salty foods like cheese, affects your blood pressure. A person undergoing dialysis will find it hard to get rid of extra sodium because of the pressure on the kidneys. This can cause a sodium accumulation and water retention, which in turn can affect the heart. You will have to restrict your intake of salt to about <1000 mg per day. Go for diet low in sodium. Reduce intake of processed foods like cheese, tofu, canned and pre-prepared food like instant noodles or pasta, salted snacks and pickles – all these foods should be avoided in necessary. Add more lemon or citrus zest to your food to make up for low salt. Season with vinegar, fresh garlic, fresh onion or garlic, and onion powder. Use freshly ground mustard to compensate for the taste of salt.


Potassium has a role in keeping the heart and muscles in good shape. Your kidneys have limited ability to maintain the amount of potassium needed for a healthy body while undergoing dialysis. If your potassium levels cross the standard limits, you are in danger of cardiovascular attack. You should be able to maintain an ideal level with a moderate diet. Restrict your potassium intake to <2000 mg per day. Avoid intake of canned juices and foods or broths extracted from meats. Go for half a banana or papaya, or one orange or one mango if you are having these potassium-rich fruits. Reduce your consumption of dried fruits and nuts. Eat foods low in potassium like apple juice, cranberries, strawberries, apple, blueberries, cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, raspberries, asparagus, cooked cabbage and carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, eggplant, lettuce, radish, and cucumber.

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This mineral is required for maintaining healthy bones. Normal kidneys have the ability to get rid of extra phosphorus from the blood. High phosphorus in your blood can lead to adverse cardiac events, so when your kidneys are not working properly, this is a risk you run. Your renal dietitian will keep a watch on your phosphorus levels, while your clinician might prescribe medication known as phosphate binders to regulate your absorption of phosphorus from foods. You will be put on an optimal phosphorus diet where your milk consumption will be reduced to just one cup per day. Limit your intake of peanuts, yogurt, other nuts, cheese, and peas.


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