Chronic Kidney Disease Diet

While chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects approximately 11% of adult Americans, for the elderly, the incidence rate jumps to nearly 40%. If a senior loved one in your life struggles with CKD, following the physician’s suggested dietary plan is vital. The aim is to make certain that quantities of fluid, minerals, and electrolytes remain balanced.

The National Kidney Foundation is a fantastic resource, with chapters in nearly all states, providing support and educational material to both patients with CKD and the loved ones who care for them. They offer the following nutritional guidelines for a chronic kidney disease diet (but always check with your loved one’s doctor before adjusting his / her diet):


Carbohydrates are a good energy source for individuals who need to follow a low-protein diet, along with providing necessary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These include breads, grains, vegetables and fruits, along with sweets such as cookies/cakes, honey, sugar, hard candy, and jelly (limiting chocolate, bananas, nuts, and dairy).


The doctor or dietitian may recommend a low-protein diet, but proteins will still be essential, and can be obtained through fish, poultry, eggs, pork, as well as protein powders or egg whites.


The levels of these minerals are checked regularly in individuals diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Phosphorous levels in particular that are too high may cause the body to use calcium from the bones, decreasing their strength and raising the possibility for a break. It’s recommended to avoid high-phosphorous foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, but heavy cream, margarine, butter, ricotta, and brie cheese contain lower levels and may be approved as part of the older adult’s dietary plan. Calcium and vitamin D supplements may be necessary to prevent bone disease as well.


Reducing sodium in the diet is a good idea not only for kidney health, but to control high blood pressure also. To reduce sodium intake, try to find foods labeled “low-sodium,” “no salt added,” “unsalted,” etc., and avoid adding salt while cooking or season food prior to eating, choosing instead sodium-free seasonings such as lemon or herbs.


Potassium levels must also be monitored closely in those diagnosed with CKD. As many vegetables and fruit contain high degrees of potassium, it is safest to choose those from these options:

  • Fruit: apples, peaches, pears, grapes, pineapple, tangerines, watermelon, berries, plums
    • AVOID: nectarines, oranges, dried fruits, bananas, prunes, honeydew, kiwis, cantaloupe, nectarines
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, celery, eggplant, green beans, peppers, yellow squash, lettuce, zucchini, and onions
    • AVOID: avocado, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes, winter squash, pumpkin, and cooked spinach


Low iron and anemia are not unusual in seniors with chronic kidney disease. Foods with high iron content include liver, pork, chicken, beef, kidney and lima beans, and cereals with added iron.

Morning Glory Home Care, providers of top-rated Edwardsville, IL and the surrounding areas, can help by shopping for, planning, and preparing healthy and balanced, nutritious meals in accordance with any prescribed dietary plan, and we will even tidy up your kitchen afterwards! We are also available to provide transportation to doctors’ appointments, pick up prescriptions, and offer pleasant companionship to make life with CKD easier. Contact us at 618-667-8400 to find out more about our trusted home and dementia care Edwardsville, IL and the surrounding areas.