The Value of a Personalized Kidney Diet

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Kelly Welsh, RD
Renal Dietitian

One of the largest frustrations of kidney patients, no matter their stage of kidney disease, is the lack of choices, or “green-light” foods that are available to them. One can certainly ‘Google’ the internet for a kidney-friendly diet and find plenty of limit-, avoid-, and “stay away from-” food items.

The Truth

In reality, most kidney patients do not require the severe restrictions that the textbook kidney diet dictates.  These blanket dietary recommendations do not take into consideration many things about you: height, weight, other disease states, current lab results, and other dietary goals – including weight loss or gain, etc.  Each one of these things, alone, is extremely important. Start adding them up, and your dietary needs get more complicated.

No two people should be given the same exact dietary recommendations. What your neighbor, sibling, co-worker, or grandma were told to do, is most probably not what is the most optimal plan for you.  Maybe most importantly, it certainly doesn’t take into account your likes and dislikes. A diet or a meal plan, is only going to be effective and realistic if it is comprised of food choices and menu ideas that an individual truly wants to eat.

Food Should Be Enjoyable

Eating should always be enjoyable!  If we take the enjoyment out of it, the chances of someone following a diet for an extended time is slim.  Hence, we should make the time to work on a specific menu/nutrition plan that takes into account all of these things, and more!  Take the time to learn your kidney lab results, the trends and how and when to adjust your personalized kidney diet to correct these. Whatever is important to you, should be included.  It’s very true;  there are very few food items that should absolutely never be eaten or that can’t be worked into a meal plan. Balance is the key!

Finding Help For Personalized Kidney Diet

Seeking guidance from a trusted source, such as a dietitian, who will take all these things into consideration while teaching you to interpret your lab results, is your key to success. An important thing to remember with kidney disease, is that your dietary recommendations will change if/when your labs change, and if/when your chronic renal failure stage changes.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. KidneyChef urges you to seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition. KidneyChef advises you never to disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Website.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or local emergency service immediately. KidneyChef does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the website. KidneyChef does not guarantee the accuracy of information on the Website and reliance on any information provided by KidneyChef is solely at your own risk.


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