Dialysis can be explained as a procedure of removal of waste products and excessive fluids from the blood, particularly when our kidneys have become non-functional or weak to perform the job.

Most patients going for dialysis need to be on a special diet chart for dialysis. The diet ensures that the patient gets limited amounts of certain nutrients that are individualized and decided by a healthcare professional. Such diets vary depending on the type of dialysis treatment you have been recommended.

The human body is made of several complex and intricate systems that must work in tandem to maintain functionality. But at times, many of the systems of the body experience dysfunctionality. While there are many external treatments and medical processes designed to ensure help for such people who experience organ malfunction or disease, dialysis is one of the most common of these procedures.

Dialysis patient diet chart

The human kidneys may be small organs but perform one of the most crucial functions in the body, and these include blood filtration, regulating blood pressure, maintaining electrolyte balance, and production of urine. However, due to certain reasons like lifestyle and diet, and diseases like diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, the kidneys get damaged and their functional abilities are reduced. And, when the kidneys are not performing as expected, toxins, food wastes, and fluids start accumulating in the body, and you need dialysis to remove them. It is why it becomes all the more important to maintain a healthy dialysis patient’s diet chart.

What is a dialysis patient’s food chart?

A dialysis patient’s food chart may differ from one individual to another depending upon the needs and the extent of kidney damage. Most of the diets and food charts recommended are focused on eliminating toxins, wastes, and fluids from the body. The most common recommendations are reducing or eliminating the following:

  1. Nuts and seeds such as almond, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds etc.
  2. Milk-full cream milk
  3. Fruit- banana, kiwi, watermelon, all citrus fruits such as- orange, mango, amla, lemon etc.
  4. Vegetables- broccoli, brussels sprouts, mushroom, potato, pumpkin, spinach, beans, sweet potato, vegetable juices, raw tomato, tamarind, lotus stem, green leafy vegetables, bitter gourd.
  5. Aerated drinks- cold drink, fruit juices, squashes, coconut water, lemon water, soda.
  6. Fast food- fried food, salted amul butter
  7. Alcohol, smoking, salted biscuit, amchur,
  8. Namkeen dalmoth, salted biscuits, extra table salt
  9. Extra milk and its products

A dialysis diet recommends limiting certain foods, these are:

Dialysis diet recommends limiting certain foods

1. Fast foods:

Everything from pizzas to burgers and fries, should be avoided as these foods have high amounts of saturated and trans fats that can be harmful to the kidneys. These foods are also high in sodium and potassium.

2. Processed and packaged foods:

Most processed and packaged foods contain Mono Sodium Glutamate, preservatives, sugars, and sodium, which can further damage your kidneys.

3. Organ meats:

liver, kidneys, and hearts are all rich in potassium and must be avoided.

4. Milk and milk products:

Milk and milk products are rich in potassium.

5. Certain fruits:

Bananas, avocados, musk melons, and strawberries are high in potassium, and could be harmful to your kidney health.

6. Beans, nuts, and seeds:

The dried form of these foods should be strictly avoided as they have potassium.

7. Carbonated beverages:

As carbonated beverages have higher levels of phosphoric acid; they should altogether be avoided.

If you are on a dialysis diet, foods items that you can consume with ease are:

Dialysis Diet Food Items
  1. Vegetables: ghia, torai, parwal, bhindi, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, brinjal, cucumber, green pea, carrot, (after leaching process)
  2. Fruits: Apple, papaya, pears, peaches, guava
  3. Pulses: only dhulii daal.
  4. Eggs, fish, and meat: Egg white, fatty fishes like salmon, trout, sardines, and skinless chicken.
  5. Cereals: all cereals and cereal products like wholewheat
  6. Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, and almonds.
  7. Milk – skimmed milk
  8. Fat- according to requirement (refined/olive/mustard/desi ghee)
  9. Salt- 3 to 4 gm /day

Leaching process

Its important to pullout potassium from vegetables. Hence, kidney do not get burdened with potassium load. By this way you can enjoy your favourite vegetables which are rich in potassium.

How to leach vegetables

Leach Potassium Food
  1. Peel and place the vegetables in cold water, so they wont darken
  2. Slice vegetables in 1/8 thick
  3. Boil in warm water for few seconds
  4. Cook vegetables with 5 times more amount of water than the vegetables.

Some healthy snacks

Some healthy snacks
  1. Boiled corn
  2. Puffed rice snacks
  3. Chiwada namkeen
  4. Home made popcorn

What is a dialysis patient’s food chart?

A dialysis patient’s food chart may differ from one individual to another depending upon the needs and the extent of kidney damage. Most of the diets and food charts recommended are focused on eliminating toxins, wastes, and fluids from the body. The most common recommendations are reducing or eliminating the following:

1. Sodium:

Sodium is there in almost every food we eat, including the salt we add to flavor our foods. But, when you have problems with your kidneys, it is unable to drain or filter out the excessive sodium.

2. Phosphorous:

Accumulation of excessive phosphorous in the body is not good, and when you have kidney diseases, it is unable to filter out the excess phosphorous. Therefore, limiting the intake of phosphorous is important.

Foods that are high in phosphorus and must be limited are milk and milk products (paneer, tofu, cheese, curd), eggs, fish, chicken, soft drinks, chocolate, nuts, soy foods, oats, and ready-to-eat foods.

3. Potassium:

Low Potassium Foods

Although potassium is crucial for our body, people with kidney health issues should limit its consumption. Most fruits have high levels of potassium, and even many vegetables also. Vegetables however could be leached to remove the majority of the potassium by placing them in the water a day before consumption.

4. Protein:

Protein

Proteins are important, and it is very important to balance our protein intake, as it plays an important role in the maintenance of tissues. But, when your kidneys are damaged, it is unable to filer proteins from the foods properly, which in turn get collected in the blood.

5. Fluids:

It is advised not to gulp down fluids, but rather sip them. Drink other fluids more than water. Reduce your salt intake, as the more you eat salt, the more you feel thirty.

Kidney dialysis patient diet chart

A kidney dialysis patient diet chart is recommended when as a patient you are willing to benefit from the treatment you are going through with certain additional health benefit. As a dialysis patient, you are to cautiously avoid certain foods and prevent any health complications.

You need to understand that a dialysis diet cannot replace the actual functionality of your kidneys. Dialysis is just a treatment that offers the support your kidneys need. The diet is based on conscious food choices to maintain the well-being of your health.

Some foods work well for your kidneys, however, as a dialysis patient, your dialysis patient diet chart should focus on the key zones:

  1. Sodium
  2. Potassium
  3. Phosphorous, and
  4. Fluids

If your kidneys are damaged, your body’s ability to filter the waste is hampered, and this means that your kidneys are not performing their function. Hence, it is all the more important that you ensure to eat the foods in your diet chart for dialysis, so that your kidneys function healthily despite the disease.

Modification in your diet will ensure that you avoid complications from the disease and improve your quality of life. In addition to a proper dialysis patient diet chart, you feel

  • More energized
  • Have reduced risks of infections
  • Have healthier body weight, and
  • Have decreased risks of any disease progression

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the best diet for dialysis patients?

Diet is an important part of dialysis. As your kidneys cannot get rid of wastes and fluids, you always have special needs. The best diet for dialysis patients is the one that limits your fluid intake and changes the intake of certain foods in your diet. It suggests you:
– Eat more foods high in protein.
– Makes you eat less of foods high in salt, potassium, and phosphorous.
– Teaches you, how much fluid you can safely drink, including tea, coffee, water, and liquid foods.
– Avoid certain foods like oranges, raisins, bananas, melons, kiwis, and prunes.

2. What vegetables can a dialysis patient eat?

The best vegetables that you can eat when on dialysis are:
Dark leafy greens: Kale, spinach, collard, and chard. All these are loaded with vitamin A and C, calcium, and other valuable minerals good for your kidneys.
Sweet Potatoes: Packed with fibers, beta-carotene, and vitamins and minerals, helps in reducing strain on your kidneys.
Cabbage: Cabbages and other cruciferous vegetables are full of phytochemicals that help break free radicals and protect your kidneys from possible damage.
Red Bell Peppers: Red bell peppers are low in potassium and high in flavors making them perfect for any dialysis patient. They are also a good source of vitamin A, C, and B6, folic acid, and fiber.

3. Is rice good for dialysis patients?

Rice is a great choice for any dialysis patient. Rice not only provides energy but is also low in minerals – perfect for dialysis. Rice is mainly carbohydrate, with small amounts of proteins. If you have major health concerns and find it difficult to manage weight, and blood sugar, you will need to take rice in limited quantities. However, white rice is better than brown rice if you have kidney troubles.
Excessive intake of brown rice is not suggested for people undergoing dialysis treatment. Brown rice has more amounts phosphorous and potassium, compared to white rice, which may further lead to weaker bones, other heart disorders, and also joint pains.