There are many levels of kidney disease, and each comes with its own rules to follow as to what you can and cannot eat or drink. Your doctor will give you a strict list to follow, and you should follow his or her directions closely.
There are some tips for meal planning, however, that all kidney disease patients can follow.
Monitor Fluid Intake
Depending on your level of kidney disease, your doctor will likely encourage you to monitor your fluid intake. Every sip you take gets processed through your kidneys, and when they aren’t functioning as they should, monitoring fluid becomes necessary.
If you are at an advanced stage of kidney disease, what you drink often extends to the foods you eat as well. Much of the foods we eat, especially fruits and cereals, have a lot of liquid that needs to be accounted for as well.
Keep a Journal
It is a good idea to record what you eat and drink in a food diary. Writing down every sip or bite you take is useful for two purposes. First, it makes you more aware of everything you are putting into your body, and helps you monitor your diet more closely. Second, it provides an honest recording that you can share with your doctor.
What to Avoid
For renal patients, there are particular foods to avoid.
- Sodium –For people with kidney disease, moderating or avoiding sodium is very important. Sodium is often responsible for fluid retention, which can be detrimental to failing kidneys. Read the labels for everything you eat or drink. Foods do not have to be salty to have high sodium content.
- Potassium — Potassium is another nutrient that should be regulated or avoided for patients with kidney disease. If your kidneys are not functioning properly, potassium can build up in the body and too much potassium can cause sickness, or even death.
- Phosphorus — Phosphorus levels are also maintained by your kidneys. For people with kidney disease, it is important to maintain a low phosphorus diet. Phosphorus build up can cause a multitude of health issues and should be avoided.
Meticulous Meal Planning
Meal Planning is your strongest weapon when dealing with kidney disease. Careful meal planning can make a huge difference in maintaining a renal diet.
- Write It Out — Write out what you plan to eat for each meal, including two or three snacks per day.
- Stick to the List — Take your list with you when grocery shopping, and only buy the items on your list. Avoiding impulse buys is key- it is much easier to stick to the plan when there aren’t any other tempting options.
- Plan Every Detail — When making your meal plan, make sure to plan every detail down to the last teaspoon of dressing. Plan exactly what and how much of each and everything you plan to eat and drink. This takes the guesswork out of your diet plan and makes it so much easier to succeed.
With these tips, you can maintain a healthy diet to help control any level of kidney disease. If you would like a custom made plan, Click Here!
Also published on Medium.