What you eat takes on a whole new meaning when you have kidney disease. This section will help you understand what to eat and what to avoid or minimize as you plan your meals. You can explore creative ways to limit your fluid intake and have fun trying new recipes.

Work With Your Renal Dietitian and Plan Ahead

Although you may wonder what you can eat away from home, restaurants don’t have to be off-limits. You can stick with a kidney-friendly diet and still enjoy your favorite places to eat. Work with your renal dietitian and learn to plan ahead. Your dietitian will be able to give you suggestions based upon the type of restaurant/food you want to eat and how to exchange or limit your nutrition on the day you eat out. For example, if you are going out for Mexican and really want salsa then you can limit your potassium in the other items that you eat.

Expect Larger Portions

Remember restaurant portions are often larger than those you eat at home. You can always ask for half to be boxed up in the beginning or share a meal with others at your table.

Talk With Your Server

Don’t be afraid to ask your server for special requests, such as sauce on the side or no salt. Most restaurants are willing to work with their customers to find foods that will fit with particular health needs.

Don’t Forget to Take Medications

Remember to bring your phosphate binders with you and take them as directed with your meal.

See it as an Opportunity

Don’t get caught up on what you can’t have, but use this as an opportunity to try something new and enjoy!

Food Substitutions

Check out our food substitutions guide for a list of ideas about kidney-friendly dishes you can order when dining out.

Learn More About Nutrition


Reading Food Labels

Nutritional Guidelines

Cooking at Home

Dining Out

Food Substitutions

Diabetes Diet and Kidney Disease