Why Diet is Important?

It is very important for people with chronic kidney disease to understand that the key to good health is good nutritional and balanced food.

Kidney failure patients need to modify their diet. Each patient has different needs; this leaflet will give a general idea about how you may determine the intake of certain nutrients such as protein, calories, potassium, sodium, phosphorus and liquids. You may need to modify or tweak these guidelines to best suite your condition

Calories: This is the fuel for the body to function properly. Right amount of calories from different sources are required to keep your body healthy.
Protein: Protein is used to build and repair tissue. The best sources of protein are dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry (chicken, turkey etc.) and lentils.

Carbohydrates: This also provides the fuel to the body in the form of starches and sugars. The main sources are breads, cereals, fruits, grains and vegetables. Diabetic patients must watch their diet to control their blood sugar.

Fat: Fat is a nutrient. It is crucial for normal body function and without it we could not live. Not only does fat supply us with energy, it also makes it possible for other nutrients to do their job. Certain kinds of fat may also be recommended for patients concerned with their lipid levels.

Potassium: It regulates nerve and muscle function. In renal failure patients it is very important to understand this element. Increased level may cause itchiness, heart trouble and restlessness.
Main source of Potassium are bananas, avocadoes, dried beans, dried fruits, milk, nuts, oranges, potatoes, tomatoes, peas etc. If you report shows high level of potassium, we recommend dipping the vegetables in hot water for at least 15 – 20 mins, spills the water and then cook them.

Calcium and Phosphorus: These minerals work hand in hand to keep your bones strong and healthy. In renal failure patients kidneys are not able to filter out the phosphorus completely. Imbalance in these two may cause bone disease, calcification of arteries and organs including the heart.Phosphate binders are recommended to address the excessive phosphorus in blood.
Main source of Phosphorus are cheese, milk, yogurt, dried beans, nuts, chocolate and soda drinks.

Sodium: Sodium is a component of salt. 2.5 grams of salt provides 1 gram of sodium. Although salt is the major source of sodium in our food, sodium is also a component of other ingredients, such as sodium bicarbonate used in baking and monosodium glutamate used as a flavour enhancer. It helps regulate the fluid balance in your body. Processed food also has high amount of sodium, this includes, smoked meats, processed cheese, ham, bacon, sausage, corn chips, pickles, pretzels, potato chips, salted nuts etc. Some items may not taste salty but are very high in sodium e.g. canned soups, ketchup, mustard, relishes and other canned food.

When it is recommended to limit your salt intake, there are other ways to add flavour to your food. Herbs and spices can be used in meal plans. Try to find pure spices and avoid the one that are mixed with salt.

You may use garlic, pepper, onion, paprika, vinegar and wine.

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Results may vary from patient to patient.