Updated: May 16, 2020

TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT You may have been diagnosed with renal disease and now you are wondering what to eat. What to eat is dependent on a number of factors; the type of renal condition you have, specific indicators in your blood chemistry and your general state of health and other health conditions you may have.

In this article, I will try to tackle a few areas on renal nutrition based on frequently asked questions by patients.

CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE Some blood chemistry indicators important in choosing the food to eat are; potassium, phosphate, calcium, sodium, bicarbonate, and albumin.

POTASSIUM Potassium is an important mineral needed in the bodies metabolism. It is very important to the body but when somebody has renal disease, the potassium blood potassium content can go very high which is dangerous and can affect how the heart works. If you have been told you need to lower your blood potassium, then you need to avoid foods that contain more than 200mg of potassium per serving. FOODS THAT ARE HIGH IN POTASSIUM FRUITS Banana, dried fruits, raisins, pawpaw, avocados, oranges DRINKS Fruit juice cocktails, beer, malted, tomato juice, coconut water, coloured fizzy drinks OTHERS Mushrooms, beans of all kinds, nuts of all kinds, plantain, potato, and other tubers, cocoa, coffee COOKING METHODS THAT LOWER POTASSIUM CONTENT Vegetables: boil and drain stock Plantain, potato and other starchy tubers: soak in water for about two hours then boil in freshwater. Avoid chips and crisps which tend to have a higher potassium content.

Your Dietitian can help you make the right food choices and serving size to choose.

PHOSPHORUS This is another mineral that is of concern to many people who are living with renal disease. When the kidneys are not functioning, as well as they should phosphate levels could rise beyond normal the blood.

High phosphate levels could cause itchy skins and eyes, sore muscles and joints and can affect the heart.

Blood phosphate levels could be maintained at normal values by reducing the intake of foods high in phosphorus and by taking phosphate binders with your meals. Phosphate binders should be taken food. The medicine will not work if it is taken without food because it is supposed to bind the phosphate in the food. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions concerning all your medications.


HIGH PHOSPHATE FOODS TO REDUCE ARE: Nuts of all kinds, melon seeds(agushi), neri, dawadawa, cocoa, milky beverages and snacks, egg yolks, oats and wheat bran, cheese and fula.

It is also high in most high protein foods. Talk to your dietician about the safe amounts to take.


FOR MORE INFORMATION; Contact Ernestina Eduful RD at

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