Diet Tips

Dialysis Patient Diet: 4 Important Ingredients To Monitor

Dialysis Patient Diet: 4 Important Ingredients To Monitor February 14, 2018

You or your loved one being diagnosed with a kidney problem can be heart wrenching.

With a good diet, even a chronic kidney disease can be controlled.One can lead an active and normal life. Here is all the information you need about this diet.

Why is Dialysis Patient’s Diet So Talked About?

All the blood in the body passes through the kidneys. Even as we sleep, the kidneys work to purify the blood and remove the waste and toxins from the body. They also control the fluid balance and regulate the levels of electrolytes in the body.

If your kidneys cease to function for even a few minutes in the day, the whole balance in the body can be thrown upside down! When the kidneys stop functioning normally, the body needs dialysis to remove the waste and toxin in the body that can otherwise be fatal.

When the waste and toxins in the body begin to build up, a patient undergoing dialysis can begin to feel queasy. A dialysis diet will ensure that the intake of food is not heavy on the kidneys, and the patient can sustain until the next session of dialysis. Your diet will also ensure that you do not become too weak!

Best Diet For Dialysis Patients

If you are undergoing a number of dialysis sessions, your dietary restrictions will be rather minimal. However, make sure you do not eat unhealthy. A dialysis diet plan stresses on eating good and healthy food at regular small intervals.

While You Can Eat Most Food, You Need To Be Careful About Fourthings In Your Diet:

1. Potassium:

Though a vital mineral that is much needed by the human body for the normal functioning of the nerves, when potassium levels go high, it can cause irregular heartbeat, failure of the heart or even sudden death! With the kidneys not functioning properly, it is important to limit the intake of this mineral through a stringent diet.

Most fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium. Leaching vegetables can help reduce the levels of potassium considerably, making them safe to eat. Here is how you do it.

  • Peel the veggies and drop them in a bowl of water to avoid darkening.
  • Now cut them in slices or small cubes.
  • Soak the slices or diced cubes in warm water overnight.
  • Change the water in the morning and allow leaching for a couple more hours.
  • Cook the veggies with water in a ratio of 1:5. Drain the water and consume the veggies.

If you are tempted to eat a fruit or two, do so just before your dialysis session to ensure that it is washed off during the session.

What to Eat:

Veggies like cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, beans and fruits such as apples, watermelon, pineapple, and grapes.You can also have a hearty meal of rice, dals, and wheat.

Say NO to:

Chocolates and dry fruit.

Veggies such as tomatoes and potatoes.

Packaged fruit drinks

Greens like palak

[ Read: 3 Day Diet ]

2. Sodium:

An important electrolyte already present in the human body, sodium helps in

  • Regulating BP and volume of blood
  • Transmitting impulses for the functioning of nerves as well as muscle contraction
  • Regulating the acid base balance in body fluids and balance

Though sodium plays a vital role in the body, consuming too much can turn fatal for those who have kidney problems as the kidney fails to filter out the excess sodium effectively. Excess sodium left behind can cause:

  • Edema
  • Stress on the heart
  • Shortness of breath
  • High BP and heart failure

It therefore, goes without saying that you should moderate the consumption of salt. It is best to get used to eating food with no salt.If you cannot do so, be sure to consult your dietician to know how much you can consume. Steer clear from low sodium salts, they are rich in POTASSIUM!

What Can You Eat:

Fresh veggies, poha, herbs and spices, paneer, fresh fruits etc.

Say NO to:






Aerated drinks.

[ Read: Biggest Loser Diet ]

3. Phosphorus:

This is a mineral abundantly found in just about anything we eat. It helps storing energy in the body. Phosphorus along with calcium also plays a vital role in the formation of bones and teeth.

Raised phosphorus levels in the blood can cause:

  • Renal bone disease
  • Itching skin
  • Hard deposits on the skin, heart and even arteries

What can you eat:

Fresh vegetables and white bread. 

Say NO to:





Soya food





[ Read: Pancreatitis Diet ]

4. Fluids:

Reducing the intake of fluids is the biggest ordeal for just about any dialysis patient. The kidneys remove excess fluids from the body, and when they cease to function, water retention begins. This can cause edema and breathlessness as excess fluids begin to seep into the lungs.

The amount of fluids that can be removed during a dialysis session is rather limited. Removing anything more than 400 ml of water can cause a number of very unpleasant symptoms.

[ Read: Scarsdale Diet ]


Tips to Reduce Fluid Intake:

  • Stay busy. If you do not work full time, indulge in hobbies that will keep you busy and distract the mind. When the mind is active, it will not think of fluids.
  • Sip down a glass of water, do not gulp it down. Drinking in sips will satiate your thirst quicker.
  • Drink fluids like fresh lime juice, instead of water. You will be surprised that you will drink half as much as you would have gulped down water.
  • Reduce intake of salt. More salt means more thirst.
  • Drink very hot or very cold fluids. This does not allow you to gulp it down and will restrict you to sips. This way you consume less fluid.

[ Read: Low Residue Diet ]

As difficult as it seems, with persistence you will soon set yourself to a routine and diet. You can still eat interesting food, but bear in mind what they contain and how much of it is good for you.

What are your sneak tricks to stay in control? Let us know in the comments below!


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Maanasi Radhakrishnan

I have been an ardent book lover since childhood. I have always had a penchant to writing, and enjoy simplifying the most complex of ho-hum subjects and making them interesting reads!When not writing, I also enjoy travelling, and particularly wish to trot the globe someday!