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Nutrition For Kidney Disease


Jackie RD and LindaRD receive many patient referrals from local nephrologists who have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Our job is to help those living with CKD overcome the confusing world of nutrition to preserve their kidney function.

Often our CKD clients are also living with Diabetes which is a complication of poor glucose management over time.

In our initial meeting we evaluate labs such as GFR. Creatinine, Albumin, Blood Pressure, and A1C. We take time to explain to our client what these all mean. We teach our clients to be on a kidney friendly diet to prevent the progression of kidney disease based on their lifestyle and favorite foods.

It is important for our clients to understand the importance of monitoring their phosphorous, calcium, potassium, salt and protein intake. All these nutrients, if consumed in the right balance in meals, will help to increase the GFR , lower albumin, creatinine and blood sugar levels.

Let us tell you about our 40 year old client that took high doses of Advil for a year during Covid for a severe back problem since she was not able to schedule the back surgery. Shockingly, she was diagnosed with CKD a year later. We were able to stabilize her kidney function and teach her the best nutrition regimen for life to preserve her kidneys. We taught her how to modify her diet for the following nutrients:

Normal working kidneys can remove extra phosphorus in your blood. When you have CKD, your kidneys cannot remove phosphorus very well and can cause damage to your body. Extra phosphorus causes body changes that pull calcium out of your bones, making them weak. High phosphorus and calcium levels also lead to dangerous calcium deposits in blood vessels, lungs, eyes, and heart.

Phosphorus is completely absorbed when added to food as an additive such as in fast foods, ready-to-eat processed foods, canned and bottled sodas. Throughout the pandemic, our client was living on fast foods and soda because she was not able to cook for herself since she was in such pain. Now post surgery her pain is greatly reduced and she can focus on eating healthy based on following a meal plan we set up for her with simple recipes to follow and that includes her favorite foods. We also made sure she was consuming 2 dairy products a day such as her favorite cottage cheese and Greek yogurts.

Potassium is an important mineral found in your body that is responsible for many functions. A food that is considered “high-potassium” generally has 200 mg or more potassium per serving. This means the size of the serving that you eat is very important. A large amount of a low-potassium food can easily turn it into a high-potassium food. This became an issue with our client who was eating too many apricots, bananas, and cantaloupes as her snacks thinking she was being healthy. We encouraged her to switch to apples, blueberries, and peaches within portion size guidelines. Yes, our client was hardly eating veggies but now she has a list of low-potassium veggies that she is incorporating into her diet such as mini peppers, raw broccoli, and cucumbers.

The more protein waste that needs to be removed, the harder the kidneys need to work to get rid of it. This can be stressful for your kidneys, causing them to wear out faster. For people with kidney disease, a diet limiting the amount of protein and including more plant-based foods in the diet will help slow the loss of kidney function. Plant sources of protein include beans, lentils, nuts, peanut butter, seeds, and whole grains. A plant-based diet can meet protein needs with careful planning by eating a variety of plant-based foods. Our client now is eating plant-based proteins and we have given her recipes that are very popular with our clients such as braised lentils and whole wheat pasta with kidney-friendly veggies. She now buys plant-based protein entrees by Gardein and Yves which we have taste-tested and have gotten good reviews about.

When your kidneys are not healthy extra sodium and fluid buildup in your body. This can cause swollen ankles, puffiness, a rise in blood pressure, shortness of breath, and/or fluid around your heart and lungs.

We taught our client how to use many herbs and spices such as lemon pepper which is very popular and can add flavor to her food instead of salt. Also, certain foods have more sodium than others and we showed her how to arrange the meals in a day around food choices that are not high in sodium. We walked through restaurant menus and showed her the best foods to order and how to set up her day with the other foods eaten in the day.

In summary, we strive to show our clients with Kidney Disease that the dietary regimen can be tasty and enjoyable as long as they wake up each morning and are prepared and organized with their day. Let us take you by the hand and help you with your nutrition based on your nutritional needs.

Nutritional Counseling is covered by health insurance including ABMG, Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, CCHP, Hill, Sutter, UHC, UMR and others. I am happy to call your insurance on your behalf and see what your coverage is. Please visit me at to learn more about our services. Email me at or call at 925-855-0150 to tell me about your nutritional concerns and how I can help you.