- On August 26, 2017 /
- By davita /
- In Health Tips
Definition of a renal diet
- A renal diet is one intended for individuals who have kidney problems, known as chronic kidney disease.
- Individuals who are getting dialysis have different nutritional needs than those who are not going to dialysis.
- Often patients on dialysis need a regular diet, no-added-salt (NAS) diet, consistent carbohydrate diet, or some combination.
Many people living with kidney disease feel that the renal diet is the most difficult part of treatment. Managing a renal diet can be challenging for a number of reasons:
There is no standard “kidney diet” – it’s complicated and it changes over time depending on kidney function;
Many people need to balance two or more diets such as a diabetic diet and/or a heart health diet along with a renal diet and they can often disagree; and,
The diet can be really limited, especially if you have food allergies, intolerances and/or restrictions; and,
Many of the guidelines and suggestions for healthy eating no longer apply when you’re following a renal diet and you may need to avoid some fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The main differences between a regular diet and a renal diet:
- A renal diet usually is lower in protein foods (meats, poultry, fish, dairy, dried beans and peas, nuts, and nut butters):
- Too much protein may speed up a decrease in kidney function, so limiting protein can help keep a patient healthy longer.
- In most cases, patients on dialysis need more protein, not less.
- Protein restrictions are for individuals who are in earlier stages of kidney disease.
- Portions of protein foods are smaller.
The renal diet can also have a big impact on your quality of life and your social activities:
- Grocery shopping, label reading and preparing renal friendly meals can seem like a full time job;
- It can be difficult to eat out and still control your sodium, potassium, phosphorous and protein intake;
- Friends and family may not know or understand what you can eat; and,
- You may miss some of your favourite foods and feel left out of holiday meal traditions and celebrations.
Meal preparation for those on renal diets:
- Follow your menus. Serve the right portion sizes, which are smaller for some foods, such as meat and milk.
- Use correct scoop sizes when serving.
- Use slotted spoons and drain all excess liquid from vegetables and canned fruit.
- Use recipes for renal diet food preparation. Do not add extra salt or ingredients that are not listed in the recipe.