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.

General nutrition guidelines for patients on dialysis, which will vary depending on body size, are listed below. In addition, each person is different and may require numbers that fall outside of the recommended guidelines. Remember, these are just estimates. The chart below is based off of a 150lb individual.

Nutritional Parameter Stages 1-4 CKD Stage 5 Hemodialysis State 5 Peritoneal Dialysis
Calories (kcal/kg/d) 35 < 60 yrs = 2380 Calories
30-35 ≥ 60 = 2040-2380 Calories
35 < 60 yrs
30-35 ≥ 60 yrs
35 < 60 yrs
30-35 ≥ 60 yrs, include Calories from dialysate
Protein (g/kg/d) 0.6-0.75 = 41-51 g 1.2 = 81 1.2-1.3 = 81-88
Fat (% total kcal) For patients at risk for CVD, < 10% saturated fat, 250-300 mg cholesterol/d
Sodium (mg/d) <1500 <1500 <1500
Potassium (mg/d) Match to lab values 2000-3000 3000-4000
Calcium (mg/d) 1200 ≤ 2000 from diet and meds ≤ 2000 from diet and meds
Phosphorus (mg/d) Match to lab values 800-1000 800-1000
Fluid (mL/d) Unrestricted w/ normal urine output 1000 + urine 34 fl oz Monitor; 1500-2000 51-68 fl oz

Please note that some foods have all nutrients such as phosphorus content listed on their nutrition labels, but most don’t. To find out where you can find this information, ask your renal dietitian. One starting point for this information is the United States Department of Agriculture Nutrient Search resource.

Learn More About Nutrition


Reading Food Labels

Nutritional Guidelines

Cooking at Home

Dining Out

Food Substitutions

Diabetes Diet and Kidney Disease