The nutrients from the food we eat ultimately go into the blood after digestion and absorption. This blood travels to the kidney for purification. Thus, the food we eat directly affects the kidneys. Furthermore, in cases of kidney disease, the excretion of wastes and toxins from the blood decreases and accumulates in the body. Patients with kidney disease should consult nutritionists about foods that minimally affect the functioning of the kidneys.

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  • Kidney disease (Dialysis): Kidneys purify the blood by removing toxins and waste metabolites. Consuming the diet with the advice of renal dietitians helps control the buildup of waste and fluid in the body. It slows the progression of the disease and reduces the symptoms associated with kidney disease.
  • Kidney disease (Non-dialysis): Appropriate nutrition in kidney disease patients offers several potential benefits. It prevents infection, provides energy, maintains a healthy body weight, avoids loss of muscle mass, and slows kidney disease progression.
  • Renal stones: The role of a nutritionist is crucial in managing and preventing the recurrence of kidney stones. Kidney stones also increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. The risk of kidney stones includes the intake of particular types of food. Malnutrition is also a risk factor for kidney stones.
  • UTI: Certain studies have reported that a deficiency of nutrients, such as vitamin D, increases the risk of urinary tract infection. Further, spicy foods, coffee, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, acidic foods, and artificial sweeteners worsen the symptoms of urinary tract infections.


Patients with renal stones or people with an increased risk of developing renal stones should follow the following dietary measures:

  • Avoid foods rich in oxalates, such as wheat bran, spinach, chocolates, beets, and nuts.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take dietary calcium and avoid consuming extra calcium supplements.
  • Reduce the amount of salt in food
  • Do not consume supplements with high doses of vitamin C
  • Consume protein in a moderate amount

Intake of the following nutrients should be monitored in patients with kidney diseases:

  • Sodium: Reduce the intake of sodium in the diet. Sodium increases the retention of fluid in the body. It increases blood pressure and strains the heart and lungs. It may take six to eight weeks for the taste buds to adjust to the low-sodium diet.
  • Calcium: Increased calcium consumption causes calcium deposition in the vessels. Further, it also increases the risk of renal stones and affects the health of the heart and brain. Avoid calcium-rich foods if your calcium levels are elevated.
  • Phosphorus: In cases where the kidneys of the patients are not functioning well, phosphorus accumulates in the body. Excess phosphorus removes the calcium from the bones, making them weak. Further, phosphorus, along with calcium, is deposited in the lungs, heart, eyes, and blood vessels.
  • Potassium: High levels of potassium are dangerous for the body. It affects the functioning of the muscles. Patients with kidney diseases should limit their consumption of potassium.

Some of the nutritional measures recommended for patients with chronic kidney disease are:

  • Avoid foods with high levels of trans or saturated fats and use canola oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil (as these contain poly- and monounsaturated fats)
  • Avoid consuming high amounts of chocolate, cheese, peanut butter, cola beverages, and processed foods to prevent the building of phosphorus.
  • If the patients are advised to eat a high-protein diet, they should ensure that the protein should be from high-quality protein sources, such as meat, fish, egg whites, poultry, and soy.