How to Create a Kidney Diet to Reverse Chronic Kidney Disease

Three Methods:Eating the Right FoodsAvoiding Certain FoodsManaging Your Fluid Intake

If you are suffering from CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease), you need a kidney diet that will improve impaired kidney function naturally. There is no cure for kidney disease, but you can slow the progression of symptoms with the right dietary changes. You will need a diet rich in healthy fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Certain foods, like foods high in potassium, should be avoided if you have kidney problems. With a little time and dedication, you can find a healthy diet that meets your needs.

Method 1
Eating the Right Foods

  1. Image titled Cleanse Your Kidneys Step 3
    Choose the correct vegetables. When you're eating with kidney disease, you need to be conscientious of your vegetable intake. While vegetables are vital to a healthy diet, not all vegetables are safe for you if you have compromised kidneys. Vegetables high in potassium should generally be avoided when you have kidney problems.[1]
    • Good vegetable choices include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, eggplant, lettuce, cucumber, celery, onions, pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash.
    • You should avoid potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, asparagus, pumpkin, winter squash, and cooked spinach. These options have a lot of potassium.
  2. Image titled Cleanse Your Kidneys Step 5
    Select the right fruits. You should also be careful to watch out for fruits with high levels of potassium. Fruit is an important component of your diet when you have kidney disease, but be conscientious of what types of fruit you choose.[2]
    • Low potassium fruits include grapes, cherries, apples, pears, berries, plums, pineapples, tangerines, and watermelon.
    • Try to avoid oranges and orange-based products like orange juice. You should watch out for kiwis, nectarines, prunes, cantaloupe, honeydew, raisins, and dry fruit in general.
  3. Image titled Cleanse Your Kidneys Step 24
    Talk to your doctor about your protein requirements. Protein is an important part of your diet, but you want to be careful with protein intake if you have kidney disease. As protein produces waste in the body, and kidneys help remove waste, too much protein may put unneeded pressure on your kidneys. Your doctor may suggest a low protein diet. However, when undergoing dialysis, you may need to up your protein intake temporarily.[3][4]
    • Eat smaller servings of protein at dinner. Keep the bulk of your plate full of healthy fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates. A serving of protein should be no more than 2 to 3 ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards.
    • High protein foods may be temporarily important during dialysis, so talk to your doctor if you're undergoing dialysis or will be in the future. You will want to eat high protein foods. Many doctors suggest eggs or egg whites as a good source of protein during dialysis.
    • Ask your doctor precisely how much protein you should get. Some kidney patients may benefit from a lower protein diet, so it's a good idea to get specific recommendations from your doctor.
  4. Image titled Improve Kidney Function Step 1
    Prepare foods in a heart healthy manner. How you cook your foods matters a lot when it comes to slowing or reversing kidney damage. Tweak how you cook foods to make your diet healthier overall. [5]
    • Use non-stick pans when you cook to cut back on your need for butter and cooking oils, which can add a lot of unneeded calories and fat to your diet. Use heart healthy fats like olive oil when cooking over butter or vegetable oil.
    • When you eat, trim excess fat from meat. You should also remove the skin from poultry.
    • When preparing food, aim to bake, stir-fry, grill, or boil food.

Method 2
Avoiding Certain Foods

  1. Image titled Improve Kidney Function Step 2
    Manage your sodium intake carefully. Sodium, more commonly known as salt, can be very damaging if you have kidney failure. It's vital you trim down on your sodium intake throughout the day. Cutting down on salt will cause less fluid retention in your body, and also help control blood pressure, all of which can help improve kidney disease.[6]
    • Buy foods with labels that read low-sodium, sodium-free, sodium-reduced, no salt added, and unsalted.
    • Check product labels to see how much sodium a food contains. Go for foods with less than 100mg of sodium per serving.
    • Do not use salt when you're cooking. If you have a salt shaker, remove it from the table altogether to avoid the temptation to salt your food during meals.
  2. Image titled Get Rid of Acne Scars with Home Remedies Step 31
    Limit your dairy intake. Phosphorous levels in your blood should remain low if you have chronic kidney disease. Dairy products, like milk and cheese, are generally high in phosphorous. It's best to cut back on dairy if you're struggling with chronic kidney disease.[7]
    • When it comes to dairy foods, stick to low phosphorous varieties. Go for cream cheese, ricotta cheese, margarine, butter, heavy cream, sherbet, brie cheese, and whipped toppings that do not contain dairy.
    • As you need calcium for strong bones, talk to your doctor about calcium supplements. Many people who have chronic kidney disease need to take calcium supplements for their health and well-being.
  3. Image titled Eat Like a Body Builder Step 13
    Stay away from fried food. Fried foods should be avoided if you have kidney disease. Frying foods adds a lot of unnecessary calories and fat to your diet.[8]
    • When you're eating out, stay away from deep fried foods on the menu. Ask the waiter or waitress about altering items. For example, see if you can substitute a grilled chicken breast for a fried one on a sandwich.
    • At family get togethers, like holidays, stay away from fried foods. Opt for vegetables and fruits over things like fried chicken.
    • When cooking meals at home, do not fry your foods. If you have a deep-fryer, it may be best to give it away.

Method 3
Managing Your Fluid Intake

  1. Image titled Improve Kidney Function Step 6
    Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol can take a great toll on the kidneys. If your kidneys are already compromised, drinking to excess is not recommended. If your kidney disease is advanced enough, you may not be able to drink alcohol at all. Some people with kidney disease can have one drink on occasion. However, you should talk to your doctor to get precise recommendations about how much alcohol is safe for you.[9]
    • Ask that friends and family members do not drink around you at social events. If you know a social event will involve drinking, try sitting that event out or asking a friend or family member to refrain from drinking with you.
    • If you struggle to give up alcohol, talk to a therapist about how to quit drinking. You can also seek out the support of groups like Alcoholics Anonymous if you believe you have a drinking problem.
  2. Image titled Improve Kidney Function Step 4
    Find ways to manage thirst. You may not have to limit your fluid intake early on, but many people have to cut down on fluid consumption in the later stages of kidney disease. If you are on dialysis, fluid can build up in the body between sessions. Your doctor may want you to stick within a certain range of fluids throughout the day. Look into ways to mange your thirst without drinking too much liquid.[10]
    • Drink from smaller glasses during meals. If you're at a restaurant, turn your cup over when you're done drinking. This will let your server know not to refill your cup, allowing you to avoid the temptation of drinking too much water.
    • You can try freezing fruit juices in ice trays. You can suck on these juices like popsicles, allowing you to alleviate your thirst slowly. Just make sure to count these popsicles towards your total fluid intake for the day.
  3. Image titled Get Rid of Back Fat Step 9
    Be careful with sodas. Sodas should generally be avoided, as they're a source of unnecessary calories and sugar. However, if you like soda on occasion, go for light colored varieties. Lemon flavored sodas, like Sprite, are better than darker sodas like Coke and Pepsi. [11]
  4. Image titled Combat Stress with Good Nutrition Step 10
    Limit your intake of orange juice. Orange juice contains high levels of potassium. It's best to avoid orange juice if you have chronic kidney disease. Try substituting grape juice, apple juice, or cranberry juice for orange juice.[12]


  • Be positive. Stress can make kidney disease worse.
  • Try to work on exercising regularly as well. Regular physical activity can help slow the progression of kidney disease. You should also make other lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, to manage kidney disease.


  • If you don't reduce your sodium intake, you will not see any improvement in your kidney function.

Article Info

Categories: Diet & Lifestyle