Downloadable Renal Diet Grocery List

You asked for it! Here is a renal diet grocery list just for people with kidney disease.

But, first, let’s understand a little more about what a renal diet is. It isn’t the same for everyone!

What Is a Renal Diet?

There is no single “renal” diet that is right for everyone. A renal diet will be different based on your lab values, stage of kidney disease and other medical history. This renal diet grocery list should be individualized by a renal dietitian that is familiar with you!

In general, a renal diet usually takes sodium, potassium, phosphorus, protein and dietary acid load into account.

Sodium

Limiting how much salt you eat is pretty universal on a renal diet. Nearly everyone with kidney disease should limit sodium to 1,500 – 2,300mg per day. (1)

Check out my favorite salt substitutes for kidney patients!

Potassium

Potassium needs are very different based on your lab values. If your blood potassium is normal, a high potassium diet may be beneficial to help control your blood pressure and protect your kidneys. (2) But, if you have high blood potassium, you may need to limit how much potassium you eat. (1)

More about potassium and kidney health.

Phosphorus

Too much phosphorus should also be avoided for most people on a renal diet. However, not all phosphorus is created equal. Our body doesn’t absorb natural sources of phosphorus like whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and lentils very well. Most people with kidney disease do not need to avoid these natural sources of phosphorus.

But, phosphorus additives in processed foods are highly absorbed. Most people should avoid phosphorus additives on a renal diet. (1)

Protein

Protein needs are very different on a renal diet. In general, people who have kidney disease who are not on dialysis should limit how much protein they eat. If you are on dialysis, you may need more protein. (1) Learn more about protein on a renal diet. Work with your dietitian to learn what is best for you.

Dietary Acid Load

Dietary acid load is a relatively new aspect of a healthy renal diet. A lot of research has told us that people who eat dietary patterns with a low dietary acid load have slower progression of kidney disease.(3)(4) Eating meals with a low acid load can help keep you off dialysis.

In general, diets that are low in animal protein and include a lot of fruits and vegetables have a low acid load. Learn more about dietary acid load here.

Build Healthy Plates (Don’t Focus on Individual Foods)

Healthy eating is never about completely avoiding (or eating!) a list of foods. Nutrition is not that black and white. Instead, healthy eating is about putting together balanced meals.

Just like it wouldn’t be healthy to eat steak all the time, it wouldn’t be healthy to eat just lettuce either.

The USDA’s MyPlate is a great representation of what a healthy renal diet meal should be.

MyPlate encourages making 1/2 of your plate fruits and vegetables. A 1/4 should be healthy whole grains (yes! whole grains even on a renal diet) and 1/4 should be protein.

Healthy plate illustrating how to put together meals with a renal diet grocery list. Half of the plate should be fruits and vegetables. 1/4 should be whole grain carbohydrates and 1/4 should be protein - mostly plant proteins.

Of course, the specific amount and type of foods and nutrients you eat should be individualized. Work with a renal dietitian to learn what is best for you!

Renal Diet Grocery List

Use this renal diet grocery list as a guide to help you figure out foods to build your kidney friendly plate!

Here is a preview of the complete renal diet grocery list. Download the complete renal diet grocery list here.

Or, subscribe below for the complete grocery list sent straight to your inbox!

Proteins

  • Chicken or turkey breast
  • Tilapia, cod or salmon
  • Low sodium canned beans
  • Tofu
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted Nuts

Dairy

Grains

  • Brown or wild rice
  • Whole grain pasta and bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Unsweetened cold cereals
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Unsalted pretzels

Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Yellow Beans

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums

Spices & Flavorings

  • Garlic Powder
  • Dill
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh lemons & limes

Beverages

  • Unsweetened tea
  • Clear diet soda
  • Coffee

Download the complete renal diet grocery list here.

More Renal Diet Resources

For more help figuring out what a healthy renal diet is for YOU, check out my kidney disease resources page. Find your own personal renal dietitians or check out my book recommendations!

You can also check out my FREE recipes!

Happy Eating!

Melanie

34 thoughts on “Downloadable Renal Diet Grocery List”

  1. I keep trying to get the renal grocery list and can not get it in my mailbox as it said it would. I just want the foods to eat and not all the other information . I am so tired of reading everything about the proper food to eat and cannot get a list. I am 80 years old, on a fixed income, (which is ok) if I just know what to get to eat to hold me where I am. Stage 3 B (30) I have tried 3 times and not getting the list. I guess I just don’t know what I am doing wrong. It sounds so simple. But does not work for me. Help please. I cannot stay positive if I don’t know how to get the information.

  2. I’m CKD stage 3b. I’m high protein, low sodium, and take potassium chloride for low potassium. I’ve been told I need to be on a DASH diet, but my cardiologist. I do have a referral to a dietician. Just haven’t seen her yet. I’ll take any help I can get on eating. I’ve seen several “Kidney Cleanse” articles on this, but am scared to try them.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      Hi Deborah. I couldn’t recommend more to NOT DO A KIDNEY CLEANSE. These things do absolutely NOTHING for your kidney health and could be incredibly harmful – especially with kidney disease. I’d highly recommend working with a kidney dietitian to learn what you can do to slow or stop the progression of CKD – I have a list of dietitians I love here!

      1. Is There any one or several general advice( healthy foods and or beverages) that is good for someone with both ckd and. kidney stones?

        1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

          All foods are ok! The key is fitting them into a healthy meal pattern based on your labs. Too much animal protein can be problematic for people with CKD. Ask your dietitian what is best for you!

  3. My husband is stage 4 ckd, is a diabetic and has ulcers. I am looking for help finding out what he should eat, should avoid and good recipes.
    Thanks

  4. Hello, My husband was recently diagnosed with stage 4 CKD. He is pre-diabetic. He is on a restricted 2,000ml fluid diet and a 2,000 low-sodium diet. No one said anything about controlling the phosphorous and potassium levels. Right now, I am so, so confused. I know a lot of the diet is dictated by those levels in his blood. He doesn’t go for blood work until Tuesday, so who knows where we are on a day to day basis. I have read such conflicting advice about different foods, I’m not sure what to believe. I’m not sure what I’m asking here, just assurances that what you have documented is the right path.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      Hi Angela! I completely hear you that there is SO much misinformation out there. The first thing to know is there is NO SINGLE “diet” for kidney disease. This post gives a great high level overview of how the diet is different for every single person. You can always check out the source of the information you find online (much of it is complete garbage, or outdated). You can learn more about me and my credentials here. I’d also HIGHLY recommend meeting with a renal dietitian to help him learn what he can to do protect his kidneys (there is a lot!). Here is a list of kidney dietitians I highly recommend who work with patients!

  5. Thank you for the info. My son is on a low protein diet for kidney disease. Any idea where I can find info on that til we see a dietician?

  6. You should not be publishing as if you know what you are talking about. Half of the items on your list are not allowed on any reputable renal diet. In fact some are incredibly high in sodium, phosphorus and potassium. Scary that you call yourself a kidney dietitian.

  7. Sounds like a qualified “maybe” when it comes to Renal diets, with the usual “everyone is different” qualifier. We are about 7.5 billion Guinea Pigs or lab mice – and science buries their failures.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      There is a lot of exciting research showing how much nutrition can make a difference for kidney disease! But, it is important to know what is best for you!

  8. I have just been diagnosed with decreased kidney function. I have been mostly plant-based. Other than cutting down or out the obvious sodium and sugar, where do I begin??? Thanks.

  9. My daughter has limited fluid intake and limit phosphous and potassium. Your list is so different than what she been told what a person to do?

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Ruth! It is important to remember that a renal diet is completely different for every single person. I imagine one big difference in this list is the recommendation for whole grains instead of refined, white carbohydrate. This is reflective of a big shift in thinking about phosphorus. As always, you have to do what her dietitian recommends who is familiar with her labs and medical history!

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