17 Foods to Avoid If You Have Kidney Disease

Here are 17 foods that you should likely avoid on a renal diet.

1. Dark-colored sodas should be avoided on a renal diet, as they contain phosphorus in its additive form, which is highly absorbable by the human body.

2. Consider avoiding avocados on a renal diet if your doctor or nutritionist has advised you to lower your potassium intake.

3. Canned foods are often high in sodium. Avoiding, limiting, or buying low sodium varieties is likely best to reduce your overall sodium consumption.

4. White bread is recommended over whole wheat bread on a renal diet due to its lower phosphorus and potassium levels. Choosing the right bread can be confusing for individuals with kidney disease.

5. Brown rice has a high content of phosphorus and potassium and will likely need to be portion-controlled or limited on a renal diet. White rice, buckwheat, and couscous are all good alternatives.

6. Bananas are a rich source of potassium and may need to be limited on a renal diet. Pineapple is a kidney-friendly fruit, as it contains much less potassium than certain other tropical fruits.

7. Dairy products contain high amounts of phosphorus, potassium, and protein. Despite milk’s high calcium content, its phosphorus content may weaken bones in those with kidney disease.

8. Oranges and orange juice are high in potassium and should be limited on a renal diet. Try grapes, apples, cranberries, or their juices instead.

9. Processed meats are high in salt and protein and should be consumed in moderation on a renal diet.

10. Pickles, processed olives, and relish are high in sodium and should be limited on a renal diet.

11. Apricots are a high potassium food that should be avoided on a renal diet. They offer over 400 mg per 1 cup raw and over 1,500 mg per 1 cup dried.

12. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are high potassium vegetables. Boiling or double cooking potatoes can decrease their potassium content by about 50%.

13. Tomatoes are another high potassium fruit that should likely be limited on a renal diet.

14. Packaged, instant, and premade meals are highly processed items that can contain very large amounts of sodium and lack nutrients. It’s best to limit these foods on a renal diet.

15. Leafy green vegetables are full of potassium, especially when served cooked. Although their serving sizes become smaller when cooked, their potassium contents remain the same.

16. Nutrients are concentrated when fruits are dried. Therefore, the potassium content of dried fruit, including dates, prunes, and raisins, is extremely high and should be avoided on a renal diet.

17. Pretzels, chips, and crackers are easily consumed in large portions and tend to contain high amounts of salt. Additionally, chips made from potatoes provide a considerable amount of potassium.

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