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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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- Chicken or turkey breast
- Tilapia, cod or salmon
- Low sodium canned beans
- Unsalted Nuts
- Unsweetened almond, rice or soy milk (look out for “phos” additives)
- 2% or skim milk
- Plain yogurt
- Natural cheeses
- Brown or wild rice
- Whole grain pasta and bread
- Unsweetened cold cereals
- Popcorn kernels
- Unsalted pretzels
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
- Yellow Beans
Spices & Flavorings
- Garlic Powder
- Chili Powder
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Fresh lemons & limes
- Unsweetened tea
- Clear diet soda
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!