Eating Right for Chronic Kidney Disease

When we talked about food and chronic kidney disease, there is no one eating plan that is right for everyone with the disease. What you can or cannot eat may change over time, depending on your kidney condition and other factors as well. This article will be focusing on the diet for the pre-dialysis patients (Stage 1-4).

Step 1: Choose and prepare food with less salt and sodium

Why? To help control your blood pressure. Your diet should contain less than 2,000 milligrams (1 teaspoon) of sodium each day.

  • Buy fresh food often. Sodium (a part of salt) is added to most of the prepared or packaged food you buy at the supermarkets or restaurants.
  • Cook food from scratch instead of eating prepared food, “fast” food, frozen dinners, and canned food that is higher in sodium. When you prepare your own food, you can control what goes into it.
  • Use spices, herbs, and sodium-free seasonings in place of salt.
  • Check for sodium on the nutrition facts label of food packages. A sodium content >600mg per 100g means the food is high in sodium
  • Try the lower-sodium version for frozen dinners and other convenience food.
  • Rinse canned vegetables, beans, meats, and fishes with water before eating.

Look for food labels with words like sodium free or salt free; or low, reduced, or no salt or sodium; or unsalted or lightly salted.

Acute kidney failure can be fatal and requires intensive treatment. However, acute kidney failure may be reversible. If you’re otherwise in good health, you may recover normal or nearly normal kidney function.

NUTRITION FACTS – Sodium content in food labeling

High600mg /100g
Moderate121-599mg /100g
Low≤120mg /100g
Very Low≤40mg /100g

Step 2: Eat the right amount and the right types of protein

When your body uses protein, it produces waste. Your kidneys remove the waste. Eating more protein than you need may require your kidneys to work harder.

Eat a small portion of protein food. Protein is found in food from plants and animals. Most people eat both types of protein.

Animal-protein foods:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Egg
  • Dairy

Plant-protein foods:

  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Grains

As your kidney function goes down, you may need to eat food with less phosphorus and potassium. As mentioned, there is no ‘stick to one diet’ plan for chronic kidney disease patients. Speak to a dietitian to know a suitable diet for your body condition.

Step 3: Choose food and drinks with less phosphorus

It can help to protect your bones and blood vessels. When you have chronic kidney disease, phosphorus can build up in your blood. Too much phosphorus in your blood may pull calcium from your bones, making your bones thin, weak, and more likely to break. High-level of phosphorus in your blood can also cause itchy skin, and bone and joint pain.

Low Phosphorus Foods:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Yellow mee, wet laksa, mee hoon, rice, porridge
  • Breads, biscuits
  • Tea, rose syrup drink, sugar cane water, non-dairy creamer

High Phosphorus Foods:

  • Meat, poultry, fish
  • Instant noodles, macaroni
  • Beans, lentils, nuts
  • Teh Tarik, coffee with milk

Step 4: Choose food with the right amount of potassium

Problems can occur when blood potassium levels are too high or too low. Damaged kidneys allow potassium to build up in your blood, which can cause serious heart problems. Your food and drink choices can help you lower your potassium level if needed.

Foods Lower in Potassium:

  • Apples, peaches
  • Carrots, green beans
  • White bread and pasta
  • White rice

Foods Higher in Potassium:

  • Oranges, bananas, and orange juice
  • Potatoes, tomatoes
  • Brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and pasta
  • Bran cereals
  • Dairy food
  • Beans and nuts

You may visit your nearest dietitian to know more about diet plan for chronic kidney disease.

Article by: Avisena Dietitian Clinic

Operation Hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 9am – 4pm
  • Saturday: 9am – 12pm (alternate)
  • Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

To make an appointment, please contact: 03-5515 1966


  1. Medical Nutrition Therapy Guidelines for Chronic Kidney Disease
  2. Penjagaan Pemakanan Bagi Pesakit Ginjal Kronik.
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